Education and Poverty News
"Thanks to a digital library program being rolled out in local schools, similar electronic books will soon be a click away for tens of thousands of students. Within the next few weeks, the program will be available at about 30 low-income elementary schools and four specialty programs in Brevard."
"The Alabama Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a challenge to the Alabama Accountability Act. The law provides state income tax credits to help low-income parents cover the cost of private school tuition with priority given to families zoned for schools designated as failing. The court could be the final stop in a long battle over whether the Republican-backed 2013 school legislation is legal and if it was properly approved during a tumultuous 2013 night in the Alabama Legislature."
"The Advance Illinois school report “The State We’re In” has some good news for Illinois school, including gains in high school graduation rates in Chicago. But the report overall is not cause for optimism about the state of Illinois’ elementary and high schools and the preparedness of Illinois students for the job market that awaits them after graduation. Of particular concern is the academic performance of low-income students, whose reading and math proficiency are alarmingly low."
"The debate and discussion about the recently approved tuition increases has been marked by misinformation. So, let’s start off by dispensing two myths. The first myth is that tuition increases will hurt students from lower-income families. In fact, low-income families will have better access to UC Berkeley with the tuition increase than they would without it."
"Student poverty in Gwinnett and across the state, has soared over the past decade, freighting classrooms with hungry, tired and sometimes ill-disciplined students. In 2002, when Oakley moved to Gwinnett, 21 percent of the district’s students qualified for free or reduced-price school meals, a common index of poverty. By last year, 55 percent qualified. The suburbs are seeing more of what one local superintendent calls the 'pathologies of poverty,' such as homeless students or those with blurred vision for want of eyeglasses. Students who fall behind can become disruptive, and the wild, unfocused energy can infect a crowded classroom and hinder student achievement."
"Not every college education is created equal, and it should come as no surprise that Colorado children from the lowest-income families are the least likely to go to the best colleges. Not surprising, but not acceptable, either."
"For more than a decade, Whitney has been doing the same for students who pass through the various SAEE programs now incorporated under one roof in Lucy Stone Hall on the Livingston Campus. Last spring saw the merger of Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math-Science; the EOF programs of the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences; the Student Support Services Program; the Ronald E. McNair Program; and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation."
"Colleges and universities in Kentucky have failed to meet some major goals to help boost graduation rates among Black and low-income students, leaving officials scrambling to put an end to the education disparities. Kentucky aimed to drastically increase graduate rates for the 2012-2013 school year but the latest accountability report by the Council of Postsecondary Education revealed that the schools just aren’t reaching those goals when it comes to their Black and low-income students."
"Allen County families who meet certain income requirements can apply for prekindergarten educational grants from Indiana’s Office of Early Education and Out-of-School Learning. The grant would cover the costs of enrolling children in an approved On My Way Pre-K program in public or private schools, licensed child care centers, licensed homes or registered ministries as long as those programs meet the requirements of a state-approved provider, according to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration."
"When it comes to advocating for greater reliance on public benefits for low-income individuals, the idea is already a tough political sell among anti-entitlement elected officials and segments of the electorate that view the benefits as handouts. But what if those public benefits were being extended to community college students as a way to boost their chances of earning a credential?"
"Kentucky is lagging in its efforts to increase graduation rates among poor, minority and under-prepared college students, according to the Council on Postsecondary Education's latest accountability report. The annual report, to be discussed by the council at a meeting Friday, showed a six-year graduation rate of 49 percent among bachelor's degree-seeking students in 2012-13, the latest data available."
"A souped-up bus will bring 3-D printing, robotics and digital design instruction to Lansing's low-income areas as early as next summer. By August 2015, the Techtransport bus is expected to bring the nonprofit Information Technology Empowerment Center's classes to local communities whose residents can't afford Internet service. ITEC showed off the donated bus at a gathering Tuesday at the Foster Community Center."
"A bill that would provide meals for low-income students on days schools are shut down over winter weather was vetoed by Mayor Vincent Gray over concerns about funding and endangering children, leaving one Councilmember who created the legislation 'baffled.'"
"Low-income students in some of Colorado’s more affluent school districts—Boulder, Cherry Creek, and St. Vrain Valley—are more likely to attend top colleges than their peers around the state.
But across the state, and even in those districts, less well-off students attend elite schools at a lower rate than more affluent students."
"With a goal of fiber-optic lines reaching to every school and a Wi-Fi connection in every classroom, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is expected on Monday to propose a 62 percent increase in the amount of money the agency spends annually to wire schools and libraries with high-speed Internet connections."
"A pioneering scholarship program in Arizona is receiving an injection of cash from the federal government. The $2.5 million will support AZ Earn to Learn, which helps low-income students in the state pay for college. The program emphasizes financial responsibility. Students are required to save $500, participate in personal finance workshops, and meet regularly with a financial coach. That’s, of course, in addition to being normal college kids and doing well in classes."
"Standardized test scores in DC have risen significantly in the seven years since schools came under mayoral control, according to a recent study, and it's not just because of an increase in affluent students. But while math scores have gone up steadily, literacy scores have largely stalled after an early jump. While DC officials have touted increases in test scores as a sign that education reforms are working, critics have argued that DC's changing demographics are behind the improvements. They say an influx of more affluent students has driven up the scores while the gap between those students and lower-income minority students has remained as wide as ever."
"Brown University launched a major new initiative Thursday aimed at providing internships, research opportunities, and funding to all freshmen, sophomores, and juniors -- particularly those from low-income backgrounds. Called BrownConnect, the program began with a pilot phase last year and has already created 154 new internship opportunities, the university said. It has also provided financial support for 254 interns in low-paid or unpaid internships."
"Financial aid and scholarships have largely spared students from low and some middle-income families from shouldering the cost of recent tuition increases at the University of California and California State University, an independent think tank reported Wednesday. The Public Policy Institute of California said in a new report that even though in-state tuition increased an average of 64 percent at UC campuses during the height of the recession, most families with annual incomes under $110,000 did not end up paying more thanks to a greater availability of federal and state grants and aid supplied by the colleges themselves."
"Hispanics attending public schools in major cities posted similar gains, with 10-point and 13-point increases in grades four and eight, respectively. That’s surprising, said Natalia Pane, author of the report and senior vice president of research operations at Child Trends. 'It’s really interesting what’s going on in the large cities,' Pane said. 'Our large cities were able to keep pace when they’ve got such higher proportions of students coming from low-income families.'"
"Bozeman’s public schools are gearing up to open a small preschool for 4-year-old as a pilot project this January -- even before Gov. Steve Bullock pitches his statewide preschool plan to the 2015 Legislature. School Superintendent Rob Watson will seek an informal blessing for the pilot project when the Bozeman School Board meets Monday night at Willson School. The discussion will begin at 5:30 p.m., a half hour earlier than usual."
"Poverty is not just a lack of money. It’s a shorthand for a host of other problems—scanty dinners and crumbling housing projects, chronic illnesses, and depressed or angry parents—that can interfere with a child’s ability to learn. Educators and researchers in several of the nation’s largest districts are trying to look at schools based on a fuller picture of children’s experiences, rather than only seeing poverty as a label."
"A study titled 'The Missing "One-Offs": The Hidden Supply of High-Achieving, Low Income Students' published in December 2012 found that only 34 percent of high-achieving high school seniors in the bottom quarter of the income distribution attended one of the country's 238 most selective colleges. Conversely, 78 percent of students in the highest income quartile enrolled in selective colleges. These statistics indicate that low-income students "under-match" in their college admissions. There are many causes for under-matching, the most pervasive being perceptions related to cost and financial aid, and exposure to and awareness of selective colleges."
"The Delaware Department of Education says nine schools across the state are moving away from their labels as low-performing schools. According to the DOE, the schools are exiting state support programs used in low-performing schools."
"On November 7-8, five hundred educators, corporate leaders, and students from across the country will gather for the 18th annual College For Every Student (CFES) National Conference in Burlington to share best practices and explore strategies for guiding low-income students toward college and career success. CFES supports 20,000 students through partnerships with 200 rural and urban K-12 schools and districts in 27 states and Ireland through its three high-impact and research-based practices."