Education and Poverty News
"But are kids who live in poor areas confined to local schools? New research suggests that at least in Chicago, which contains the nation’s fourth largest school district, they’re not. Policies that decouple where kids live from where they must attend school—crafted with the best of intentions—have given poor students lots of 'choices' when it comes to where they learn. But that’s not necessarily a good thing."
"As they currently stand, the appropriations bills moving through Congress eliminate funding for Preschool Development Grants, which, according to the U.S. Department of Education, translates into more than 100,000 children from low- and moderate-income households losing out on access to high-quality early education. Dismantling this modest grant program when states are just beginning to see success would have immediate consequences for the families and children who are already benefiting from access to high-quality preschool, as well as long-term economic consequences for states and school districts."
"The University of California system is doing the most for low-income students, according to the College Access Index, a new ranking system designed to highlight an aspect of colleges that too often remains hidden: economic diversity."
"For low-income students, attending a college with a tarnished reputation not only robs them of a chance at the economic mobility higher education is supposed to enable, it also cheats them of the money the federal government provides them with to go to school. A group of Democratic legislators is trying to change that."
"To measure top colleges’ efforts on economic diversity, The Upshot created the College Access Index. It’s based on the share of students who receive Pell grants (which typically go to families making less than $70,000); the graduation rate of those students; and the price that colleges charge both low- and middle-income students. The following table also shows colleges’ endowment per student, which is a measure of the resources available to colleges."
"While there's nothing wrong with attending a low-cost school, students should know that their low-income backgrounds don't have to close the door to pricier, more selective institutions. In fact, those students may qualify for federal, state and institutional need-based aid not available to their more affluent peers."
"Families from low-income neighborhoods are more likely to enroll in city pre-kindergarten programs, a Daily News analysis of Education Department data shows. Kids from areas with median incomes that are below the city average of $51,865 account for 62% of registrants in the free, full-day programs that kicked off Wednesday. By contrast, four-year-olds who live in areas with median incomes higher than $100,000 account for just 2% of sign-ups for Mayor de Blasio’s signature education program."
"For many Americans, finding someone to take care of small children during the working day is an expensive hassle; for many low-income workers, it’s plain unaffordable. Reducing this particular cost of holding a job could benefit the national economy by enabling more men and women to pursue their full productive potential. For the children, appropriate early care could contribute to their future productivity, too. To the extent a reliable supply of affordable child care encourages people to have more children, it also could help the U.S. economy avoid the demographic decline that plagues Japan and much of Europe."
"New York University is among the country’s wealthiest schools. Backed by its $3.5 billion endowment, the school has built campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai, invested billions in SoHo real estate, and given its star faculty loans to buy summer homes. But the university does less than many other schools when it comes to one thing: helping its poor students."
"Governor Cuomo announced up to $500,000 in state grants to increase college access for 2016 high school graduates. New York State’s College Action Grants will award up to $5,000 to eligible high schools and community organizations that promote activities aimed at increasing the rate of low-income New York State high school seniors who apply to college, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and ultimately enroll in a college."
"Data from the state department of education shows a six-month check on the class of 2014 showed about 27 percent of graduates from St. Louis Public Schools who had planned on attending college or other post-secondary education or training were no longer doing so."
"Milwaukee Area Technical College announced Wednesday that it is creating a privately funded program so low-income, academically qualified high school seniors can attend tuition-free, starting next fall. Called the MATC Promise, the college considers it a game-changer for families who otherwise could not afford to send their kids to college."
"Data shows tests like the SAT are biased against students from low-income households. Poorer students tend to perform worse on the test. The difference might be the costly prep courses, books and tutors, some experts say. Blacks and Hispanics also consistently score lower on the SAT than whites."
"The application for federal student aid is so complicated that many in higher education see the FAFSA as a significant roadblock for low-income and first-generation students getting into college. It can be especially cumbersome for non-intact families as it requires applicants to provide income information for both parents. If one refuses to cooperate, it can delay or derail a student’s college hopes."
"Advocates have for years argued that giving every child a savings account could close the gap in college application and graduation rates between low-income children and their wealthier peers. More recently, high levels of student debt have focused fresh attention on the concept: A handful of states, counties and cities have created children’s savings account programs, and others are poised to do the same."
"There are a lot more students with backgrounds like Gabe's than there used to be at Vassar. Over the past eight years, the school's financial aid budget has doubled. Sixty percent of students now receive aid. But that means 40 percent come from families that can afford to pay full price — more than $63,000 a year."
"With competing legislation in Congress to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or the ESEA, and the presidential race shining a spotlight on education issues, a decades-old policy issue is once again under debate: the flexibility to allow the approximately $14.4 billion of Title I-A funds to follow students across schools."
"California’s low-income, black and disabled students are more likely to miss school frequently, which can be linked to future achievement gaps and dropout rates, according to a report released Monday. The national report by Attendance Works found that chronic absenteeism is often the result of a student’s health problems, such as asthma, and absenteeism is often as prevalent among young children as it is among teenagers. At least 10 percent of kindergartners and 1st graders miss nearly a month of class in a school year, according to the report."
"There are scholarships and other tools for people of more modest means. And right here in Atlanta, there’s even a school that only admits kids from low-income families."
"Before the Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was the second-lowest-ranked district in the second-lowest-ranked state in the country. In 2005, 62 percent of students were failing, according to district records. Simmons' story represents that of many students who might not have succeeded to the same degree without the post-Katrina education system changes, experts point out. For Simmons, that meant attending a charter school, where she said her teachers pushed her even more once they found out about her compromising situation."
"Legislators and the Department of Education have been trying for years to radically simplify the standard form, known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or Fafsa. But every time they cut a few questions, they add a few more. Today the Fafsa has 105 questions and 88 pages of instructions, making it as torturous and perplexing as a federal income tax form. Research suggests that the sheer length of the form and the confusing instructions are a huge deterrent to families that need financial aid, especially low-income families sending a child to college for the first time."
"Low-income children can get free books in the mail, part of a new Every Child Capital fund program meant to improve child literacy and kindergarten readiness. The Reach Out and Read/Imagination Library program will offer every Medicaid-eligible child younger than 5 in Cincinnati one age-appropriate book a month via mail. That’s about 10,000 kids total. The goal is to give children home libraries and instill a love for learning at an early age."
"Out of the 62 schools with five or more empty teaching positions, all but seven are located in the valley’s poorest neighborhoods around downtown, North Las Vegas and the east valley."
"The university is in its second year of offering a mobile application called 'Ball State Achievements,' designed for students who come to Ball State on federal Pell Grants. The app essentially gamifies their college experience; they earn points for engaging in specific aspects of campus life, which can then be cashed in to purchase items in the university’s bookstore or on-campus Starbucks."
"As the president of Arizona State University, Crow has dramatically increased the student population to 84,000 students, making it the largest university in America. Under Crow, the number of low-income students has soared, enrollment of blacks and Latinos has doubled, and ASU has accomplished this despite the largest funding cuts from any state legislature in the country."