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Tag Archive: Education

A look at local education data policies

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The Sunlight Foundation has covered different sides of education, surrounding lobbying, campaign contributions and ad spending. However, one can’t underestimate the importance of education itself: The quality of a school can determine the strength of a community, the future of an economy and the livelihoods of its many students. From a broader open government perspective, too, education is crucial.

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There’s no summer vacation for education lobbying

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Though the fall doesn't officially start for another couple of weeks, for most Americans summer ends when school buses begin running their routes and college football broadcasts return to Saturdays. While educational institutions from kindergartens to law schools are welcoming students back, there was no summer vacation in Washington, where their lobbyists have reported spending more than $43 million lobbying Congress and the executive branch so far this year.

It's easy to understand why. Altogether, the federal government spent $47.5 billion on elementary and secondary education in 2012, the last full year for which statistics are available ...

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How the NSF allocates billions of federal dollars to top universities

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As another college year begins, tens of thousands of academics will once again be scrambling to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation, hoping to secure government funding for their research. Each year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) bestows more than $7 billion worth of federal funding on about 12,000 research proposals, chosen out of about 45,000 submissions. Thanks to the power of open data, we can now see how representation on NSF federal advisory committees connects to which universities get the most funding. (Federal advisory committee membership data is a feature of Influence Explorer.) Our analysis finds a clear correlation between the universities with the most employees serving on the NSF advisory committees and the universities that receive the most federal money. Overall about 75% of NSF funding goes to academic institutions. Even when controlling for other factors, we find that for each additional employee a university has serving on an NSF advisory committee that university can expect to see an additional $125,000 to $138,000 in NSF funding.

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