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Quality Counts 2011: Uncertain Forecast--Education Adjusts to a New Economic Reality

The report provides a timely, in-depth investigation into persistent concerns over the halting economic recovery and emerging opportunities for innovation, as state and local officials attempt to move forward despite depleted budgets. Among the reports key findings:

  • Funding administered by the U.S. Department of Education has saved or created 337,000 jobs, or 52% of the national total, according to data reported by recipients of stimulus funds.
  • Since the recession began, 29 states have enacted policies that offer local school systems some form of flexibility to meet the challenges posed by the economic crisis.
  • Twenty-one states have broadened the eligible uses of education funds originally intended for a particular purpose. In 11 states, class-size requirements have been loosened; 10 states have offered the option of modifying the length of the school year, week, or day as a way to cut costs.

The Quaity Counts project also includes updates to the Chance-for-Success Index, the K-12 Achievement Index, and national and state grades in education achievement, policy, and finance.