National Center on Time & Learning Statement on President Obama’s FY 2014 Budget Release

(Boston, MA) Jennifer Davis, Co-Founder and President of the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL), issued the following statement today in support of President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget request:

“We applaud President Obama’s 2014 education budget proposal, which reflects his continued commitment to investing in education to drive improvement across the U.S. and to provide critical support to our most disadvantaged students -- helping prepare them for college and careers. The President has requested $71 billion in discretionary education funding – an increase of more than four percent over last year. This request includes significant investments in K12 reform programs, such as the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program, School Improvement Grants, and a new High School Redesign program. 
“The National Center on Time & Learning specifically wants to recognize the President’s continuing commitment to expanding school learning time as a powerful lever to provide high-poverty students the education they need to succeed. This budget builds on the progress that is already being made throughout the nation as states and districts are working with the Administration to implement the ESEA Flexibility Waivers to create high-quality expanded learning time schools that provide teachers the time they need to successfully implement the more rigorous Common Core standards and give students the well-rounded education they deserve in order to compete in the 21st Century economy.
“The President’s budget proposal maintains the Administration’s commitment to providing state and local leaders with the flexibility they need. It would give local leaders in all states the flexibility to choose expanded learning time along with afterschool, before school, and summer programs as part of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, an option that is only available now to communities in the 21 states that applied for the CCLC waiver. 
“It is particularly noteworthy that President Obama and Secretary Duncan demonstrated their commitment to expanding learning opportunities for students in low-income communities by increasing funding for the CCLC program. The budget proposes $1.25 billion for CCLC, a $100 million increase.  
“Expanded learning time schools are also an important component of the Administration’s accountability and school turnaround strategies. Increasing learning time continues to be part of the school improvement grant program (renamed School Turnaround Grants) and through its school reform models would become part of the new accountability system that requires interventions in the lowest-performing schools. Expanded learning time is also an encouraged reform strategy for schools that are failing to close the achievement gap.   
“States like Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Tennessee, which make up the TIME Collaborative partnership with the Ford Foundation and NCTL, are already pioneering the use of the new federal flexibility to deliver the highest quality education through expanded learning time. This budget will support their efforts and help more states and districts build on their success.
“We applaud President Obama and Secretary Duncan for their leadership on encouraging the reform of the antiquated school schedule to ensure that students are able to compete in today’s economy. We strongly support the President’s proposal, and look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and Congress in the coming months on this important issue.”