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Breaking down President Obama's FY 2013 budget: Education

Educators and administrators are busy this week trying to recover from Valentine’s Day sugar buzzes in their classrooms, in addition to understanding how President Obama’s proposed FY 2013 budget will affect the future of the U.S. education system. While all of the public sector and public services are experiencing flux and reconsideration, education has found itself at the crossroads of critique and opportunity. Decades-old practices and policies have mired the evolution of classrooms and school days, the disfavor of No Child Left Behind has clogged state planning, and a major economic downturn has cut funding to schools. Sounds pretty bleak, or is it a tipping point that the Obama administration is seizing as an opportunity to revolutionize American education and economic development? The latter seems to be the case upon review of this administration’s decisions and policies thus far, and now with the release of the president’s proposed FY 2013 budget.

 
 Highlights:
  • Total discretionary budget authority for the Department of Education is up 2 percent from FY 2011 and 2.5 percent from FY 2012.
  • Obama administration is emphasizing education investment as an economic development strategy toward not only emerging from the current economic downturn, but also reestablishing the U.S. as the global leader with a highly-educated and skilled workforce.
  • Competitive and evidence/results-based grants are increasingly becoming the norm to ensure that investment is going where it is needed and delivering on intended goals.
    • Race to the Top (RTT) - 22 percent increase in elementary and secondary education funding through competitive RTT grants.
    • Race to the Top - $1 billion in proposed RTT grant funding for higher education to achieve tuition affordability and alignment of standards with secondary education programs.
    • Investing in Innovation Fund (I3) - $150 million in funding; flat over the past three years; investment in local education agencies that deliver improved student achievement.
  • Teacher and student evaluation system adoption by schools will continue to be driven by student performance-based grants, continued funding of Excellent Instructional Teams (0 percent) and increased funding for Effective Teaching and Learning for a Complete Education (+40 percent).
  • Classroom modernization will continue to be driven by Title I ($14.5 billion) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ($11.6 billion) funds toward the goal of improving outcomes and opportunities for disadvantaged and disabled students.
  • Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) emphasis and investment is gaining steam with $80 million from the Effective Teachers and Leaders State Grants, in addition to $30 million from the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation, each for recruiting new teachers and improving curriculum.
  • Higher education continues to feel the pinch with flat year-over-year funding, but a 3 percent decrease from FY 2011. Higher education will benefit from the proposed $1 billion in RTT grant funding, continued Pell Grant funding, and a slight increase in annual loan-per-student allowances.
Overall, the FY 2013 proposed budget does not have any major surprises or panaceas for U.S. education. What it does do is solidify the administration’s strategy for affecting change across the huge enterprise of primary/secondary and higher education. Vendors playing in the education field will see the most benefit by aligning with the priorities of measured success and calculated outcomes. This means following and being involved in the burgeoning competitive grant landscape and providing tools to educators and administrators that help measure, manage, and guide teacher and student performance to ultimate success against national goals. 

Breaking down President Obama's FY 2013 budget: Health and human services

While most people were occupied with last-minute Valentine’s Day preparations earlier this week, President Obama was busy announcing the FY 2013 budget. Rest assured that Deltek will be analyzing every inch of the data to uncover key trends and opportunities for our member network. This analysis will focus on funds trickling down to the states from the health and human services vertical. The Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Deputy Secretary Bill Corr spoke to the public on Feb. 13 and highlighted the health objectives the budget package addressed. DHHS plans to strengthen the nation’s health care, continuing on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. Initiatives include health insurance exchange development, expanding community health programs, and increasing the health care workforce. Fighting fraud, waste, and abuse continues to be priority number 1 – the department collected almost $4 billion last year in improper payment recoveries. Corr also stated the FY 2013 budget and, specifically, Medicaid reform will help reduce the federal deficit by $366 billion over 10 years.
 
Following the same trend as last year, discretionary spending (Table 1, below) is set at $30 billion, which is down nearly 3.5 percent from FY 2011. Programs seeing major cuts include the public health and social services emergency fund and low-income home energy assistance (LIHEAP). The Distance Learning, Telemedicine, and Broadband Program saw a 68 percent increase to $42 million, following through on DHHS’ promise to strengthen health care, especially in rural areas. Mandatory spending (Table 2) also corresponded with DHHS goals and saw an 82 percent increase in funding for health insurance exchange establishment, totaling $868 million. Grant funding to states for Medicaid totals $269 billion. Stay tuned for FY 2014 numbers as eligibility enrollment is estimated to increase by nearly 16 million Americans. 

Table 1: Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, Discretionary (in millions of dollars)

 Click on image above for full-sized version

 

Table 2: Federal Grants to State and Local Governments, Mandatory  (in millions of dollars)

Click on image above for full-sized version

Other areas of the budget proposal include:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): TANF funding rises nominally to $17 billion in FY 2013.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): The budget includes $7 billion in SNAP benefits, a 5 percent increase from FY 2011. Although states are seeing record food stamp numbers, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) transferred $400 million to support the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program for FY 2012.
  • WIC: Program funds increased by 14 percent to $7 billion, which includes $14 million for infrastructure funding and $30 million for management information systems.
  • Child Support Enforcement: Funding took a 7 percent dip to $3.8 billion. The budget request includes new investments of $305 million in FY 2012 and $2.4 billion over ten years for the Child Support and Fatherhood Initiative.
  • Child Care: Proposes $6 billion for child care, which includes $2.6 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant to supplement assistance for low-income families; and entitlement to states is $3.4 billion.
  • Child Welfare: Requests $7.2 billion for foster care and permanency services including adoption and guardianship assistance, foster care, and independent living.
Overall, the FY 2013 budget produced minimal funding changes for health and social services programs. Vendors playing in the health care field will see the most benefit in those pocket areas of increased funding, especially surrounding health insurance exchange implementation, Medicaid system reform, and eligibility redetermination. Those thinking that the ruling on the ACA later this summer will stem exchange development should think again. Many states are planning to continue developing systems whether the act holds or not. With the major push to cut down on federal spending and fight abuse in the human services arena, vendors need to keep reporting systems up to date with all required mandates and regulations. As health information exchanges start to be rolled out this year, it should be interesting to see which states will find success in transferring electronic medical records, and which will not. It seems that health care will continue to be the hot topic of FY 2012 and FY 2013.

 

President Obama's FY 2013 budget: $6 billion in state and local public safety programs

On Monday, President Obama released his proposed fiscal year 2013 budget, which outlines proposed budget figures for highly-relied-upon grant programs within state and local governments. President Obama’s budget provides $632.7 billion to aid state and local governments in 2013 – an increase of $20.2 billion from 2012. Grant outlays for justice programs are estimated at $6.9 billion in 2013. A total of $2.57 billion will be discretionary funding made available to state and local public safety agencies via the Office of Justice Programs (see below). In regards to homeland security, the budget provides the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with approximately $4 billion in discretionary funding (see below). In all, states and localities will have access to nearly $6 billion in public safety and homeland security grants for FY 2013.

 

Office of Justice Programs Budget Authority ($M)

 2011 Actual

2012 Estimate

2013 Estimate

% change (2011-2013)

State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance

1,219

1,094

945

-22%

Juvenile Justice Programs

241

211

202

-16%

Community Oriented Policing Services

304

162

278

-9%

Violence against Women Prevention and Prosecution Programs

404

390

392

-3%

Totals

2,168

1,857

1,817

-16%

FEMA Budget Authority ($M)

 2011 Actual

2012 Estimate

2013 Estimate

% change (2011-2013)

State and Local Programs

2,818

2,237

2,900

3%

United States Fire Administration and Training

4

3

3

-25%

Disaster Relief

2,523

1,204

1,204

-52%

Totals

5,345

3,444

4,107

-23%

Highlights:

Department of Homeland Security:
  • The budget provides $2.9 billion for state and local programs to equip, train, exercise, and hire first responders. To better target these funds, the budget proposes eliminating duplicative, stand-alone grant programs, and consolidating them into the National Preparedness Grant Program.
  • To retain an acceptable level of fire and emergency response coverage in the current constrained budgetary environment, the budget anticipates $1 billion in immediate assistance for the retention, rehiring, and hiring of firefighters in 2012, as requested by the president in the American Jobs Act.
  • The budget provides $6.1 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund.

Department of Justice:

  • The budget pro­vides $312 million for Juvenile Justice and Child Safety programs that assist states with their ju­venile justice systems.
  • The budget provides $257 million to support America’s first responders and the hiring and retention of police officers, sheriffs, and deputies across the country, and includes a preference for the hiring of post–9/11 veterans. This funding builds on the $166 million in COPS Hiring Grants enacted in 2012. These investments assist in building capacity to enable state and local law enforcement partners to make the most of their resources and encourage their most promising and effective public safety efforts. The budget includes $4 billion in immediate assistance for the retention, rehiring, and hiring of police officers in 2012, as requested by the president in the American Jobs Act.
  • The budget provides $413 million to continue efforts to combat the hundreds of thousands of violent crimes against women that are committed each year.

Department of Commerce:

  • The budget provides more than $10 billion of mandatory budget resources to help build an interoperable public safety broadband network that will strengthen economic growth and public safety, while benefitting from commercial innovation.

The federal government has had to tighten its belt, and the effects will be felt at all levels. Grant funding available to state and local governments for justice and homeland security programs has decreased, but the demand and need for those grants is likely to be just as high. The increased competition among governments for grant funding could leave some governments without the funding needed to pursue projects.

For more information on the public safety and homeland security market, Deltek and the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT) have released Justice and Public Safety Market Overview, FY 2010-2012, which examines IT spending levels, trends and drivers, technology segments and their impact, and a look ahead to FY 2013 for the state and local justice/public safety and homeland security market.

 

 

 

New Jersey one step closer to an insurance exchange

New Jersey recently introduced bill A217, which, if passed, will establish an insurance exchange within the state. Under the bill, the state would set up the exchange as an active purchaser system. An active purchaser model only enables insurers who meet certain criteria to harbor plans within an exchange, whereas the clearinghouse model allows all insurers to participate as long as their plans meet federal requirements.  
Last week, New Jersey’s Assembly Committee approved the exchange bill, which will now move to the full assembly for review. If passed, the bill will also formulate a seven-member board that includes state commissioners of insurance and human services, and the New Jersey Health Benefit Exchange Trust Fund. The trust fund will collect funds from health insurance carriers and store federal grants the state receives to implement an insurance exchange. Moreover, the New Jersey Department of Treasury contracted with KPMG last year to conduct a gap analysis for the exchange.
Be sure to check out Deltek’s online presentation this Thursday. It will provide detailed insight for state and local contractors regarding the Supreme Court ruling and its affect on state efforts with insurance exchanges. The webinar serves as an overview of Deltek’s recently-published report,Evolving Health Insurance Exchanges,” which explores implementation strategies, the importance of these marketplaces, and the impact the court ruling will have on the mandate. 
As always, follow us on Twitter@GovWin_HHS, or connect with us through LinkedIn.

 

Four New York counties look at 911 consolidation two years after radio upgrade

In 2010, Onondaga, Cayuga, Madison, Cortland and Oswego counties worked together to form the Central New York Interoperable Communications Consortium (CNYICC). At present time, the Onondaga County Interoperable Communications System (OCICS) is the only one that is fully online. The counties, minus Cortland for the time being, are looking at working together again to develop a better 911 system.

While the CNYICC just spent upward of $36 million on radio upgrades and interoperable connectivity, Onondaga County spends half its budget on technology, and moving to the next best-available system is currently on the table. The county hopes to share the costs of various technologies used within the dispatch center and emergency vehicles. Computer aided dispatch (CAD), 9-1-1 systems, and other tracking systems could be shared and, in turn, bring considerable cost savings to each of the counties.

Analyst’s Take:

The CNYICC should be a model for how counties can save money while still tackling large-scale technology upgrades for citizens. Rather than go ahead with a large-scale radio upgrade on its own, Onondaga County looked to partner with surrounding counties to form a consortium. While the upgrades were still costly and may have taken more time due to the involvement of many entities, in the long run, the cost savings will be significant. Vendors looking to work with a county on upgrading 911 or radio systems can possibly win more business when plans for a multi-county system are on the table. As budgets remain tight, multi-county 911 systems may become more widespread.

For more analysis on the New York project, check out Deltek's Industry Analysis located here

New Jersey Seeks To Boost Education With NCLB Waiver Request

In September 2011, the Obama Administration announced plans to offer more flexibility from federal education mandates in exchange for a commitment from states to adopt reforms that will boost overall student achievement.
After the announcement, 11 states formally submitted requests to the U.S. Department of Education for waivers from key provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), with numerous states indicating they plan to apply for waivers in a second round later this year.
If approved by the Department of Education, these states will be exempt from some requirements of the NCLB, including a provision from having to show all students achieving proficiency in reading and math by the 2013-14 school year. In exchange for receiving waivers, these states must present plans for meeting several goals, including:
1.     Developing academic standards that prepare students for college or a trade;
2.     Creating statewide measures of student performance and plans for reforming schools that don’t meet requirements; and
3.     Developing teacher and administrator evaluation systems tied to student performance.
In this week’s edition, Deltek would like to discuss New Jersey’s central goal to “ensure that all children, regardless of life circumstances, graduate from high school ready for college and career.” As part of its waiver request, New Jersey disclosed two IT-specific initiatives, including a plan to:
1.     Provide a State-Developed Differentiated Recognition, Accountability, and Support System, and
2.     Develop and Adopt Guidelines for Local Teacher and Principal Evaluation and Support Systems
Among New Jersey’s top priorities is to Develop and Implement a State-Based System of Differentiated Recognition, Accountability and Support. This accountability system will be implemented no later than the 2012-2013 school year, and will be designed to “improve student achievement and school performance, close achievement gaps, and increase the quality of instruction for students.”
New Jersey said it’s building a new unified accountability system that will streamline its Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) and modify NCLB. It will enable NJDOE to measure and report on metrics that truly reflect schools’ and districts’ success in preparing students for college and career. In addition, the new system will allow the state to categorize schools more fairly and develop supports and interventions carefully aligned to specific needs, while allowing the state to focus its resources on those schools with a persistent state of underperformance. 
Elsewhere, New Jersey is also seeking to Develop and Adopt Guidelines for Local Teacher and Principal Evaluation and Support Systems. As part of this, the state is conducting a teacher evaluation pilot program during 2011-2012 in order to collaboratively develop a new statewide teacher evaluation system with educators, and to learn from the successes and challenge in implementing the system. New Jersey would like to rollout the statewide system in the 2013-2014 school year.
While New Jersey seeks to develop and improve its overall systems of Accountability and Educator Evaluation, the state currently has eight Deltek-tracked opportunities dealing with primary/secondary education, which include the above-listed IT projects.

 

Recapping the Florida Educational Technology Conference: social media tools vs. educational Web 2.0

Tom DiScipio, founder of the educational social media tool, ePals, gave an in-depth presentation on the ups and downs of social networking tools vs. Web 2.0 education platforms at the 32 Annual Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) held in late January. He launched the session with hard-hitting statistics on privacy laws, or the lack thereof. According to a recent study of Columbia University students, 94 percent of those surveyed said they were sharing personal information on Facebook that they did not intend to make public. DiScipio also noted that 20 million minors are currently on Facebook, with 7.5 million users under age 13, and five million under 10 years old. He said the top reasons most teachers utilize popular social networking tools such as Facebook or Twitter in the classroom is because they are most familiar with them and are not aware of other options.
 
Safety and privacy issues with social media tools are a major concern in the education arena. DiScipio offered a hefty rundown of cons with mass market social media, including:
  • Safety and policy management
  • Role-based permissions at customized and administrator levels
  • Not always “on task”
  • Students under age 13 (age of consent)
  • Archiving/storage
  • Privacy – personal info tracking/advertising
  • School/district employment
  • Not curricular in functionality
  • Requires more time for collaborative tasks
  • Requires outside third party applications be used to complete tasks
  • Does not integrate other K-12 third party apps  
Not totally aimed at tooting ePals’ horn, DiScipio noted several Web 2.0 educational organizations that successfully provide K-12 social networking, including Schoology, Edmodo, eChalk, and Gaggle. Of course, ePals was the main focus. It is currently “the Internet’s largest and fastest-growing K-12 social learning network,” reaching more than 25 million teachers and students around the globe.
 
Epals’ many solutions bundle into a solid model for other vendors to reference and build on when customizing and marketing their product. DiScipio stressed the importance of global interaction. With ePals’ Global Community feature, students and teachers can communicate and work on projects with other classes worldwide. Further key ePals features include secure email with language translation capability, virtual workspaces with digital storage, and curriculum-based services to improve reading, writing and critical thinking skills through a matching of students with mentors and applicable learning material.
 
DiScipio said that when employing a school-based social media platform, districts reported students are less prone to inappropriate behavior. Epals is designed for safety, with strict policy management, assigned roles and permissions, and teacher supervision.
 
Only the tip of the social-media iceberg has been touched in this day of virtual communication and Web 2.0’s reign. Social networking platforms geared toward specific industries such as education (ePals), working professionals (LinkedIn, Yammer), or government (GovLoop) will continue to expand across international markets. Solutions that offer a bevy of networking capability, strong security and multiple resources in one package are most likely to appeal to organizations seeking the most effective product to help their users thrive.
 
For a complete recap of FETC including sessions on virtualization, green computing, high-density Wi-Fi challenges, and tablet technology in the classroom, please go here. Also, follow me on Twitter @GovWinKRidley for the latest state and local buzz.

The rising price of health care costs – Round 1

As Deltek combs through this year’s budget documents, it would be hard not to write an analysis on one of the biggest budget line items for every state: health care costs centered around Medicaid spending. Health care reform is one of the hottest topics of recent years, and will continue to dominate headlines as we head closer to the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this summer. For those not in the health care field, beginning January 1, 2014, the ACA will expand Medicaid eligibility to all people below 133 percent of the federal poverty level, adding an estimated 15.9 million newly-eligible individuals to Medicaid by FY 2019. The federal government is planning to pay a high share of the new Medicaid costs in all states, with one study from the Kaiser Family Foundation reporting a federal spending increase by nearly $450 billion, and state spending increasing by $20 billion from FY 2014-2019.
 
Several states are looking toward reforming the Medicaid program with solutions including transitioning to managed care models, enhancing the quality of home and community-based services, and better coordinated care systems. Kansas is currently attempting to reinvent its Medicaid program through coordinated care, but the request for proposals (RFP) has already received more than 1,000 questions, and large providers like Blue Cross and Blue Shield have stated they will not be going after the contract due to unresolved issues surrounding new business models. For further analysis and data, check out Round 1 of Health Care Spending Analysis here (log-in required).
 
Speaking of the ACA, hopefully you caught one or all of last week’s blogs in our series highlighting Deltek’s newly-released report,Evolving Health Insurance Exchanges.” Whether you have had a chance to check out the report yet or not, mark your calendars for February 26, 2012, from 2:00 – 2:45 p.m. EST. Deltek Analyst Amanda White will help you, the vendor community, answer the question: How will the Supreme Court ruling affect states’ efforts with the health insurance exchanges? To register for the free webinar, please click here. Remember to follow Deltek’s Health Care and Social Services team on Twitter @GovWin_HHS, or connect with us through LinkedIn.

 

 

Deltek and iCERT partner to provide an overview of Justice/Public Safety spending from FY2010-2012

Over the past three fiscal years, the justice and public safety market has seen its fair share of twists and turns as federal, state, and local priorities have changed due to economic hardship. While changes have taken place, the market remains consistent and resilient, with spending estimated to increase around 1 percent annually.
 
Deltek and the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT) have partnered to provide a synopsis of spending at the state level for justice and public safety agencies nationwide from FY 2010-2012. This report addresses spending related to dispatch, communications, records, 911, courts, and correctional technologies across all 50 states.
 
Analyst Take:
 
Spending at the state level in the justice and public safety market is estimated at $107 billion in FY 2012. Much of this spending will be geared toward compliance with federal mandates, meeting the needs of an ever-changing community, and increasing efficiencies in public safety departments. Technologies such as radio communications, next generation 911, and information-sharing platforms will see a good bulk of the spending as the market is moving in the direction of interoperability and data sharing.
 
For a copy of the report, please go HERE.
For more information on iCERT, please go HERE.

 

Deltek Pulse: justice, public safety and homeland security January review

This year is already off to a strong start for justice and public safety procurement. After a slow November and December, procurement departments across the country entered 2012 with refocused attention on the market. While the actual number of solicitations released decreased from December, several RFPs hit the street in January for long-awaited projects, and procurement officials were upbeat about solicitations slated for release this year.
 
The most common terms appearing in solicitations during January were equipment, security and management. The word cloud below provides a visual interpretation of the key terms’ frequent use.
 
·         Number of public safety bids: 189
·         Top three states (by number of solicitations released): New York, California and Texas
·         Top three keywords: equipment, security and management
 
 
Despite a decrease in solicitations from December to January, there was significant award activity at all levels of government nationwide. Illinois awarded its STARCOM 21 radio equipment project to Motorola, Inc. and Harris Corporation. The state awarded the contract for the system itself to Motorola last spring, and finally awarded contracts for the equipment that will run on the new system. Harris Corp. was awarded product group 13, and Motorola was awarded groups 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12. Awards were not given for groups 1, 4, 5 and 14, as the requirements were not met. The total contract value for the equipment was $9.89 million.
 
Clinton County, Pa., also awarded a radio contract in January. The county awarded its narrowband compliant radio system project to Transcore; however, the county has not released any contract details at this time. Chesterfield County, Va., awarded its next generation 911 phone system project to Nine One One for an estimated value of $2.1 million for both the system and related maintenance. The final value of the contract is dependent on the time frame for installing the system.
 
Aside from being a big month for awards, January also proved successful for consultants, providing further hope for vendors that things will begin to pick up in 2012. Atlantic County, N.J., issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a consultant to help the county decide where to house its new consolidated dispatch center. The county also expects to release RFPs for the design of the facility and for software and equipment the center will require. The city of Phoenix, Ariz., released a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a consultant to help develop an RFP for a records management system.
 
Many localities released requests for information (RFIs) for potentially large projects, including an RFI released by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for a software/hardware solution to improve its KIBRS (Kansas Incident Based Reporting System).
 
Lastly, states and counties made decisions on several major projects that have been in the works for years. The California Department of Justice decided not to pursue its statewide automated fingerprint identification system within the next few years. Shawnee County, Kan., chose to waive the bidding process for its multimillion dollar public safety radio system and is currently deciding whether to award the contract to Motorola, Inc. or Cassidian Communications. Montgomery County, Md., announced that its computer aided dispatch system project, which had been in the works since 2010, will be put on hold for at least a year. This is likely due to funding constraints.
 
Analyst’s Take:
 
While many of the significant decisions made by states and counties in January were not necessarily beneficial to vendors, the fact that decisions are being made should be taken as a positive sign. Procurement officials seem to have a better grasp on which projects will be moving forward and more succinct time frames for those projects. This will allow vendors the chance to create or revise their plans of attack for 2012, and determine where to focus their efforts. Based on trends from January, it seems that localities are making the final push to upgrade or replace their radio systems to ensure they are narrowband compliant by the January 1, 2013, deadline. Therefore, it would be worthwhile to keep an eye on any localities that have yet to meet these requirements. While HR 3430 was introduced in the House to extend this deadline by two additional years, there has been little movement to pass the bill, and it is likely that the current deadline will remain.
 
King County, Wash., announced it is waiting for the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) standards to be set for next generation 911 before moving forward with an NG911 project. It is likely that other entities are also waiting for NENA to release these standards, and possibly for the FCC’s endorsement of them before launching their own NG911 initiatives. NENA hopes to publish these standards sometime in the first quarter of 2012, and it would behoove vendors to keep this in mind when approaching major localities about their plans.

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