Issues

Education and Poverty News

The New York Times, August 26, 2014: (Op-Ed) How to Get Kids to Class

“For the 16 million American children living below the federal poverty line, the start of a new school year should be reason to celebrate. Summer is no vacation when your parents are working multiple jobs or looking for one. Many kids are left to fend for themselves in neighborhoods full of gangs, drugs and despair. Given the hardships at home, poor kids might be expected to have the best attendance records, if only for the promise of a hot meal and an orderly classroom. But it doesn't usually work out that way. According to the education researchers Robert Balfanz and Vaughan Byrnes at Johns Hopkins, children living in poverty are by far the most likely to be chronically absent from school (which is generally defined as missing at least 10 percent of class days each year).”

Topeka Capital-Journal, August 26, 2014: Report: Schools not exploiting school finance formula

“The rising percentage of Kansas children who receive free or reduced-price lunches at school is a genuine trend linked to poverty, not a ploy to boost school funding, the Kansas Association of School Boards said Monday. In an eight-page report, the association's researchers analyzed the increase in Kansas schools of children who qualify for free or reduced lunch based on family incomes.”

The Myrtle Beach Sun-News, August 26, 2014: (Op-Ed) When even Al Jazeera is calling out South Carolina schools

“It’s time once again for communal hand-wringing over the fact that the state Supreme Court still hasn’t ruled in the 21-year-old lawsuit alleging that South Carolina has deprived children in the Corridor of Shame of the 'minimally adequate' public education that our constitution requires."

The Montgomery Advertiser, August 26, 2014: (Editorial) Hungry children need help

“School is back in session, and many impoverished parents in Alabama who struggle to keep food on the table can breathe a sigh of relief. Children once again, if needed, can eat a free or reduced-price cafeteria meal. But not all working poor families qualify for help. Alabama has one of the highest rates of food-insecure households with children. Nearly one third of the state's 1 million children often can't be sure dinner will be served. And the bad numbers on food insecurity show no sign of letting up, as unemployment creeps higher, particularly in north Alabama, where thousands of manufacturing jobs have been lost in recent months.”

The New York Times, August 25, 2014: Generation Later, Poor Are Still Rare at Elite Colleges

"A series of federal surveys of selective colleges found virtually no change from the 1990s to 2012 in enrollment of students who are less well off — less than 15 percent by some measures — even though there was a huge increase over that time in the number of such students going to college. Similar studies looking at a narrower range of top wealthy universities back those findings. With race-based affirmative action losing both judicial and public support, many have urged selective colleges to shift more focus to economic diversity."

The Daily Athenaeum, August 25, 2014: (Op-Ed) Food insecurity hitting hard on college campuses

“This year, more college students will experience food insecurity - the lack of ability to find or afford nutritious food - than ever before. This trend has much more serious consequences than you may think. A study published in the January 2014 edition of the "Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior" found that nearly 60 percent of students at a midsized university were threatened with food insecurity sometime during the previous year, and that figure is only expected to grow. In fact, college students are four times more likely to experience this concern when compared to all U.S. households, although this problem has received scarcely any attention targeted toward the college demographic.”

The Justice, August 25, 2014: (Op-Ed) Alleviate local poverty through voluntary University tax payments

“Think for a moment what would happen if a wealthy, four-year university suddenly announced its decision to give back to the community around it, and to voluntarily pay even a part of its would-be full tax payments to the city. Think what would happen if that university decided to do this without raising tuition, at least more than the amount by which tuition already rises per year. Think what would happen if the school demanded that the money be used to rebuild and improve poverty-stricken areas.”

The Tampa Tribune, August 24, 2014: Head Start gets restart

“The Head Start program has been around since 1965, but its history in Pinellas County has some gaps. This school year, however, the program is back and hoping to expand. After two years on hiatus, Head Start and Early Head Start are operating in 15 centers throughout the county, with hundreds of children on waiting lists. The federal programs provide education, child care and health services for low-income families.”

Williamson Daily News, August 24, 2014: Mingo school system participating in new free meal project

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released data reporting high levels of food insecurity and hunger across the country. In West Virginia, nearly 14 percent of residents live in food insecure households and more than 88,500 children live below the poverty line. The CEP was enacted as a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and provides universal meal service to children in high poverty areas. This is the second year for the option. The CEP is an alternative to collecting, approving and verifying household eligibility applications for free and reduced price eligible students in high poverty Local Education Agencies (LEA). If at least 40 percent of a school’s students are directly certified for free meal benefits, the entire school qualifies for the option.”

Deseret News, August 20, 2014: Program provides low-income families opportunity to stay connected

"Marianna Castenada, a junior at East High School, has a 3.6 GPA despite the fact that she has no Internet at home. For the past two years, Marianna and her siblings have vied for time on their mother's smartphone to complete homework assignments and write essays. But the family's situation drastically changed this week thanks to Internet Essentials, a Comcast-funded, nationwide program designed to provide low-income families with Internet and computers at minimal costs."

The Austin Villager, August 15, 2014: Minority Teachers Abandon Classrooms; Blacks, Latino Educators Find Other Professions

“Released on July 7, the report revealed that black and Latinos are more likely to work and remain in high-poverty, hard-to-staff urban schools and districts than their white counterparts; in fact, they often consider it their duty to do so.”

The Press Enterprise, August 15, 2014: (Opinion) Continuing a Legacy to End Poverty

“Fifty years ago, at a time when one-fifth of all American families could not afford even their most basic needs, the task of providing citizens with opportunities to succeed became the nation's foremost priority. On Aug. 20, 1964, the Economic Opportunity Act was signed into law, marking the official declaration of our War on Poverty. Now half a century later, we are losing that war. Lower-than-average educational attainment levels, high unemployment and low median average household income levels have led to higher unadjusted poverty levels. Statistically, one in four children today live below the poverty line.”

The Charleston Daily Mail, August 13, 2014: State gets grant to help give low-income students access to AP courses

“The U.S. Department of Education awarded a grant to West Virginia Monday that will help low-income students gain better access to Advanced Placement courses. The grant will funnel more than $62,000 in federal aid into the state to defray the expense of Advanced Placement tests, which cost $89. Based on the department's projections, the grant should cover all but $18 of that cost.”

The Chicago Tribune, August 12, 2014: Emanuel touts progressive issues in NYC ahead of re-election bid

“Chicago's mayor got another national stage to tout his push for an increased minimum wage and expanded earlier educational opportunities as he works to gain the support of liberals whom he has often viscerally disdained. That it came just six months before Emanuel will ask Chicago voters to give him a second term was not lost on his potential opponents.”

The Dallas Morning News, August 11, 2014: (Editorial) Low-income students have the will; where’s the way?

“The reason, the study concludes, is not a lack of motivation or even money, but a lack of key community and high school resources, such as mentors, tutors and access to challenging classes that are available to children from wealthier households. Without these key supports, the report notes, students from low-income homes are significantly less likely to find the path to college and are more likely to struggle if they get there.”

The Wichita Eagle, July 31, 2014: Wichita school district won’t take part in new free meals program

“Wichita will not participate in a new program that would offer free meals to every student regardless of family income – at least not this school year, officials said.”

The New York Post, July 30, 2014: Schools can help all kids—poverty is no excuse

“In too many inner-city neighborhoods, schools are dead-ends. Instead of equipping poor children with the skills they need to escape poverty, bad schools lower their expectations and sink their hopes.”

The Charlotte Observer, July 19, 2014: New Sugar Creek Charter high school hopes to launch ‘middle-class lifestyle’

“After 15 years as a K-8 school, Sugar Creek Charter School is adding high school. And its leaders are trying to avoid the path of some of the nation’s most lauded college-prep charter schools. Charter chains such as YES Prep, Uncommon Schools and KIPP have earned a reputation for getting low-income minority students into college. But preparing them to finish college is another matter.”

The Washington Post, July 15, 2014: Montgomery schools may explore boundary changes to address achievement gap

“Montgomery schools have experienced a major demographic shift over the past decade. Forty nine percent of students are black or Hispanic. More than a third of the student population is eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Most minority and low-income students live and attend school in the eastern part of the county, and their schools for the most part have the lowest test scores.”

The Washington Post, July 07, 2014: Obama administration wants better teachers for nation’s poor schools

“The Obama administration is ordering states to devise strategies to get better teachers into high-poverty classrooms, correcting a national imbalance in which students who need the most help are often taught by the weakest educators.”

The Huffington Post, July 02, 2014: Hunger Groups Get Creative While U.S. Schools Out For Summer

“Hunger relief workers are getting creative at keeping small bellies full when U.S. schools - along with their free or reduced-price meals - close for summer.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 25, 2014: Pediatric group promotes reading aloud to children

“On average, 48 percent of parents nationwide reported reading to their children every day, according to the 2011-12 National Survey of Children's Health. Among families living below the poverty line, only 34 percent read to their children daily. Higher-income families, who earned at least 400 percent of the federal poverty threshold, did somewhat better: Sixty percent read daily to their youngsters.”

The New York Times, June 24, 2014: (Editorial) Tying Federal Aid to College Ratings

“The report finds pronounced differences between colleges that energetically recruit low-income and working-class students -- able kids eligible for the federal Pell grant program -- and those that do not.”

The Washington Times, June 24, 2014: Kids in need edged out in Head Start program in the U.S. Virgin Islands

“Some of the neediest children in the U.S. Virgin Islands are not being put at the top of the list to qualify for the territory’s Head Start program, a new report said.”

The Times Record, June 24, 2014: As Program Expands, More U.S. Students To Eat For Free At School

“Thousands more students could be eating school lunch completely free starting next fall, thanks to a 4-year-old federal program that is finally expanding to all 50 states.”