Public Assistance Program Beneficiaries

  • Federal anti-poverty programs primarily help the GOP’s base, By Ronald Brownstein, February 16, 2017, The Atlantic: “Even as congressional Republicans mobilize for a new drive to retrench federal anti-poverty efforts, whites without a college degree—the cornerstone of the modern GOP electoral coalition—have emerged as principal beneficiaries of those programs, according to a study released Thursday morning…”
  • The biggest beneficiaries of the government safety net: Working-class whites, By Tracy Jan, February 16, 2017, Washington Post: “Working-class whites are the biggest beneficiaries of federal poverty-reduction programs, even though blacks and Hispanics have substantially higher rates of poverty, according to a new study to be released Thursday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities…”

Earnings Gap by Education Level

Pay gap between college grads and everyone else at a record, By Christopher S. Rugaber (AP), January 12, 2017, Star Tribune: “Americans with no more than a high school diploma have fallen so far behind college graduates in their economic lives that the earnings gap between college grads and everyone else has reached its widest point on record.  The growing disparity has become a source of frustration for millions of Americans worried that they — and their children — are losing economic ground…”

Prisoner Reentry

AG Lynch: School system to run in federal prison system, By Kevin Johnson, November 30, 2016, USA Today: “Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Wednesday that a school system would be formed within the vast federal prison network as part of a series of efforts to drive down recidivism and create a clearer path for thousands of inmates to re-enter their home communities…”

Summer Programs for Children

New evidence that summer programs can make a difference for poor children, By Emma Brown, September 7, 2016, Washington Post: “During their long, languid summers, lots of children forget the lessons they learned in school. But the hot empty months pose an especially big academic hurdle for poor children, whose families might not have time or money for camps or enrichment activities.  Now new research suggests that school districts can stave off the so-called summer slide by offering free, voluntary programs that mix reading and math instruction with sailing, arts and crafts and other summer staples. The research also shows, perhaps unsurprisingly, that students have to attend the programs regularly to reap the benefits…”

 

Career Pathways Program – Arkansas

This welfare reform program could be a model to help impoverished college students, By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel,  August 31, 2016, Washington Post: “When Will Bradford enrolled at Northwest Arkansas Community College in January 2015, it had been 15 years since he had stepped foot in a classroom. He had taken a few college classes after high school but dropped out in a matter of weeks.  ‘I just didn’t have the motivation,’ Bradford, 35, recalls. But with two young boys to care for, getting an education took on a new importance, especially if it meant earning more money. Even with his newfound motivation, Bradford was no less intimidated. ‘I was nervous about how much work would be involved and whether I was overdoing it with a full-time job, but a lot of it was just getting back into the school system,’ he said.  Enter Arkansas Career Pathways Initiative, a program funded by the federal welfare program, known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF, that provides academic and social services to low-income parents attending state community colleges and technical centers…”

Child Well-Being in Wealthy Nations

Report: U.S. is lagging in child well-being, By Karina Shedrofsky, July 22, 2016, USA Today: “The USA ranks ninth among the world’s 19 wealthiest nations in terms of overall child well-being – despite having the world’s largest economy, according to a Save the Children report released Friday.  The Child Prosperity Index looks at indicators in eight areas affecting children around the world, including health, education, income, safety, employment, gender equality, infrastructure and the environment…”

Multidimensional Poverty

Poverty, compounded, By Gillian B. White, April 16, 2016, The Atlantic: “It’s true that poverty affects people of all races, genders, and nationalities, but it’s also true that poverty—especially deep, persistent, intergenerational poverty—plagues some groups more than others. That’s because poverty isn’t just a matter of making too little money to pay the bills or living in a bad neighborhood—it’s about a series of circumstances and challenges that build upon each other, making it difficult to create stability and build wealth…”

Early Childhood Education

States agree on need for ‘preschool,’ differ on definition, By Sophie Quinton, September 4, 2015, Stateline: “Kari Leonard is a mom of five, but on a typical weekday a visitor might find 10 young children in the living room of her Saint Peter, Minnesota, home. The children at her child care center, who are mostly preschool age, might be playing with blocks, or doing a craft project, or listening to a song as Leonard plays it in a foreign language.  Her business could benefit from the state’s recent decision to spend $104 million over the next two years on early learning scholarships for low-income children. Because her program is highly rated by Parent Aware, a nonprofit that evaluates early education programs, she can enroll scholarship recipients.  Policymakers in Minnesota, like many across the country, have been impressed by studies that show early education can improve a child’s life and save taxpayers money over the long term. But while there’s a growing consensus on the value of preschool, states disagree on where the programs should be based, who should run them, or how the government should support them…”

Inequality and Social Mobility

Poor kids who do everything right don’t do better than rich kids who do everything wrong, By Matt O’Brien, October 18, 2014, Washington Post: “America is the land of opportunity, just for some more than others. That’s because, in large part, inequality starts in the crib. Rich parents can afford to spend more time and money on their kids, and that gap has only grown the past few decades. Indeed, economists Greg Duncan and Richard Murnane calculate that, between 1972 and 2006, high-income parents increased their spending on ‘enrichment activities’ for their children by 151 percent in inflation-adjusted terms, compared to 57 percent for low-income parents…”

Unemployment Rates

  • Unemployment rates fall for least educated, By Paul Davidson, October 5, 2014, USA Today: “A better labor market is benefiting more Americans, including those with less education. September’s unemployment rate fell from 6.1% to 5.9%, slipping under 6% for the first time since 2008. Those with only, or less than, a high school diploma saw even sharper declines…”
  • Rising jobless rates are a southern mystery, By Cameron McWhirter and Ben Leubsdorf, October 5, 2014, Wall Street Journal: “A sharp uptick in jobless numbers across a slew of Southern states has baffled economists and rattled at least one big political race. It has also raised an unusual question: Is the trend real? When the Labor Department last month said Georgia’s unemployment rate had jumped to 8.1% in August, making it the worst state for joblessness in the country, Democratic gubernatorial challenger Jason Carter seized on the news…”

Inequality and the Education System

A simple equation: more education = more income, By Eduardo Porter, September 10, 2014, New York Times: “Imagine if the United States government taxed the nation’s one-percenters so that their post-tax share of the nation’s income remained at 10 percent, roughly where it was in 1979. If the excess money were distributed equally among the rest of the population, in 2012 every family below that very top tier would have gotten a $7,105 check. This is hardly trivial money. But it pales compared to the gap between the wages of a family of two college graduates and a family of high school graduates. Between 1979 and 2012, that gap grew by some $30,000, after inflation…”

High School Graduation Rate – Michigan

  • Michigan’s 4-year high school graduation rate rises to nearly 77%, By Jennifer Chambers, February 27, 2014, Detroit News: “Graduation rates in Michigan are increasing, with the statewide four-year graduation rate for the high school class of 2013 reaching 76.96 percent, up 0.7 percentage points from 2012, according to the Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information. At the same time, the 2013 state dropout rate is down 0.17 percentage points, to 10.54 percent…”
  • High school graduation rates up in Lansing, statewide, By Kathleen Lavey, February 27, 2014, Lansing State Journal: “While the statewide high school graduation rate was up slightly in 2013, Lansing officials were celebrating significant increases at Eastern and Everett high schools and a small uptick at Sexton…”

Parents as Scholars Program – Maine

First a parent, then a scholar: How this Maine woman finally completed college, By Luisa Deprez and Sandy Butler, February 21, 2014, Bangor Daily News: “One-third of American women are living at or near the brink of poverty, often working low-income jobs and raising their children, according to a recent Shriver Report. It underscores the well-established fact that higher education is essential to lifting women out of poverty. But access to education is often difficult…”

Growing Number of Charter Schools

  • Charter schools a growing trend, By Gabrielle Russon, August 25, 2013, Herald Tribune: “With charter school enrollment booming across Florida, nine groups are seeking to capitalize on the trend by opening new charters in Southwest Florida. Six groups in Sarasota County and three in Manatee County have applied to start charter schools in the 2014-15 year. The statewide deadline to submit applications for next school year passed earlier this month.Throughout Florida, the number of charter schools is on the rise, jumping from 579 in 2012-13 to an estimated 625 this year, or by 8 percent, according to the state’s Department of Education…”
  •  New crop of charter schools opens doors, By Jennifer Smith Richards, August 26, 2013, The Columbus Dispatch: “About a third of the new charter schools set to open this fall in Ohio are opening in Columbus. There are 17 new schools approved to open here, including schools with single-gender classes, an online/in-person hybrid and another that teaches courses in construction. Statewide, 52 charters are allowed to open. It’s the largest number of new schools in the past three years, according to the Ohio Department of Education. For the start of the 2011 and 2012 school years, 35 and 33 new schools opened, respectively.Some of the new charters in central Ohio target neighborhoods without close-by schools. Some want to serve a particular type of student — inner city and poor, for example. And at least one is opening anew after just having been shut down for poor performance…”

Wealth Gap and Education

Wealth gap limits equality of educationBy Megan Woolhouse, July 5, 2013, Boston Globe: “High-income families are spending more time and money than ever on their children’s education, further widening the gulf between rich and poor students, according to a new report. High-income families have always invested more in education, but they now spend seven times more a year on average than a low-income family, up from four times in the 1970s, according to the report, coauthored by MIT economics professor Michael Greenstone. These families now spend as much as $9,000 annually on private tutoring, SAT prep courses, computers, and other activities, compared with about $1,300 for low-income families. The advantages that money can buy on tests and college applications have become so great that they threaten to undermine the American ideal of education as the great leveler that enables anyone who works hard to succeed, regardless of income level, the report said. In a knowledge-based economy that increasingly rewards education and skill, the report added, these growing educational disparities could further widen the income gap between rich and poor. . .”