The following resources focus on the educational climate and betterment of those serving the K–12 educational community.

Federal Tax Reform Republicans released a potentially final version of the tax reform bill after negotiating on the differences in the House-and Senate-passed bills. A vote is expected soon. Research and advocacy organizations have been analyzing the impact of the proposals on working families and their children including: Center on Budget and Policy PrioritiesFirst Focus’ Campaign for ChildrenFirst Five Years Fund and  CLASP.

Brief Finds SEL Central to Out-of-School Settings; Suggests Guidelines  Many educators have embraced the field of social and emotional learning (SEL), adding programs that help children build skills beyond academics to ensure they are better prepared to succeed in school and in life. A growing body of research suggests that focusing on SEL in out-of-school-time (OST) settings has benefits for children as well.  In fact, according to a new research brief, OST leaders are often more likely to say that SEL is central to their mission than education leaders, making afterschool or summer programs a good environment for adding an explicit focus on SEL.

ESSA: Mapping opportunities for the arts  This special report highlights the ways that states and districts can engage the arts in the ongoing work of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Designed to continue growing as ESSA implementation proceeds, this report currently contains chapters exploring the opportunities for arts education within the following topics: Accountability, Assessments, Stakeholder Engagement, State Plans, Tiers of Evidence, Title I and a Well-Rounded Education.

The Importance of Arts Education in Workforce Preparation  America’s future economic growth depends on the strength of our world-class education system. The Arts Education Partnership (AEP), a center within Education Commission of the States, recognizes arts education as a key to ensuring students’ success not only in school, but also in the workplace and beyond. As discussed in a new report, Beyond the Core: Advancing student success through the arts, research shows that arts education can have dramatic effects on critical 21st century skills, such as creativity, teamwork and perseverance. While arts education supports success across student groups, disadvantaged and at-risk youth often see even greater success through these programs.