Youth Policy News - December 2015

December edition of Youth Policy News 


Youth Policy NEWS
Highlights innovative youth-focused policy work at the local, state and federal levels.
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Signed essa
Two weeks ago, headlines were made when President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law. The bill replaces the highly-debated No Child Left Behind and will go into effect for the 2017-2018 school year. Overall experts agree that there is more decision making devolving to the state and local level.

Bill highlights include:
  • States' plans will have to include how they are supporting the transition of students along the education pipeline, specifically between middle school and high school and post-secondary institutions.
  • Use of student data to encourage school accountability including data collection and disaggregation by race, income and disability.
  • Indicators beyond academics encouraging a whole-child approach including measures like school climate, safety and educator engagement.
  • Better partnerships including stronger connections between educational institutions and juvenile justice facilities.
  • More comprehensive supports and programs including Full Service Community Schools, Promise Neighborhoods and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
At a time when the opportunity gap continues to grow, our federal government continues to cut funding and resources for programs for young children. The release of President Obama's FY 2016 budget underlines the need for policymakers and community members to work together to improve outcomes for children, youth and families, especially when it comes to issues of equity. This budget brief from the Center for the Study of Social Policy, offers up examples of federal, state and community actions that use the power of the budget process to address equity issues.

In addition to equity issues, our nation is also facing tightened budgets for youth programs. As detailed by the Urban Institute's 2015 Kids' Share Report, federal spending is projected to increase by about $1.5 trillion over the next decade, but only 2 percent of that budget growth will go to children.

If we are to do right by our children, cities and states will have to find ways to increase investments without assistance from the federal government. Salt Lake County, New York City, San Antonio, West Sacramento and Delaware are just a few of the places that are already heeding the call to action. Find out more about the work done in these locales and how the federal government can aid that work.
Governor Gina M. Raimondo took office at a time when Rhode Island ranked 31st in the nation for overall child well-being. She has released a five-year strategic plan to improve outcomes for Rhode Island children - by reconvening the state's Children's Cabinet, with the help of the Forum for Youth Investment, for the first time in nearly a decade.

The data-driven plan identifies five areas that are critical to child well-being and development, and names 12 objectives necessary to achieve these desired outcomes. Read the full press release here for all of the details.
Come help us celebrate the 5th Annual Ready by 21 National Meeting in Baltimore! Mark your calendars and don't miss the opportunity to network with 450+ colleagues striving to improve the lives of kids in communities and states across the nation. You'll also hear strategies, research and stories about building partnerships, aligning policies, improving out-of-school time quality and performance, and embracing readiness in the pursuit of equity.

Find out more and take advantage of our early-bird savings by registering now.
The new federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. WIOA is shifting a substantial amount of focus and resources to serving out-of-school and out-of-work youth.
On Jan. 21 from 2-3 p.m. ET, the My Brother's Keeper Alliance and the Opportunity Youth Network are partnering to host a webinar where you can learn about this policy's impact on the field from experts from the U.S. Department of Labor and a local workforce investment board. Come hear how you can engage your workforce investment board and leverage resources to serve opportunity youth (16-24 year olds who are not in school and not employed) and boys and men of color. Register here.


Publishing Date: 
December 21, 2015