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American Education Week: Race to the Top District grant a new local level market driver

The successful federal Race to the Top (RTTT)  grant, established as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), has created a new $400 million grant competition targeting local education agencies (LEAs), called Race to the Top District (RTT-D). RTT-D, much like its state-centric counterpart, is intended to push education reform and innovation; only this time, it is targeting classroom learning. This new market driver is expected to influence growth in the procurement and development of education data systems. Applying LEAs that hope to win RTT-D funds will have to meet the stated requirements surrounding education data systems identified in the grant’s request for applications (RFA), such as:
At a minimum, use a robust data system that:
  • Uses an individual teacher identifier with a teacher-student match
  • Has the capability to provide timely data back to educators and their supervisors on student growth
Additionally, the LEAs should have the capability to:
  • Allow parents and students to export their information in an open data format
  • Demonstrate the ability to measure student progress and performance against college- and career-ready graduation requirements
  • Ensure student education records comply with FERPA 
  • Receive and/or match student data from preschool through 12th grade and higher education
Lastly, LEAs are required to:
  • Implement a teacher, principal, and superintendent evaluation system by no later than the 2014-2015 school year


The U.S. Education Department (USED) has received intent-to-apply notices from 892 LEAs representing 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Priority will be given to LEAs in states already awarded RTTT funds. In December 2012, the USED is expected to announce only 15-25 awards, spanning four years and ranging from $5 million to $40 million, based on the size of the LEA’s student population. In order to be eligible, LEAs must also:
  • Have at least 2,000 students, with 40 percent or more who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches
  • Apply the funds toward learning strategies that personalize education in all or a set of schools, within specific grade levels, or select subjects
  • Must obtain a signoff of support from the district superintendent or CEO, local school board president, and local teacher union or association president (where applicable)
Analyst’s Take
The future of the RTT-D grant competition depends on the success of this first installment. However, much like how the RTTT fueled major education innovations at the state level, RTT-D is expected to do the same at the local level. Over the next four years, applicant LEAs, whether they are awarded or not, will strive to make the investment in required and recommended education data systems just to vie for the extra federal funds. Like a lottery jackpot, most of the 892 applicant LEAs will not win this or any future RTT-D grant funds they apply for, but the possibility is enough to make the comparatively small risk of investing in systems, solutions, and services that could get them closer. The USED is using RTT-D like the proverbial rabbit in a greyhound race – not all will win, but they will run!
Based on the RTT-D requirements listed above, specific types of RTT-D related opportunities are likely to become more prevalent, such as:
  • Teacher/administrator performance tracking IT systems
  • Analytic and reporting tools
  • Interoperable education data systems
  • Unique identifier systems/solutions
  • Integration services
  • Identification and access management solutions
Remember to stay connected to Deltek’s General Government Services team via Twitter @GovWin_GenGov for more updates on trends, analysis and opportunities in the public education IT market.
This Week in Deltek's American Education Week Blog Series:

Wednesday, November 14th - American Education Week: State and local education data systems, 2012

Analyst Panel Discussion on Crime Technologies and Grants

While police officers are often categorized as crime helpers or crime solvers, their job has increasingly become about preventing crimes from happening in the first place. Officers are not alone in this effort as many departments are opting to purchase various technologies that are known to modify behavior and reduce crime. Surveillance systems, red-light cameras, and drones are increasingly being used to keep citizens in line, similar to physical police presence. The below video discusses the growing crime prevention market and provides tips on how vendors can work to increase their market share. The video also offers insight into what communities around the country are doing to pay for these new technologies.
Anyone with questions about this market is encouraged to submit inquiries to or through Twitter @GovWinPubSafety. The questions will be addressed in a follow-up blog.



Historically, personnel costs have consumed most law enforcement agencies’ budgets. Police employment continues to rise with population and will continue to drive the public safety market. Still, law enforcement agencies will continue to look at technology such as surveillance to supplement boots on the ground, increase public safety and achieve cost savings.
Police employment has risen more than 60 percent in the last 20 years – 200 percent at the federal level, and about 50 percent at the state and local level. A significant spike on the federal side can be attributed to the post 9/11 securitization that took place across the country. State and local growth can be attributed to general population increase. Over the past 20 years, three to four police personnel have been employed per 1,000 residents.
Some of the most well-known and understood technologies used to prevent crime are that of surveillance systems. Many cities have begun utilizing this technology to keep citizens safe, whether through the use of CCTV systems installed by agencies themselves, or through larger, more complex networks of both private and public security cameras that officers can access in the event of an emergency. 
Red-light cameras and speed cameras have also become increasingly common safety tools. Red-light cameras can be used by cities to both increase revenue and improve safety by placing them where a large number of accidents take place. 
Another method of enhancing safety is through the use of domestic drones. A multitude of vendors have already developed drones for use overseas, and the race is on to adapt them for domestic use in the coming years.
While surveillance systems certainly have many benefits, their usage is not without concern. Numerous civil liberties organizations, including the ACLU, have expressed concern with their usage and the security of data captured. With the likely increase in drone usage, this debate is not likely to cool down anytime soon.
Predictive Policing
Predictive policing has provided departments with a more innovative way to target criminal activity and utilize resources more efficiently. Predictive policing solutions including crime analytics and hot-spot identification allow departments to determine which areas are more susceptible to criminal activity as well as predict future occurrences. By receiving information in real time, departments are able to have a more proactive and less reactive approach to fighting crime, which leads to faster response times and increased arrests.
Predictive policing solutions are custom built to an agency’s infrastructure. By utilizing a complete solution, agencies can analyze different variables such as the nature of 911 calls received as well as the types of crimes reported in each location. This data is then further analyzed to identify crime patterns and problem areas to strategize officer deployments. Predictive policing can also incorporate the addition of new programs such as open-access networking, social media and gunshot detection location systems.
The market for predictive policing has grown over the past decade and will continue to be at the forefront of the public safety technology market, particularly for its ability to be linked with other data sources that feed into a real-time crime center including CCTV, GIS mapping software, and traffic monitoring equipment.
As agencies consider different ways to prevent crime, whether through new technologies like CCTV or with more police officers on the street, there will always be one constant: money. Agencies must find funding within capital budgets, general budgets, bonds or other sources. When these areas come up short, federal grants are also an option.
In fiscal year 2012 (FY12), the Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded more than $600 million in grants to agencies for crime prevention initiatives. It remains to be seen what type of funding levels will be made available to states in FY 13. The DOJ requested $1.8 billion for FY 13, $200 million less than in FY 12, and with the possibility of sequestration occurring on January 2, 2013, that request could be reduced significantly. State and local agencies must be prepared to deal with fewer grant dollars while at the same time figuring out how to best improve crime-prevention methods. The use of emerging technologies will be essential to every agency, large or small.
Questions about this video can be submitted to or through Twitter @GovWinPubSafety.






Hurricane Sandy: FEMA, social media and first responders

As states along the East Coast begin cleanup efforts from one of the most destructive storms in history, we examine how Hurricane Sandy stands out compared to other recent weather catastrophes. During previous national disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, there was no Twitter or Instragram that put breaking news in the hands of civilians. People around the world had to wait patiently by their TVs and computers for the latest images of New Orleans completely underwater, or devastating earthquake damage in Haiti. Despite widespread Internet use and the growing use of smartphones, news still wasn’t quite instant.
Yesterday, in the face of one of the biggest natural disasters to hit the East Coast, people took pictures, shot videos, sent tweets, and posted to Facebook, all in real time. According to Mashable, Instagram users posted 10 Hurricane Sandy photos per second. Photos coming in at 60 a minute and 3,600 per hour provided more than 86,000 images in a 24-hour period. And this is just one of many social media sites.
While it is difficult to quantify how these pictures, tweets, Facebook messages, etc. affected the response times of first responders, or how many lives were saved, it is clear that news stations and first responders benefit from seeing where an emergency is in real time. In Manhattan, the 911 system was completely overloaded due to the receipt of 10,000 calls per hour; the city typically receives 1,000 per day. Using social media tools to send emergency images to news stations or police Twitter accounts was essential and will continue to be a vital component in rescue efforts.
Another piece of the puzzle that must be examined is that of disaster-relief funding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has provided coordinated disaster relief across the United States since 1978. Though the powers bestowed upon FEMA have changed, it is still a regional agency that not only coordinates relief, but provides funding to state and local governments to support restoration and other emergency efforts. While many people have differing views on what FEMA should provide as a sub-agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), after large-scale disasters like that of Superstorm Sandy, local governments need help. Should funding be provided by states themselves? Should FEMA, with its larger infrastructure, be the one to determine the funding provided after a natural or other disaster? I’ll let you decide.
When looking at funding levels in recent years, you will see a clear downward trend. Over the past two years, there has been a 43 percent reduction in FEMA grants that pay for disaster preparedness. Additionally, should sequestration occur in January 2013 as planned, an additional 8.2 percent of disaster relief would be cut. One point in favor of letting FEMA provide emergency services and funds is that states in the red don’t have any funds for large-scale restoration. On the other hand, should the federal government sink deeper in debt to help? Again, it’s a matter of opinion.
As we look back on Hurricane Sandy months and years from now, the widespread destruction and loss of lives will be on many people’s minds, but we should also not forget the outpouring of social media response that curtailed even greater damage. State and local governments can now inform citizens instantly about closures and other situations that require real-time information. Disaster relief and rescue will never be the same.


$224 million awarded for health insurance exchange efforts

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded a total of $223,695,549 to six states today (Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia) to help establish their health insurance exchanges (HIXs). Today’s awarded states are receiving Level One Establishment grants, except D.C., which received a Level Two grant. The funds are expected to further help states move forward with steps in creating the insurance marketplaces. So far, 49 states have received grant funding to build exchange infrastructure, and the grant opportunities will not stop now! States will continue to be able to apply for grants through 2014; awarded funds can be used during the first year the systems are operational.
Here’s a breakdown of today’s awards:
Arkansas: The Arkansas Insurance Department received $18,595,072 to work in partnership with HHS and other federal and state stakeholders to fully implement plan management and consumer assistance components of the federal exchange.
Colorado: The Colorado Health Benefit Exchange received $43,486,747 to establish services and systems that will help launch the new insurance exchange.
Kentucky: The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services received $4,423,000 to support the operational plan that outlines the planning, functional and technical design of the state exchange.
Minnesota: The Minnesota Department of Commerce received $42,525,892 to support new contracts to assist in the development of brokers/navigators and consumer services programs for the exchange, and continued work related to financial management and consulting.
Massachusetts: The Commonwealth Massachusetts Health Insurance Connector Authority received $41,679,505 to assist the Health Connector in efforts to successfully transition to a state-based exchange consistent with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
District of Columbia: The District of Columbia Department of Health Care Finance received $72,985,333 to provide assistance to hire staff and consultants to manage activities related to the creation and first year of operations for testing and enhancement of the exchange.
As always, be sure to follow Deltek’s Health Care and Social Services Team on Twitter @GovWin_HHS, or connect with us through LinkedIn.


CalHEERS focusing efforts on outreach and education

The California Health Benefit Exchange recently released a report on the status of the California Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment and Retention System (CalHEERS). The state has been considering various names for the future benefit exchange, including CaliHealth, CalAccess, Welquest/Wellquest, Covered, CA/Covered, Cal, PACcess, Ursa, Healthifornia, Eureka, and the most popular thus far, Avocado. The state is looking more toward a creative name to provide context and meaning, and be “memorable.” California plans to have the final name approved for the logo by early November.
As far as outreach and education is concerned, California expects $40 million in federal funding over a two-year period. The program is expected to engage organizations and entities in order to heighten awareness and comprehension of health coverage options to promote a culture of coverage, encourage residents to enroll, and eliminate barriers to enrollment. Outreach and education are a huge component to the health insurance exchange initiative. California is considering the following as “Preliminary Concepts and Guiding Principles:”
·         Targeting resources based on the greatest opportunity where the highest number of uninsured and subsidy eligible individuals can be reached
·         Ensuring that all regions and markets in the state including the hard to move, rural and limited English proficient populations are reached through the program
·         Complementing the Assisters Program and the broader market strategy, including plan marketing
As the 2014 deadline inches closer, states will be focusing their attention on ensuring that people are fully aware of these systems and their capabilities in providing health insurance coverage. As always, be sure to follow Deltek’s Health Care and Social Services Team on Twitter @GovWin_HHS or connect with us through LinkedIn.


National HIT Week Day 4 – A look at health information exchanges

The health information exchange (HIE) arena exploded in 2009, with stimulus funding for electronic health records and HIEs. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provided approximately $150 billion in health care funding, including $564 million under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). States were granted one award, ranging from $4 million to $40 million per state. The State HIE Cooperative Agreement Program funded states' efforts to rapidly build capacity for exchanging health information across the health care system.

In 2010, we saw 27 states release a request for proposals (RFP) or award a contract for their HIE.

As of today, the map is mostly red, with only Kansas and New Jersey still working on an RFP.


The following chart is a list of state HIE vendors with awarded or ongoing contracts. (It should be noted that this list is not inclusive, but represents a survey of prevalent vendors and example states with a contract award.)

Core components of most state HIEs include:

·  Master patient index (MPI), which utilizes a standard identity/information correlation process to uniquely identify an individual and match patient data from different providers and care settings.

·  Record locator service (RLS), which coordinates with the MPI and facilitates the exchange of secure messages and documents, but does not store information contained in the records.

·  Authentication services, which are state-mandated security controls that identify who can access the statewide HIE.

·  Access and authorization services, or role-based security, that controls how an individual is permitted to use the statewide HIE.

·  Auditing and logging services

·  Transport and content standards, which include nationally-recognized specifications and protocols to enable communication among different health data systems.

·  Data transaction services, which include the processes and software necessary to facilitate the exchange of various types of data through the statewide HIE.

·  User and system interface (methods to access the statewide HIE)

Although it may seem that the health insurance exchange (HIX) market has dominated news across the country, behind the scenes, HIEs are still large works in progress. The components above, and others necessary to operate exchanges, will need continued operation, maintenance, and potential enhancements to remain effective and functional. As with HIXs, sustainability is also a key concern as federal funding runs out. It should be interesting to watch the successes (and possible failures) of statewide HIE implementations, and how well citizens adopt and interact with their medical records.

Stay tuned for more highlighted health care projects from the Health Care and Social Services Team! In the meantime, check out the team’s Twitter and LinkedIn.

National Health IT Week kicks off

The seventh annual National Health IT Week kicks off today. The purpose of the weeklong event is to provide a collaborative forum where public and private health care constituents work together to educate industry and policy stakeholders on the value of health IT and the U.S. health care system. Deltek will be celebrating National Health IT Week with a blog series highlighting upcoming health IT opportunities across the United States.
The first state we’re examining is Nevada. Back in December 2011, the state’s Department of Health Care Policy and Financing revealed plans to replace its Medicaid management information system (MMIS). At the same time, HP was awarded a contract to take over and operate the existing Nevada MMIS. The five-year base contract (with two, two-year renewal options) included service support for the core MMIS, peripheral systems/tools, Medicaid program claims processing, and program support services. The state plans to release a solicitation for Medical information technology architecture (MITA) 3.0 state self-assessment services (SSA) in November 2012.
Washington is another state looking to revamp its MMIS. The Washington Health Care Authority (HCA) released a request for information (RFI) in early August 2012, seeking information regarding fiscal/employer agent services. HCA, in conjunction with the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), is in the process of implementing the second phase of its MMIS, which is called ProviderOne. Phase two is expected to add social services payments to ProviderOne. The fiscal/employer agent will be expected to interface with ProviderOne. CNSI is the state’s current MMIS vendor, and will be providing the interface design, development and implementation services for the project.
Stay tuned for more highlighted health care projects from the Health Care and Social Services Team! In the meantime, check out the team’s Twitter and LinkedIn.

Drone technology for dual use and its impact on ground surveillance systems

Yesterday, Deltek provided an overview of the nation’s video surveillance market, which will continue to grow with the infiltration of new technologies, including drones.

It is no surprise that many countries, including the United States, have invested heavily in the use of drones for strategic international military operations. Drones offer the U.S. military a reliable and cost-effective approach for many overseas missions, including targeting insurgent operations, but now this military phenomenon has come even closer to home with a recent decision to open up U.S. airspace to unmanned aerial vehicles. So far, drone use on U.S. soil has been limited to border control through FAA authorizations. The government has spent about $240 million in contracts for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s drone program. With the passing of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, drone technology is close to being used in lieu of domestic surveillance operations.

Today, the public safety industry still relies a great deal on its ground surveillance technology for many police operations. Drone acquisition can offer an alternative approach to surveillance and a cost-saving investment for many departments. The domestic drone market has naturally become most popular among border states due to a perpetual need to increase border security.  Many public safety agencies will likely follow suit to obtain the technology.
Public safety agencies have been pouring funds into innovative technology improvements for various police operations, particularly for crime prevention. Traditional surveillance technology, most commonly CCTV, has demonstrated much success in identifying leads and monitoring suspects for crime control. CCTV and other video surveillance technologies, including red-light cameras, license plate readers and speed cameras, have also been effective in monitoring traffic control and speed enforcement.
Drone impact on ground surveillance operations can take many forms. Departments can use drones to continuously monitor a much larger area of traffic instead of implementing several ground surveillance systems to achieve the same effect. In addition, officers could use drone technology equipped with license plate readers to act as speed traps instead of relying on traditional speed cameras or radar detectors.
The ultimate goal of the domestic drone market is to not only replace expensive, human-operated aircraft, but also to aid police departments by supplementing expensive, physical police presence.
Analyst’s Take
While the initial cost to purchase and maintain drones would be rather expensive for departments, once the technology becomes more commonplace across the U.S., it will become a cheaper investment for departments, and may even help bolster the economy.
With more developments being made on drones, it is very likely that their implementation for domestic use will grow exponentially.
Vendors should familiarize themselves with the guidelines in place for domestic drone use, including the “code of conduct” released by the UAV industry.
For more information on this topic, go here.




45th Annual ISM Conference kicks off

The 45th Annual ISM Conference, “HHS IT Sails at the Inner Harbor,” kicked off yesterday in Baltimore Md. Held by the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), the event is the nation’s premier human services information technology conference. It brings together federal, state and local government officials, as well as representatives from the private sector community, who are all heavily involved in implementation efforts surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
This year’s conference focuses on how stakeholders can work with new tools and visions for Health and Human Services (HHS). During the opening session, Tracey Wareing, executive director for ASPHA, emphasized that the agenda illustrates the journey and confidence in new innovations working. She also stressed how business reengineering remains the key way in which officials can carry out the mission of the country’s HHS programs. 
The event consists of various breakout sessions under the following themes:
·         New Service Delivery Models - Highlights how state and local agencies are leading the way
·         Health Care Reform - Focuses on the recent Supreme Court ruling and best practices from early-innovator states
·         Emerging Technologies - Covers cloud and legacy modernization in addition to non-traditional development methodologies
·         Best Practices - Features real-world lessons learned that are geared to the challenges faced by both public and private sector officials
·         Data Analytics - Emphasizes ways advanced data analytic capabilities and proven predictive modeling can be used to reveal patterns of behavior, and outcomes that were previously buried in mountains of data
One of today’s breakout sessions, “Accelerate IT Initiatives with Reusable Assets and Lessons Learned from HHS Visionaries,” was facilitated by Oracle. Carolyn Lawson, CIO of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Department of Human Services; Angela S. Rouelle, CIO of Vermont Agency of Human Services; and Isidore Sobkowski, executive director of New York’s HHS-Connect, all provided updates on their state initiatives. The session was aimed at sharing challenges faced and the reasons behind their unique approaches in implementing health insurance exchanges. The three states are pioneers in exchange implementation -- Oregon being the furthest ahead in the game.
During the session’s question and answer period, an attendee referenced an “elephant in the room,” and asked what will happen to the insurance exchange initiative if a Republican is elected president come November. Representatives from Oregon and Vermont were very quick to respond with, “Nothing.” Both state officials agreed to still move forward with all initiatives surrounding the exchange. 
Stay tuned for more ISM Conference blogs throughout the week!

NTIA announces state and local grant program

Earlier this week, Luke Harris reported on the Department of Commerce’s announcement of the First Net Responders Network Authority (FirstNet) Board. The announcement was made during the annual Association of Public-Safety Officials (APCO) Conference in Minneapolis, Minn. The newly-appointed board, which was established in part by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, will be charged with developing initial steps in the process of the future FirstNet system.
One of the biggest concerns for state and local governments is the cost of such a massive broadband network. According to various reports, FirstNet could cost anywhere between $5 billion and $16 billion, and these broad estimates don’t even account for the maintenance of such a system. On August 21, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) entered a notice into the federal registry for a new grant program that would provide state and local agencies with funding for FirstNet implementation. The total amount of funding available to state and local agencies is $135 million.
As a quick background on FirstNet, the NTIA issued a request for information (RFI) in May 2012 to obtain public comment regarding how FirstNet should conduct the consultation process and implement a grant program. Utilizing the 70 responses to the RFI, the NTIA opted to establish a formula-based matching grant program to assist state and local agencies with establishing the network. The grants will be distributed based on a number of factors, which can be viewed here. More information will soon be made available by the NTIA; agencies should first read the initial RFI and the federal registrar documentation to determine initial eligibility requirements.
Analyst’s Take
While it may be too soon for vendors to assist state and local agencies with the development of this broadband initiative, the time is now to start assessing statewide capabilities with regard to radio and broadband. States that have more rural residents will have a more challenging task ahead, and vendors may be able to assist with consulting engagements to determine what funding may be required.
With only $135 million available for all 50 states and six territories, funding levels average out to $2.4 million per state/territory; some smaller states may be left to find funding elsewhere. The NTIA and the FirstNet Board must look long and hard at the grant level funding and determine how they can find additional funds. Preparing an internal state board or entity to look at the future of FirstNet would be a great first step.

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