Update: 2014 Federal Education Funding Priorities

Jessie Azrilian on Friday, May 3, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 

In a time of sweeping budget cuts, President Obama is asking for an additional $3 billion for the education budget. During a conference call earlier this week addressing the corporate and philanthropic sectors, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made clear the following: 1) Ongoing federal funding for education is an absolute priority; 2) Resources would be geared towards creating impact at the local level; and 3) States and communities willing to put in the work would reap the rewards.



  • $75 billion for a 10-year program partnering with states to dramatically increase access to high quality pre-kindergarten. Funds would come from a 94-cent-per-pack cigarette tax.


  • “Ladders of Opportunity:” The Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Agriculture will take a joint approach to examine and remedy entrenched intergenerational poverty.
  • Teachers and Leaders Plan: A Master teacher program designed to retain top teachers who will  mentor the next generation of teachers. The administration is gearing investment towards building “networks of innovation” at the local level, focusing on communities where higher education, business, non-profit, and public education stakeholders are already engaged and invested locally in education attainment. 
  • The RESPECT Project: a $5 billion initiative derived from a national dialogue among teachers will seek to reform and transform the teaching profession.
  • High School Re-design: $300 million will go directly to school districts to ensure students are both college and career-ready. Funds will focus on districts working innovatively to link curriculum to the real world and helping students realize those linkages. 

Higher Ed:

  • Race to the Top for higher education: $1 billion in matching funds to influence behaviors on the state and university level. The funds serve as an incentive for states’ ongoing investment in higher education, for universities to keep costs down, and for education institutions to collaborate in creating not just communities of access, but of completion.

The Bottom Line

Local buy-in will be the key to investment. Communities must be ready to work hard and ready to work collaboratively.

Information about these programs and user-friendly materials on the President’s 2014 Budget Proposal can be found here. 


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Life Member Honored for Volunteer Work

Tania Kohut on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 12:00:00 am 

For ACCE Life Member John Garman, CCE, the chamber profession truly is a life, not a career. Despite his retirement in 2003 as a chamber exec, John continues to serve by volunteering at the Chapel Hill-Carrboro (NC) Chamber of Commerce. In April, he completed his 400th member visit. He has been volunteering with the chamber for two years, visiting one-on-one with business owners and managers to learn and report on their business needs and to improve the connections between the chamber staff and its nearly 1,400 members. In recognition of his service to the chamber and its members, John was recognized last month with the Chair's Award for Excellence, presented by the chamber’s Board of Directors Chair, Paige Zinn. 

John was born in upstate New York and earned his B.A. in history and oriental studies, and his M.B.A. in marketing and finance from Columbia University. In 2003, after completing a 30-year career as a chamber exec in communities in Indiana, Kentucky and South Carolina, he retired and served as a consultant and instructor for the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) with assignments in Russia, Bosnia, Jordan, Egypt, Pakistan and Jamaica. John moved to North Carolina’s Research Triangle in 2010 with his wife, Nancy, and lives in a home built by his son. He currently serves as a trustee for the North Carolina Humanities Council.

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