NEF’s 3/16/17 Message to State QZAB Directors RE: QZAB Extension–Need Your Assistance Urgently

March 16, 2017

Dear State QZAB Director,

The budget just announced this morning by the Trump Administration cuts Department of Education budget by 14%. QZAB is on the chopping block, but we can work together to save it!

As the national non-profit leader in QZAB and STEM education, we are very concerned, since we look at QZAB academies by SUNY (State University of New York), our academic partner, as an important component in our strategy to provide world-class STEM education to a million disadvantaged students during the next 3 years, in order to help raise the U.S. students from the bottom 30% to the top 30% in STEM global rankings.

We had several discussions with the Congress during the last few days and this morning about extending the QZAB. Congress is willing to do so if you will:

  1. Do everything possible to help your LEAs to increase the QZAB utilization rate from the current 45% to at least 80%. We will be glad to assist your LEAs with all aspects of QZAB—Match, Academy, others.

  2. Ensure that the QZAB match meets the 3 IRS requirements– relevant to the QZAB Academy, documented to be below fair market value, no use of discounts (include this in your QZAB application as many state have already done). NEF will provide such QZAB Match to any eligible LEA.
  3. Ensure that the QZAB academy is a new academy with an education plan showing how the LEA and the business/nonprofit partner will document student performance improvements to “prepare students better for college and workforce,” as mandated by the QZAB law (include this in your QZAB application as many state have already done). NEF will provide such a QZAB Academy to any eligible LEA.

To facilitate the QZAB Extension, NEF has agreed to:

  1. Raise $40 million for providing QZAB Match contribution (donation) for all eligible LEAs across the nation
  2. Bring the State University of New York (SUNY), the largest university in the U.S., to help set up and monitor weekly a world-class QZAB STEM+ Academy with the following GUARANTEES:
    1. At least 70% of K-8 students would advance a grade level in math during the school year if the students actively work on our program for 70 minutes a week for 36 weeks; same for reading
    2. Any High School/Career Tech Student will have an opportunity to earSUNY college credits for a low fee of less than $60 per credit hour (vs $680 regular fee), with a 90% subsidy

Thus, we are doing everything possible to get the QZAB extended, and most-importantly to “prepare students better for college and workforce,”—our MISSION. We have given over $200 million in QZAB match donation since 2000. Our QZAB academies do prepare students for college and workforce with documented results. See http://academies.cyberlearning.org/

Congress is considering excluding states that use less than 50% of their 2015 and 2016 QZAB allocations. So, please do all you can to give out your QZAB allocations ASAP to your LEAs committed to proper QZAB Academy.

Please click “reply,” complete the info below, and click “send.”

2015 allocation currently available: $_________________________

2016 allocation currently available: $_________________________

LEAs interested in QZAB allocation: _________________________

Any additional info you wish to post at www.qzab.org: ___________

Please feel free to call me or ask your LEAs to call me at 703-823-9999 or email me at qzab@qzab.org for any assistance re: QZAB. We wish you a very successful 2017 in terms of helping your LEAs and students via QZAB and QZAB Academy at this critical time for public education in our nation.

  1. See a message re: QZAB and QZAB Academy I received recently:

Dr. Shana M. Wydra, Director of STEM Education, Steubenville City Schools, Ohio  (740) 284-5613  January 18, 2017

“The Steubenville City Schools (SCS) QZAB STEM+ Academy, through a partnership with NEF and SUNY, has created a model program that provides 21st century skills for our students in STEM, reading, career tech, IT, business and test prep. The Academy helps students build the skills they need to succeed in college and the highly competitive 21st-century workforce. Using our QZAB funds, at no out-out-of-pocket cost, we were able to provide an improved learning environment, and a world-class academy that helped to take our students from the bottom 50 % to the top 30% in Ohio state test scores, while improving the attendance rates and enthusiasm levels of our students. In addition, our students can now earn college credits inexpensively from SUNY.”

All the best!

Dr. Appu Kuttan
Chairman, National Education Foundation (NEF), founded in 1989
U.S. Non-profit Leader in Bridging the STEM+ Education and Job Skills Divides