Education and Poverty News
"According to a new Legislative Finance Committee report, poverty is no excuse when it comes to a child’s ability to learn. But to succeed, leaders of high-poverty schools must effectively funnel financial resources into areas that need support, coordinate those services, help teachers and monitor student progress."
"New Mexico’s high-poverty schools are in dire need of hiring more teachers, according to a new legislative study. A Legislative Finance Committee report released Thursday said a “new approach” that includes better incentives and hiring decisions is crucial to get more effective teachers, the Albuquerque Journal reported. The study looked at education strategies in 15 schools around the state that are considered low-income and academically behind."
"The $32 billion Pell Grant program is the U.S. government's main financial aid for low-income students, benefiting more than one in three undergraduates, or about 10 million total nationwide. Recipients can get up to $5,730 a year. Other area schools with high numbers of Pell-eligible and thus low-income students included Cedar Crest College (43 percent) in Allentown, Penn State Lehigh Valley (36 percent) in Center Valley and Moravian College (30 percent) in Bethlehem, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, a division of the U.S. Department of Education."
"If you want to address income inequality, fix higher education. That seems to be the current thinking in Washington, where President Obama has urged college administrators to better serve low-income students. Some colleges have been following that guidance. The University of Chicago has been praised for its new campaign to recruit low-income students — a strategy that reduces the financial paperwork in the admissions process and guarantees low- and middle-income students summer employment while no longer expecting them to work during the academic year."
"Poverty makes it harder for children to succeed in school. And every day, tens of thousands of D.C. schoolchildren walk into a classroom with a heavy weight on their shoulders. That’s because children in poverty are more likely to be hungry or malnourished, exposed to trauma, stress or violence, affected by family or neighborhood turmoil or faced with severe health problems."
"Low-income children now outnumber middle-class students in Illinois public schools. More than a million kids qualified for free or reduced price lunch last year."
"A new nationwide survey of parents shows the District has the highest afterschool participation rate in the United States. On the other hand, DC is 49th in the percentage of low-income children enrolled."
The Children's Scholarship Fund Philadelphia announced Thursday that 2,000 new, four-year scholarships were available to help low-income city families send their children to nonpublic schools for kindergarten through eighth grade. The scholarships begin with the 2015-16 academic year. Established in 1998, Children's Scholarship Fund Philadelphia now provides financial aid to 4,500 city children at 185 nonpublic schools."
"A new study found state budget cuts to public universities nationwide have deterred many low- and middle-income students from attending college. The Center for American Progress found that 38 states cut the amount of spending per student during the fiscal period of 2008 to 2012, said Elizabeth Baylor, associate director of postsecondary education at the center. The two- and four-year college attendance rate of low-income students dropped from 55.9 percent in 2008 to 50.9 percent in 2012. The state has cut universities’ funds by about 5 percent, according to the study."
"Bloomberg Philanthropies is leading a coalition of organizations that aims to raise the number of top-performing students from lower-income families who attend colleges with six-year graduation rates of at least 70%."
"High school seniors are set to participate in College Application Day. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education says the event Tuesday tries to increase the number of first-generation and low-income students pursuing a college degree or other post-secondary credentials."
"On Tuesday, a handful of institutions will announce an ambitious new effort on this front. Led by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the coalition is setting a specific goal for which it can be held accountable. Today, only about one in three top-performing students from the bottom half of the income distribution attends a college with a high six-year graduation rate (at least 70 percent). Within five years, the Bloomberg coalition wants to raise that to one in every two students."
"Cuts to state funding for higher education in Louisiana rank among the highest in the country since the 2008 recession, according to a revelatory new report by the Center for American Progress, a liberal-leaning public research and advocacy group based in Washington, D.C."
"Some Washington, D.C., children are denied participation in the Opportunity Scholarship Program, which gives students from low-income families scholarships to attend private schools, despite a law that gives students with siblings in the program preference."
"Young people from low-income families, and first-generation college students, are not necessarily the same as minority students. But like minority students, they are less prevalent on campuses than their wealthier counterparts from well-educated families — and they are rare at the nation's most elite universities, such as the University of Michigan."
"By contrast, tuition in the United States at both public and private colleges has risen steeply over the past 10 years. Even worse, private for-profit colleges have proliferated around the country, with enrollment growing by 225 percent from 1998 to 2008. These colleges prey on low-income students, leaving many deep in debt, without a degree, and in low-paying jobs that bear little resemblance to the descriptions in for-profit college’s recruitment pitches and late night television ads."
"South Dakota has been faced with the challenge of helping Native American and low–income students succeed in college, but now with $3.6 million in federal funds, six South Dakota universities and a tribal college plan to generate momentum for these students through the South Dakota Jump Start Program."
"You can't learn what you can't see. That's the basic principle behind 'Vision to Learn,' a new campaign in Delaware to give low-income students free eye exams and glasses."
"f you want to address income inequality, fix higher education. That seems to be the current thinking in Washington, where President Obama has urged college administrators to better serve low-income students. Some colleges have been following that guidance. The University of Chicago has been praised for its new campaign to recruit low-income students – a strategy that reduces the financial paperwork in the admissions process and guarantees low- and middle-income students summer employment while no longer expecting them to work during the academic year."
"Big changes are on the way for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students): The U.S. Department of Education is loosening rules for eligibility in a move targeted at making it easier for parents and students to pay for a college education. On Wednesday the department announced and published the final regulations. Among the core adjustments are revised borrower eligibility; a streamlined application for a PLUS Loan, particularly for those with “adverse credit history”; and an updated definition of “adverse credit history,” which had not been adjusted since 1994."
"Oak Hills High School students are raising awareness about hunger and homelessness, and taking action to help those in need in our community. Students are taking part in several projects this month to learn about hunger issues and homelessness and ways they can help."
"Lincoln Elementary and High School and Mindoro Elementary School each received a Wisconsin School of Recognition award – a Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction honor that recognizes schools with high poverty rates but exceed achievement benchmarks. Lincoln Elementary and High School each were named 'beating the odds' schools, which are in the top 25 percent of high-poverty schools in the state and have above-average student achievement in reading and mathematics when compared to similar schools."
"A new partnership between Union County College and Kean University will work to bolster the success of Hispanic and low-income students in science, engineering, technology and math, with support from a $3.25 million federal grant. Officials from both schools Monday announced the collaborative effort, which creates a joint-admissions program between the two institutions in hopes of improving retention, graduation and transfer rates for a student population they said is underrepresented in the sciences."
Schools in the Washington region spend wildly different amounts on students per pupil, and districts vary a lot in how much extra they spend on low-income students. While more spending doesn’t guarantee better quality, the discrepancies raise basic questions of fairness."
"In their annual Opportunity Index, the national campaign Opportunity Nation and Measure of America found that high school graduation rates are up, more adults are going to college and unemployment has dropped drastically since 2011. But poverty rates across the board are essentially unchanged since 2011, and nearly 1 in 7 people between the ages of 16 and 24 are considered disconnected youth, in limbo between school and work."