Sen. Murkowski's Education Newsletter for the week of May 24, 2010

The latest Education News you can use in one place.

Some Lower 48 Head Start Programs Under Investigation

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) received allegations that employees of two large Head Start grantees in the Midwest and Texas intentionally enrolled ineligible children.  After verifying these allegations, the GAO investigated other Head Start grantees in six Lower-48 states and Washington, D.C.  Employees at seven of the grantees' centers acted within the law, while employees at seven others did not.  The House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing on the initial stages of the GAO investigation; the GAO's testimony can be found here.  The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing when the GAO's investigation is complete. 

The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the Head Start program, has notified all Head Start programs across the country about the additional steps that will be taken to prevent abuse and fraud within the program.  You can read that letter here.

Senator Murkowski takes the GAO findings very seriously, and will encourage HHS to ensure that all Head Start employees act within the law.  She also has every confidence that Alaska's Head Start directors, teachers, and parents are doing important work with integrity and will support efforts to prevent the fraud and abuse that has been seen down south.


U.S. Senate Youth Program

Senator Murkowski, a proud 2009 co-chair of the U.S. Senate Youth program, would like high school juniors and seniors to know about an opportunity to earn a $5,000 college scholarship.  High school students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities as members of their student government are eligible to apply. 

The Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development chooses which two Alaskans will receive the scholarship.  Information about the 2011 application is available at

http://www.eed.state.ak.us/forms/Recognition/05-10-020.pdf.  While applications will not be due until the fall, it's not too early for students to begin thinking about their eligibility.  Schools that would like to obtain information and applications should contact: Jessica MacLean Paris at (907) 465-8716 or Jessica.paris@alaska.gov.   


Alaska's Title I Allocations Released

The U.S. Department of Education has released their final calculations of Alaska's Title I allocations for Fiscal Year 2010.  A chart showing each district's FY10, FY09, and ARRA allocations is available here.  The letter that explains how the allocations are calculated can be found here.  The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development may adjust the allocations under certain circumstances.  Title I, enacted in 1965, provides federal funding to school districts and schools with high numbers or percentages of economically disadvantaged children to help ensure that those schools have the resources they need to help students meet challenging state academic standards.

State by state allocations for all federal education programs can be found here for FY09 -FY11 (estimated).  The same information for prior years, 1980-2007, can be found here