Government Shutdown Affects K-12 Education; NEF Highlights Alternative Funding Source for Schools

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The government shutdown place K-12 school budgets in question. The Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) is an alternative funding program that provides an answer to school's budget crunch.

As Americans experience the first government shut-down in nearly 20 years, many schools are aware how this will affect their budgets. With programs such as Head Start and Afterschool programs losing funding due to the shutdown; superintendents are unsure of what will happen to their budgets.

The American financial crunch has become a concern for public education. Every school district is encouraged to provide facilities appropriate to a 21st century educational program. Funding becomes a concern for Superintendents as they face local and state funding cuts. With school budgets for operation costs being reduced annually, the necessary facilities improvements to provide an environment conducive to learning and achievement go unfunded. The Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) is an alternative funding program that allows schools to renovate and upgrade their facilities.

The National Education Foundation (NEF), national leader in bridging the STEM education divides, has helped school districts in Pennsylvania, Texas, California and Georgia get QZAB funding. NEF, Vice President Art Stellar offers aid school districts across the United States to apply for and receive funding through the Federal Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB) program (http://www.qzab.org). This program has a Billion Dollars available for school districts with 35% or more of its students eligible for free/reduced meals.

To qualify, a district needs a 10% match partner who will also collaborate with the requesting school district to provide an academic enhancement program to “prepare students better for college and workforce.” The National Education Foundation provides the 10% match and academic programs via a total STEM+ Total System Solution guaranteed to advance a student one grade level in a subject like math or reading in 20-30 learning hours, as documented by the State University of New York (SUNY) (http://www.cyberlearning.org).

“Our mission is to help raise student achievement by assisting school districts access funds while ensuring that they meet all the requirements of QZAB," commented NEF Chairman, Dr. Appu Kuttan.

Each state has millions of dollars available with most being currently unclaimed. This funding is “first come, first served” and may not exist in the future if left unused or not utilized according to the Federal requirements. Interested school administrators should contact Dr. Stellar (828-764-1785) or artstellar(at)yahoo(dot)com) or NEF, 703-823-9999.

About NEF: The National Education Foundation (NEF) is the national nonprofit leader in bridging the STEM education divides. As part of its mission, NEF assists school districts with Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB) funding at the request of the US Congress and the US Education Department. The National Education Foundation has been working with both and the state QZAB directors on QZAB since the inception of the QZAB in 1998. The Foundation is based in Alexandria, Virginia and can be reached at http://www.cyberlearning. For information on QZAB, visit http://www.qzab.org.

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Appu Kuttan
Cyber Learning
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Tamara Stephens
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