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Funding and Resources for Dropout Recovery & Multiple Education Pathways Dropout Recovery Discussion Group, American Youth Policy Forum October 20, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Funding and Resources for Dropout Recovery & Multiple Education Pathways Dropout Recovery Discussion Group, American Youth Policy Forum October 20, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Funding and Resources for Dropout Recovery & Multiple Education Pathways Dropout Recovery Discussion Group, American Youth Policy Forum October 20, 2006 Mala B. Thakur, Executive Director National Youth Employment Coalition

2 The National Youth Employment Coalition The National Youth Employment Coalition NYEC improves the effectiveness of organizations that seek to help youth become productive citizens. NYEC is a 27 year-old national membership network of over 250 youth employment, youth development, and education organizations in 40 states.

3 The National Youth Employment Coalition… Sets and Promotes Quality Standards Sets and Promotes Quality Standards Tracks, Crafts and Influences Policy Tracks, Crafts and Influences Policy Provides & Supports Professional Development Provides & Supports Professional Development Builds the Capacity of Organizations & Builds the Capacity of Organizations & Programs Programs

4 Financing Alternative Education Pathways: Profiles and Policy – published in 2005 NYEC examined state policies and funding streams that support alternative education schools/programs in Arizona, California, Illinois, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia & Wisconsin

5 Purpose To promote the establishment of sustainable state funding streams to support a broader range of alternative pathways for disconnected youth.

6 Background High School Completion Rates Urban Institute reports that nationwide the overall graduation rate for the class of 2001 was only 68 percent. In many urban districts and among minority populations, only 50 percent or less of youth complete high school. According to Education Testing Service, from 1990 to 2000, the high school completion rate declined in all but seven states.

7 Background Recognize that State Education represents one of the largest funding streams that can potentially support disconnected youth NYEC began investigating how alternative schools and programs access state/local ed funding to re-engage & recover dropouts

8 Background Follow up to 1996 Nat. Conference of State Legislators Report Follow up to 1996 Nat. Conference of State Legislators Report State Education Funding Policies and School to Work Transitions for Dropouts and At Risk Youth State Education Funding Policies and School to Work Transitions for Dropouts and At Risk Youth NYEC conducted scan of state definitions of alternative education NYEC conducted scan of state definitions of alternative education Punitive language Punitive language No explicit funding barriers No explicit funding barriers

9 Profiles Profiled programs/schools that accessed state and local in the following states: Community Prep High School, New York, NY High School Completion Program, Adult Career Development Center, Richmond, VA Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Los Angeles, CA American Youth Works Charter School Austin, Texas

10 Profiles Center of Excellence Charter High School Arizona Call-A-Teen Youth Resources Phoenix, AZ Improved Solutions for Urban Systems (ISUS) Dayton, OH Open Meadow Alternative Schools Portland, OR TransCenter for Youth Milwaukee, WI

11 State Policy Mechanisms Enact state programs allowing education funding to follow at-risk students to alternative education settings. (Portland, Oregon) Allow school districts to award credit based on proficiency and competency. (Milwaukee, WI) Establish multiple charter granting authorities, some of which are outside of the traditional K-12 system. (Ohio, Wisconsin)

12 State Policy Mechanisms Future Recommendations Establish an education accountability system, compliant with both state and federal requirements, that recognizes progress over time based on academic levels at entry Include mechanisms that support & promote flexibility to create a system of diverse secondary offerings

13 State Policy Mechanisms Future Recommendations Develop mechanisms that provide support to and promote the creation of networks

14 Principles & Elements of Quality Practice Link to academic standards Able to connect youth to caring adults and mentors Responsive to learning styles of youth Competency based or allow for credit recovery Able to connect youth to opportunities for paid service/work experience Offering pathways to recognized credentials, post secondary ed. and careers

15 Additional Efforts Expanding Alternative Education Pathways: Strengthening Policies and Practices that Support At Risk and Out of School Youth Financing Educational Options for Struggling Students and Out of School Youth Transition to Higher Education Project

16 The Opportunity Older youth issues and the drop-out rate are getting unprecedented attention nationally. Youth serving systems are more receptive to collaboration Workforce systems should have key role in dropout recovery and re-engagement Employers demanding more skilled workers

17 Issues for Further Exploration What are the key issues surrounding the funding of education options and multiple pathways, and the sustainability of these funding streams? What are some additional successful strategies, challenges, and barriers to accessing funding for education options and multiple pathways? Are there additional elements, structures, and mechanisms that must be in place in order to sustain funding for multiple education pathways? What can we learn from the financing of alternative education pathways as we inform and craft federal policy, such as No Child Left Behind?

18 Mala B. Thakur Executive Director National Youth Employment Coalition 1836 Jefferson Place, NW Washington, DC


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