September 16, 2005

In this Issue:

1. Key Policy Letters from the Department of Education Related to Hurricane Katrina

Source: Dept. of Education - September 16, 2005

The following key policy letters related to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts are now available online at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/secletter/index.html

  • September 14, 2005óLetter to Honorable E. Joseph Savoie regarding issues facing students and institutions of higher education following Hurricane Katrina
  • September 14, 2005óLetter to Chief State School Officers regarding the Department's willingness to consider requests for statutory and regulatory waivers of various requirements under the Charter Schools Program to assist in serving students displaced by Hurricane Katrina
  • September 12, 2005óLetter to Honorable Hank M. Bounds in response to Mississippi's requests following Hurricane Katrina
  • September 7, 2005óLetter to Chief State School Officers regarding Hurricane Katrina and discussing some of the major areas in which flexibility and resources are available

NECTAC will continue to compile and organize information on Katrina relief efforts and implications for early intervention and early childhood special education programs at http://www.nectac.org/announce/katrina.asp.

2. Head Start Provides $15 Million to Help Hurricane Evacuees

Source: ACF Press Office - September 12, 2005

The federal Head Start Bureau has allocated $15 million for Head Start and Early Head Start providers to temporarily enroll children displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Evacuee parents with children generally five years and younger seeking Head Start and Early Head Start services are encouraged to call the Head Start toll free number at 1-866-763-6481. For more information go to http://www.dhhs.gov/news/press/2005pres/20050912.html.

NECTAC will continue to compile and organize information on Katrina relief efforts and implications for early intervention and early childhood special education programs at http://www.nectac.org/announce/katrina.asp.

3. Supporting Early Childhood Programs in Areas Affected by Hurricane Katrina

Source: NAEYC - September 16, 2005

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has been working closely with leaders of the state Affiliates in Alabama and Louisiana (there is no NAEYC Affiliate in Mississippi) and the Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA), as well as Affiliates in Texas and other states that have taken in families evacuated from the Gulf Coast area. Those efforts include a project with SECA, "Hand to Hand and Heart to Heart," to coordinate support for early childhood programs in the affected areas. More information about this project is available at http://www.naeyc.org/helping/pdf/HandtoHand.pdf [Note: Link checked on 2/22/2007 - this document is no longer available online].

NECTAC will continue to compile and organize information on Katrina relief efforts and implications for early intervention and early childhood special education programs at http://www.nectac.org/announce/katrina.asp.

4. Qualifications Decline Among Early Childhood Education Teachers

Source: Economic Policy Institute - September 15, 2005

Since the early 1980s, there has been a large and unsettling dip in the qualifications of the center-based early childhood workforce nationwide, with 30% of teachers and administrators now having just a high school diploma or less, according to a comprehensive new report published today by the Economic Policy Institute, the Keystone Research Center, and the Foundation for Child Development. The report, Losing Ground In Early Childhood Education, finds that declining qualifications have resulted, in part, from persistent low wages and benefits. The national report uses a unique new data set from the 1979-2004 Current Population Survey to examine trends in ECE qualifications and pay. The authors emphasize that these educational trends can reduce the effectiveness of these ECE programs and the long-term academic outcomes of preschool children nationwide. The report is available online at http://www.earlychildhoodworkforce.com/losingground/ecepdf/losing_ground-full_text.pdf

5. Call for Proposals - Developing Local Systems of Care for Children and Adolescents With or at Risk for Emotional Disturbances and Their Families

Source: Georgetown University - September 14, 2005

The biennial Training Institutes, organized by the National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development in partnership with the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch of the federal Center for Mental Health Services, are scheduled for July 12-15, 2006. The Institutes will focus on developing local systems of care for children and adolescents with or at risk for emotional disturbances and their families. The 2006 Training Institutes will emphasize service delivery approaches that are family driven, youth guided, and individualized and that represent evidence-based or promising practices that achieve positive outcomes for children and their families.

At this time, your help identifying topics and presenters to include in the Institutes' program is needed. For complete information go to http://gucchd.georgetown.edu/files/TI2006/TI06.cfpfinal.pdf.