U.S. Students Performed Well in International Testing

According to an October 24, 2013 Education Week article, 8th grade students in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Vermont outscored students in math in all but five of the 47 countries that participated in international testing in 2011. In science, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont were among the top seven performers. Overall, 8th grade students’ scores in 36 states exceeded the international average in math, and students in 47 states also did so in science. [More]

House Committee Holds Hearing on Sex Trafficking of Youth from Foster Care

On October 23, 2013, the House Human Resources Sub-Committee of the Ways and Means hosted a hearing of two panels discussing the issues related to Commercially Sexual Exploited Children (CSEC). The first panel was comprised of U.S. Representatives Erik Paulsen (MN), Louise Slaughter (NY), Ted Poe (TX) and Karen Bass (CA), who were joined by U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (UT). [More]

House Unanimously Passes H.R. 3205 Promoting Adoption for Children in Foster Care

On October 22, 2013, the Ways and Means Committee presented legislation that will reinstate the adoption incentive program that expired on September 30. The Adoption Incentive Program was passed into law in 1997 as part of the Adoption Safe Families Act, which financially rewards states that increase the number of adoptions achieved annually. Since the inception of the program, more than 500,000 children have been adopted and more than $375 million has been awarded to states for their accomplishments. As the foster care rolls are declining, the number of children available for adoption is also decreasing. [More]

Ohio Approves Medicaid Expansion

Ohio’s Controlling Board approved on October 21, 2013 a Medicaid expansion plan championed by Governor John Kasich. The Controlling Board (an entity consisting of six members of the Ohio legislature and a representative of Ohio’s Office of Management and Budget) increased the State’s Medicaid appropriation by $561.7 million for January 2014 – June 2014 and by nearly $2.0 billion for July 2014 – June 2015. The appropriation is to spend funds for which 100 percent Federal financial participation (FFP) will be available for Medicaid expansion expenditures under the Affordable Care Act. [More]

Juneau Selects PCG Technology Consulting for IT Strategic Plan

Sacramento, CA, October, 2013 – The City and Borough of Juneau, Alaska (CBJ) selected PCG Technology Consulting (PCG TC) to lead the development of an Information Technology Strategic Plan to guide and maintain IT investments for the CBJ for the next three years. PCG TC follows a comprehensive and collaborative approach to data gathering, strategy formulation, and categorizing the significant amount of input that will be obtained from CBJ officials, department staff, and other stakeholders..

LA County Awards Phase 2 Strategic Planning Project to PCG Human Services

San Diego, CA, October, 2013 – Los Angeles County awarded PCG Human Services the second phase of a strategic planning project to support the redesign of the county’s Workforce Investment Act programs. PCG has been working with LA County on Phase I of the project and will expand strategic planning work in Phase II to include the design and implementation of community engagement strategies, subject matter expertise around integrating WIA service delivery with California’s Employment Development Department, staff capacity building, and procurement planning and technical assistance, among other services. LA County has one of the largest public workforce development systems in the country. [More]

The Government Shutdown Impacts Education Programs

According to an October 1, 2013 article published by The Hechinger Report, most school districts will likely see very little short-term financial adversity because of the October 1 shutdown of the federal government; however, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) projects that a shutdown for more than one week will delay the distribution of some federal funds to school districts and institutions of higher education. The shutdown is a result of an ongoing partisan impasse between the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives regarding the passage of bill to authorize federal funding for FY 2014. [More]

Arkansas Wins CMS Approval of Private Insurance Medicaid Expansion

On September 27, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) notified Governor Mike Beebe that CMS has approved a three-year demonstration waiver proposal under which the Arkansas Department of Human Services will implement Medicaid expansion for individuals aged 19-64, with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, mainly by offering premium assistance for them to select qualified health plans (QHPs) offered through the Exchange. [More]