Washington (CNN) - In the president's budget proposal released Monday, the Department of Education would get a 7.5 percent increase in discretionary spending for 2011 under a plan the secretary of education describes as a "cradle to career agenda."
States will have to compete for the vast majority of the new dollars
This is a shift in the way federal education dollars have been allocated in the past.
"We are absolutely philosophically and strategically moving more money – a lot of money – into a competitive basis. And what we want to do is continue to build upon what we've learned through Race to the Top," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Speaking on a conference call with reporters, Duncan said that "when there are real carrots out there, when you're rewarding excellence, we've seen just tremendous progress around the country."
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan met Wednesday with a group of teens who were schoolmates of a Chicago youth brutally beaten to death last month.
"I can't tell you how impressed I am. We had a great conversation," Duncan said at a news conference. "These are kids that are overcoming odds that folks in this room have a hard time even comprehending."
He and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder also met with Chicago's mayor and community leaders to discuss possible remedies for violent crimes involving young people.
The Cabinet members' visit, ordered by President Obama, was prompted by the beating death of Derrion Albert, a 16-year-old honors student. Authorities said Derrion was caught, unwittingly, in the middle of a street fight between two factions of students from Christian Fenger Academy High School on September 24.
The beating was videotaped with a cell phone.
His death was not an isolated incident: More than 30 youths died violently in Chicago last school year.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. Department of Education is looking to give innovative school districts and non-profit organizations a share of $650 million in education stimulus money now available in a new fund, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Tuesday.
"There are many, many great ideas out there," Duncan told reporters on a conference call announcing his department's Investing in Innovation fund.
This newest pot of education stimulus money will be allocated directly to local districts - not through state education departments - with the money going to districts that either have a program that is working and needs to be expanded, or have a new idea that needs to be developed.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Kevin Jennings is the latest target for critics of the Obama administration.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is calling for his resignation from the Department of Education. So is Sean Hannity. Fox News has accused him of condoning "statuatory rape."
The facts? They don't necessarily match the accusations.
Jennings is gay. He's also an expert in school bullying. Education Secretary Arne Duncan tapped him to run the Department's Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. And that's when the trouble started.
Critics are making hay over counseling advice Jennings gave a gay student more than 20 years ago. Jennings, who has published several books, has written about the incident in his 1994 book "One Teacher in Ten." He wrote that when he was a 24-year-old teacher, a gay student confided that he'd had sex with an older man.
Jennings didn't report the incident to authorities. Instead, he writes, "I listened, sympathized, and offered advice." He has subsequently said he told the student: "I hope you used a condom."
In a statement Jennings released by the Department of Education on Wednesday, Jennings expressing regret over his decision.