Issues

Education and Poverty News

The Sacramento Bee, January 1, 2015: California colleges poised to perform well on federal ratings system

"The department made its first significant development public in December with the release of a proposed framework for the scorecard, which would filter colleges into three broad categories: high-performing schools, low-performing schools and those in the middle. Among the possible metrics are the percentage of students who receive federal Pell Grants, a need-based scholarship; the average price of a school after all federal, state and institutional aid is factored in; student completion; earnings after graduation; and loan repayment rates."

Savannah Morning News, December 28, 2014: (Op-Ed) Raise cap on Georgia scholarship program

"If this is the case, the Georgia Legislature can advance an important piece of the middle-class agenda: Increase the annual cap on income tax credits available for contributions to scholarship programs that fund private school options for K-12 students from low- and middle-income families."

GulfLive, December 28, 2014: (Op-Ed) State's educational attainment inexorably linked to poverty, unemployment

"So how did the 24/7 Wall St. writers assess the Magnolia State? 'Nearly one in four Mississippi residents lived in poverty last year, by far the highest rate in the nation. More than 35 percent of people without a high school diploma in the state lived in poverty, also the highest rate compared to all other states.'"

NJ.com, December 28, 2014: (Op-Ed) Private, nonprofit scholastic programs are stepping into the breach

"News about the present and future of American K-12 education continues to be discouraging, but a series of effective out-of-school programs is creating a glimmer of hope. If we focus on these, thousands of children can be salvaged from a broken system."

The Olympian, December 25, 2014: Washington preschool program for low-income kids pays dividends in higher test scores in elementary school, a state study finds

"The state’s investment in preschools for low-income kids appears to be paying off in improved elementary school test scores, according to a state report released this month. The report says that children who participate in Washington’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program go on to earn higher test scores in math and reading in elementary school, when compared with their peers from similar economic backgrounds who didn’t enroll in ECEAP."

K5, December 25, 2014: Study endorses preschool for low income kids

"A new study shows low income kids from Washington state who go to a state supported preschool are likely to do better academically than their peers at least through fifth grade. Researchers found Washington state's Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program has a positive impact on third-, fourth- and fifth- grade test scores, which were given five or six years after the students were in preschool."

Time, December 22, 2014: Catholic Colleges Tell Poor Kids to Go Elsewhere

"Despite such sentiment, Catholic University charges the highest net price in America for low-income students — the cost once discounts and financial aid are taken into account — according to a study by the New America Foundation based on information reported to the U.S. Department of Education by the institutions themselves. And they have plenty of company among peer institutions."

Chalkbeat Tennessee, December 21, 2014: What we talk about when we talk about ‘universal’ preschool

"Juarez’s experience is not unusual as more school districts and states expand access to early childhood education in an attempt to add learning time at a crucial point in children’s development. Politicians and advocates alike have seized on research that says starting school young offers lasting dividends — as well as on the political expediency of promising a benefit to every voter. As they have, the meaning of 'universal' preschool has become, well, not so universal."

NJ.com, December 21, 2014: N.J.'s income gap has widened significantly since 2000, report shows

"The income gap between New Jersey's wealthiest residents and all other groups has widened significantly since the turn of the century, and grew worse after the recent Great Recession lifted, according to a new report. Only the top 20 percent of households in the state has seen their average income increase since the recession ended in 2009, according to the study released today by Legal Services of New Jersey, an Edison-based organization that gives free legal help to low-income residents in civil cases."

9News, December 19, 2014: CU students rehab old campus computers for the needy

" When computers on the University of Colorado campus become obsolete, that does not mean they are going to waste. Students are running a program called Computers to Youth to update these machines and give them to low income kids."

The Christian Science Monitor, December 18, 2014: States tackle question of how to boost college completion rates for low-income students

"Community college students need better guidance and clearer pathways to a degree if significant numbers of low-income students are to graduate with a high-value credential, according to a report, released Thursday by Jobs for the Future (JFF), which, which works to improve college and career training for disadvantaged students. Despite many efforts and investment to boost college degree attainment, community colleges – which educate about 44 percent of the nation’s low-income students – have yet to make a dent in national graduation rates."

U.S. News & World Report, December 18, 2012: Analyzing Colleges' Graduation Rates for Low-Income Students

"U.S. News has used exclusive data to analyze how successful colleges and universities have been at graduating their low-income students compared with their overall student bodies. This analysis measures the relative graduation rate performance of students who have received Pell Grants, which are federal financial aid awards for low-income families. The Pell Grant program most often serves undergraduates with family incomes of less than $20,000. Measuring the success of low-income college students is a key goal of a federal college rating plan originally outlined by President Barack Obama. However, it's unclear if the government's college ratings will be able to include that measurement, given the current inadequacies of the data collected by the U.S. Department of Education."

The New Orleans Times-Picayune, December 18, 2014: Kenner charter school makes 'sincere effort' to recruit black and low-income students, wins expansion

"The popular Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy will finally get to expand, after an initial denial and months of tweaked efforts to recruit more African-American and at-risk students. The Jefferson Parish School Board approved the move Wednesday. The charter school may enroll 90 more children for the 2015-16 academic year, adding seats in all grades except third, fourth and eighth. Starting in 2016-17, it may add high school grades."

Credit Union Times, December 18, 2014: NCUA Offers Low-Income CUs Grants

"The NCUA said its first round of grants for low-income credit unions will support their efforts to train staff and volunteers and to provide students with internship opportunities. The agency will provide at least $360,000 in funding during the first 2015 grant round. Credit unions may apply on the NCUA’s website Feb. 2 through March 3. In addition, the NCUA said it may provide funds to more than 100 low-income credit unions."

The Washington Post, December 17, 2014: (Blog) A tremendous number of school children in America still live in poverty

"According to new Census data out today, poverty rates for school-aged children in 2013 were still above their 2007 levels in nearly a third of all counties, many of them clustered around metro areas in California, Arizona, Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, December 17, 2014: Child poverty grew during recession, especially in the South

"The poverty rate for school-age children increased during and after the Great Recession in nearly a third of counties, according to new statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates program. Poverty among children age 5 to 17 increased in 928 counties between 2007 and 2013, the research shows. It declined in 15 counties."

San Jose Mercury News, December 17, 2014: Wish Book: Literacy program gives low-income students the skills to succeed

"Reading Partners now operates in eight states, including California, where 9 out of every 10 fourth-graders from low-income families are reading below grade level. Unless something is done to help them step up to reading proficiency, they are four times less likely than proficient readers to graduate high school on time -- complicating their chances at going to college, and increasing the likelihood that they will have run-ins with the law, studies show."

The Washington Post, December 15, 2014: The college trap that keeps people poor

"The American economy has stopped working the way it used to for millions of Americans. The path from poverty to the middle class has changed — now, it runs through higher education. In 1965, a typical man whose education stopped after four years of high school earned a salary 15 percent higher than the median male worker. By 2012, a high-school-only grad was earning 20 percent less than the median. The swing has been even more dramatic for women who stopped their education after high school: They earned almost 40 percent more than the median female salary in 1965 and 24 percent less in 2012."

WBFO, December 15, 2014: After-school program provides some low-income families with homework help

"A brand new after-school program focuses on homework and academic assistance. In October, Villa Maria College teamed with the Town of Cheektowaga to being an after-school services program for second graders from the Union East Elementary School and Mary Queen of Angels School. WBFO's Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley says the program is designed to support children from low-income families."

MSU Today, December 15, 2014: Partnership to Help Migrant Workers, Low-Income Earners

"MSU Federal Credit Union has partnered with the Telamon Farmworker Individual Development Account Program and the MSU College Assistance Migrant Program to assist migrant students with financial hardships as they complete a post-secondary education. The Telamon Farmworker IDA Program is designed to help low-income individuals create and maintain a savings account to help them develop money management skills and help decrease debts related to a post-secondary education."

Tampa Bay Times, December 12, 2014: (Editorial) Increase aid for low-income students

"A long-running complaint that requirements for Florida's Bright Futures scholarships discriminated against minority high school graduates was closed by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights last week, which says it found "no evidence of intentional discrimination." What it did find — "statistically significant disparities, by race, even among otherwise qualified applicants" — should still get lawmakers' attention in a state with a rapidly expanding Hispanic population and where African-American students have been less likely in recent years to enroll in state universities."

Science 2.0, December 11, 2014: Low Income Kids Eat Healthier In School - Let's Not Mess That Up

"A longitudinal study has found that while higher income children eat worse at school, low-income kids eat healthier than at home. While the political controversy rages over federal efforts to manage local school lunch programs, more data on who has actually been helped by the program over time is needed. The results in Preventive Medicine showed that fruit and vegetable intake was higher among low income adolescents on days when they consumed meals at school. The opposite was true for high income adolescents who consumed fewer fruits and vegetables when school was in session, compared to summer months. While in school, all students consumed fruits and vegetables with similar frequency regardless of income level."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 10, 2014: North Hills school district sees more autistic, low income students

"The demographics of North Hills School District have changed over the past six years, with increases in the number of students coming from lower-income families and in the number of students with autism. But students continue to perform well on state assessments, Jeff Taylor, assistant superintendent for curriculum, assessment and special programs, told school board members Dec. 2."

Sentinel & Enterprise, December 10, 2014: (Op-Ed) Mass. loses big if low-income students don't succeed

"Across the state, too many of our students are not succeeding in college, while the job market increasingly demands college degrees. Three quarters of the new jobs created by 2020 will require post-high school education, but only 56 percent of Massachusetts public four-year college students graduate from college in six years. That is a mismatch with serious consequences for our students, their families and continued economic growth in our state."

The Topeka Capital-Journal, December 9, 2014: Kansas low-income students exceed 50% for first time

"For the first time ever, more than half of Kansas’ K-12 students qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches based on low family incomes, according to state data released Tuesday. As of last school year, 50.3 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. That compares with 45.6 percent in 2010 and 32.2 percent in 2000."