Education and Poverty News
"The Cristo Rey Columbus High School is part of the now 28-school network founded in Chicago by Jesuit priest John P. Foley in 1995. The schools are strategically located in cities large enough to have a needy urban population, a supportive local Catholic diocese, and cooperative, deep-pocketed businesses. Columbus, which is an energetic, creative, and generous city, fit the bill perfectly. The mission of the schools, as James Ragland described it, is to break the cycle of poverty through education."
"About 650 schools throughout the state are opting into a program to provide free breakfast and lunch for all students. It is part of a new program called Community Eligibility Provision, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The idea is to allow schools with high percentages of low-income children to offer free meals for all, instead of collecting individual applications for free and reduced price meals."
"Income level is the greatest indicator of whether a high school graduate will attend college, according to a study released Tuesday. The National Student Clearinghouse looked at more than 3.5 million graduates of public high schools over the past several years, and found that high school graduates from schools with more poor people are significantly less likely to attend college than their counterparts at schools with majority middle-to-upper-income level students."
"The numbers marked a grim record for the U.S., which saw a steady surge in homeless students over the last six years fueled by the recession and historic rates of home foreclosures. Yet accurately estimating the number of homeless students can be extremely difficult for school districts and the federal government. According to the latest data, roughly 75 percent of the nation’s homeless youth are living in what’s known as 'doubled-up' situations, meaning they are forced to share temporary housing with friends, relatives or anyone willing to take them in. The students living in this type of housing — which can include motels, trailer parks and campgrounds — are entitled to help from their local schools but do not qualify for assistance from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development."
"Endangered programs providing grants and scholarships to low-income Nebraska students are the focus of the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education’s budget priorities. The Access College Early (ACE) grant, which paid for 1,700 qualifying students to earn college credits last year, will lose $285,000 in U.S. Department of Education funding next August. ACE Plus, which provides scholarships to college freshmen and sophomores who successfully completed the ACE program, is set to lose $300,000 in federal funding. Meeting Tuesday, the Coordinating Commission approved asking the Legislature to appropriate a total of $600,000 in state general funds for both programs, as well as increase the funding in both by $100,000 over the next two years."
"A report released Tuesday by the research branch of the nonprofit National Student Clearinghouse, which examined data from more than 3.5 million high school graduates, found that poverty remains a more important indicator of whether a student will go to college than high school demographics or location. Class of 2013 students from low-minority, low-income, suburban and rural schools were the least likely to have enrolled in college by last fall --in the semester immediately following their graduation -- according to the report."
" As enrollment continues to surge at schools in North Dakota’s oil country, the number of students deemed homeless under federal regulations is also increasing. The spike of homeless students is an effect of the housing shortage in the Bakken area. Students are deemed homeless under federal law when they 'lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.' Students living in motels, hotels, trailer parks and campgrounds are considered homeless."
"In recent years, the demographic shift at public schools in Tippecanoe County has been dramatic. Where the overwhelming majority of families once could pay full price for their child's school meals, most students now come from families at or below the federal poverty level and rely on the federal government's free and reduced meal program."
"Garden Grove and Westminster preschools are receiving a financial boost. The Westminster School District and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove will each receive state funding to increase the number of students from families with lower incomes that their programs can accommodate. The funding is part of a statewide initiative, announced last week by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and state Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, that will provide money to add 7,500 preschool slots throughout California."
"The U.S. is facing substantial performance gaps within higher education. High-income students are seven times more likely to attain a college degree than low-income students, exacerbating income inequality. The country is projected to be three million college graduates short of what we need to fill expected jobs in 2016 if we are to retain our competitive edge in an increasingly global economy."
"The number of state low-income children eating breakfast at school jumped 55 percent in the past four years, according to an annual report released Tuesday by Advocates for Children of New Jersey. Nearly all major urban school districts now serve breakfast 'after the bell,' according to Nancy Parello, spokeswoman for the nonprofit."
"The growth of QuestBridge has broader lessons for higher education — and for closing the yawning achievement gap between rich and poor teenagers. College admissions officers attribute the organization's success to the simplicity of its approach to students. It avoids mind-numbingly complex talk of financial-aid forms and formulas that scare away so many low-income families. QuestBridge instead gives students a simple message: If you get in, you can go."
"Charter school students in Utah are whiter and wealthier than their traditional public school counterparts, according to a report released this week. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools ranked Utah 24th out of 26 states for the health of its charter school movement, with Utah scoring low marks for racial and economic diversity."
"The Tennessee Treasury Department is announcing a program to help low-income families build college savings. Under Tennessee Investments Preparing Scholars, the state will provide enhanced matches for money invested by families that have accounts in the Treasury Department’s TNStars college savings program and meet the income requirements."
"The topic of poverty was examined through group discussion and analysis Thursday afternoon in the Gordon Parks Museum at Fort Scott Community College. About 30 people attended a free workshop entitled 'Bridges out of Poverty' inside the Danny and Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center to learn more about the hidden rules of poverty, middle class and wealth in order to have a better understanding of the driving forces behind the three socioeconomic classes."
"As selective colleges try to increase economic diversity among their undergraduates, the University of Chicago announced Wednesday that it's embarking on an unusual effort to enroll more low-income students, including the elimination of loans in its aid packages. What's more, the elite school will no longer expect financial-aid students to hold jobs during the school year and application fees will be waived for families seeking aid. The initiative includes scholarships, career guidance and a guarantee of paid summer internships, officials said as they announced the No Barriers program. The university will offer more than 100 workshops across the nation to demystify the admissions and financial aid process."
"The U.S. Department of Education has given the University of Alabama at Birmingham a $47 million grant for the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, which aims to increase the rate of low-income high school students who are prepared to enter a level of higher education."
"With elite colleges under growing pressure to enroll more low-income students, the University of Chicago is taking a series of rare steps to make applying faster, simpler and cheaper, and to make studying there more affordable. The package of measures, to be announced Wednesday, includes several that are highly unusual, like eliminating the expectation that low- and middle-income students take jobs during the academic year, guaranteeing them paid summer internships after their first year in college and providing them career counseling beginning in that first year."
"New state ratings reveal that dozens of Minneapolis and St. Paul schools are among the lowest-performing schools in Minnesota and are failing to close the achievement gap between white and minority students. Statewide, education officials identified 155 struggling schools. The ratings signal which schools are performing poorly and which are beating the odds among those that accept federal poverty money."
"Research from Rice University academics Todd Risley and Betty Hart found that, by age 3, children from low-income families hear, on average, 30 million fewer words than their peers growing up in more affluent homes. This word gap - and related social and emotional skill deficits - become the achievement gap when children born into poverty enter kindergarten at a severe disadvantage and never catch up. Substandard urban K-12 public education perpetuates this tragedy, increasing the risk of dropping out - the surest way to ensure that a child fails to join society's mainstream as an adult."
"With the deadline for high school seniors to enroll in Gov. Bill Haslam’s first-in-the-nation offer of a free two-year postsecondary education now one month away, a report by 24/7 Wall Street shows how urgent and absolutely essential Tennessee Promise is to the state."
"Under the program, nonprofit organizations can collect donations from businesses to fund scholarships that would move low-income children from public schools with low test scores to private schools. The businesses would receive a tax credit that subtracts 70 percent of the amount they donated off their bill for state corporate income tax, privilege tax (for financial institutions) or premium tax (for insurance companies)."
"According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 128,531 Montanans were in the SNAP program last year. A family of two must earn less than 11,293 monthly to qualify. There's no comprehensive data to show how many college students struggle with food insecurity. An increasing body of anecdotal and numeric evidence, however, suggests that it is becoming a more pressing problem. A study conducted by Oregon State University researchers in 2011 found 59 percent of OSU students interviewed went hungry at some point the year prior."
"A record number of homeless students were enrolled in US public schools last year, according to new numbers released Monday by the Department of Education. The data - which most experts say underreport the actual number of homeless children in America - showed that nearly 1.3 million homeless children and teens were enrolled in schools in the 2012-13 school year, an 8 percent increase from the previous school year."
"Perhaps the saddest result of poverty is how it affects children, a situation spotlighted in the recent News article showing that more than half of Buffalo's children live in poverty. It is disturbing to think that many of these children face a lifelong struggle just to get by. There is no single solution to poverty. But there are paths that can break the cycle of poverty. These include Buffalo Promise Neighborhood, Say Yes to Education and the Buffalo Arts and Technology Center, which will train the unemployed and underemployed in skills geared toward jobs at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus."