“Monthly Calendar of Tasks” c. 1470 / Master of the Geneva Boccaccio
Much like its role as a discoverer of new knowledge and as a large consumer in the energy sector, the education industry has a significant role in food security research and as a consumer in its school lunch programs, dormitory, athletic facility and healthcare enterprises. Accordingly — in much the same way we follow the US Census Bureau’s monthly construction activity report — we follow a data point provided by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) as one of our stars to steer by.
The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) is a monthly report published by the USDA that provides comprehensive forecast of supply and demand for major crops (global and United States) and livestock (U.S. only). The report provides an analysis of the fundamental condition of the agricultural commodity markets for the use of farmers, governments and other market participants.
“Washington Crossing the Delaware” 1851 / Emanuel Leutze
“The supply of government exceeds the demand”
— Lewis Lapham
Once per month we walk through the legislative and executive action that affect the cost of education communities; with special attention to the way money flows into physical infrastructure — our cities-within-cities.
The education industry builds about $80 billion of new or renovated square footage it every year — and takes another $240 billion to manage it — making it the largest non-residential building construction market in the United States (CLICK HERE for our coverage of the monthly US Commerce Department report on construction activity).
Three-hundred billion running through any industry sets the foundation for market-making by incumbent stakeholders (“niche verticals“) using legislative processes. Incumbents work the market on 2-3 fronts:
Direct legislative influence — i.e. crafting new legislation, or revising legacy legislation
Writing passages in codes and standards that are incorporated by reference into new or legacy legislation
Some administrative information is available at the link below:
In the process of scanning through technical details in best practice literature that frighten ordinary mortals, many federal proposals get “caught in the net” of our tracking algorithm. (We usually throw them back)
We do not advocate in legislative action at any level — we are not lobbyists or communication consultants — but it is wise to follow because, when commenting opportunities present themselves, some knowledge of action elsewhere informs our response to the development of the consensus products that do affect the cost of education in the United States. For example, from time to time we find adjustments to the “boilerplate” legislation referenced in construction project bidding documents (Davis-Bacon Act, OSHA Rules of Construction, etc.) These “adjustments” are supposed to be made public but unless you are one of the Washington insiders, you may miss them.
The ferocity of federal-level action may surprise you; with food, technology and energy-related proposals the most fierce; soon to be replaced in ferocity by legislative solutions responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. We list a few proposals from the present (116th Congress) below:
To understand the underpinning of how codes and standards are developed, adopted and enforced, education facility managers should keep in mind that equipment and systems do not vote. The people who invent, build, install and maintain them do vote. We find that state agencies that administer the building codes for schools, colleges and universities are heavily influenced by labor interests. As one of the largest construction markets in the United States, labor and financial market incumbents are involved. For example, some labor unions devote resources to getting out the vote for school bond referendums in order to make work for their members. Usually this outsized influence is for the better; but not always. We devote an hour every month to State Action. See our CALENDAR.
We are happy to walk you through all, or all of the most relevant, legislative proposals as of this posting. Our algorithm picks up public commenting opportunities that federal agencies post on changes to existing legislation on a near-hourly basis. We curate and list them a few in the link below:
Energy-related proposals that affect the education industry energy agenda has also been omitted from this list and referred to our monthly Electrical, Mechanical and Energy standards teleconferences (See our CALENDAR). Energy legislation and regulations are a crazy space and needs a separate meeting. We host a monthly Energy Standards and Management & Finance teleconference that cover public commenting opportunities in those spaces.
“…(Pub.L. 89–329) was legislation signed into United States law on November 8, 1965, as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society domestic agenda. Johnson chose Texas State University (then called “Southwest Texas State College”), his alma mater, as the signing site. The law was intended “to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education”. It increased federal money given to universities, created scholarships, gave low-interest loans for students, and established a National Teachers Corps. The “financial assistance for students” is covered in Title IV of the HEA.
The Higher Education Act of 1965 was reauthorized in 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, and 2008. Current authorization for the programs in the Higher Education Act expired at the end of 2013, but has been extended through 2015 while Congress prepares changes and amendments. Before each re-authorization, Congress amends additional programs, changes the language and policies of existing programs, or makes other changes….”
Mural by Eyer Middle School students, Macungie, Pennsylvania, 2017
We have another buzzword on our hands.
From the original ANSI post:
Kaplan University Partners, Inc. reports that the number one reason Americans value higher education is to get graduates “career ready.” Yet, the biggest concern employers have about college is the relevance of what students are learning and the work readiness of the graduates. When employers are asked what they want to see most in college graduates, the top things they cite are work-related experiences and industry-relevant skills. According to a 2013 Lumina Foundation and Gallup poll of the American public and business leaders, only 13% of Americans and 11% of C-level executives are confident that graduates are well prepared for success in the workplace. It is time to take action to turn the tide on this perception.
Lyndon Baines Johnson Federal Building / US Department of Education
The purpose of these distance education and innovation regulations is to reduce barriers to innovation in the way institutions deliver educational materials and opportunities to students, and assess their knowledge and understanding, while providing reasonable safeguards to limit the risks to students and taxpayers. Institutions of higher education may be dissuaded from innovating because of added regulatory burden and uncertainty about how the Department will apply its regulations to new types of programs and methods of institutional educational delivery.
“…Title I (“Title One”), which is a provision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act passed in 1965, is a program created by the U.S. Department of Education to distribute funding to schools and school districts with a high percentage of students from low-income families, with the intention to create programs that will better children who have special needs that without funding could not be properly supported. Funding is distributed first to state educational agencies (SEAs) which then allocate funds to local educational agencies (LEA’s) which in turn dispense funds to public schools in need. Title I also helps children from families that have migrated to the United States and youth from intervention programs who are neglected or at risk of abuse. The act allocates money for educational purposes for the next five fiscal years until it is reauthorized. In addition, Title I appropriates money to the education system for the persecution of high retention rates of students and the improvement of schools; these appropriations are carried out for five fiscal years until reauthorization.
Title I mandates services both to eligible public school students and eligible private school students. This is outlined in section 1120 of Title I, Part A of the ESEA as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Title I states that it gives priority to schools that are in obvious need of funds, low-achieving schools, and schools that demonstrate a commitment to improving their education standards and test scores.
There are two types of assistance that can be provided by Title I funds. The first is a “schoolwide program” in which schools can dispense resources in a flexible manner. The second is a “targeted assistance program” which allows schools to identify students who are failing or at risk of failing.
Assistance for school improvement includes government grants, allocations, and reallocations based on the school’s willingness to commit to improving their standing in the educational system. Each educational institution requesting these grants must submit an application that describes how these funds will be used in restructuring their school for academic improvement.
Schools receiving Title I funding are regulated by federal legislation. Most recently, this legislation includes the No Child Left Behind Act, which was passed in 2001. In the 2006–2007 school year, Title I provided assistance to over 17 million students who range from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The majority of the funds (60%) were given to students between kindergarten through fifth grade. The next highest group that received funding were students in sixth through eighth grade (21%). Finally, 16% of the funds went to students in high school with 3% provided to students in preschool.