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National Teleconference:
States and the Stimulus: Short-Term Needs vs. Long-Term Solutions
What Role Can Education Funders Play?

March 29, 2010

Grantmakers across the country have been building momentum working with state chiefs, district leaders, and other stakeholders to leverage the unprecedented rollout of funds available through the U.S. Department of Education's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Working individually and through funder collaboratives they are playing a critical role in building capacity, facilitating investment partnerships, advising on grant applications, and a host of other advocacy and public policy initiatives at the state level aligned with the Department's reform agenda.

At the same time, these activities are playing out against a backdrop of severe cutbacks in state education budgets that have already resulted in four-day school weeks in 15 states and a wave of school closings, teacher layoffs, and service cuts. In this one-hour teleconference, members of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers and the broader funder community are invited to participate in a discussion on how to navigate the shifting landscape in their states.

Terry Mazany, President and CEO of the Chicago Community Trust and Paul Herdman, President and CEO of the Rodel Foundation of Delaware talk about the budgetary impact in their states and efforts underway to mitigate fiscal realities while continuing the drive toward education reform. In addition, based on the March 29th announcement of the Race to the Top state winners in Delaware and Tennessee, our speakers comment on:

  • Why they think these states won and scored high in the competition.
  • What is next for Delaware in terms of implementation and the most efficient, effective use of Race to the Top funds.
  • What will Illinois need to do to be competitive in the next round.

In the subsequent "open mike" segment, Mary O'Neill, Director of Programs at the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, facilitates broader discussion among participants on such topics as:

  • What are some of the emerging battleground issues in the states around education spending?
  • What are some of the challenges facing grantmakers working on reform issues in light of cutbacks in state education budgets?
  • What role can and should grantmakers play in helping states prioritize education spending?
  • What are some models of promising practices that grantmakers can adopt to balance basic needs vs. longer-term education reform efforts in their states?

This teleconference is presented through support from the Mott Foundation and in cooperation with the Council on Foundations, Grantmakers for Education, and the Philanthropy Roundtable.

Listen to the teleconference:



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Total running time: 54 minutes, 45 seconds


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