Study Looks at Major Growth in Child SSI Caseloads: A Mathematica Policy Research study, “The Child SSI Program and the Changing Safety Net,” examines state and county variations in child Supplemental Security Income (SSI) caseloads for the most recent year in which data are available (2013), as well as state variations in child SSI caseload growth from 1998 to 2013. During this period, there were no major changes in child SSI eligibility requirements, yet child SSI caseloads grew by 45% nationally. The maps suggest clustering of program participation, which varies substantially across and within states and often spans state lines. Although the analysis cannot determine the specific factors driving the SSI caseload growth, it does indicate that regional, state, and local factors appear to play an important role in the geographic variation in program growth.
DoEd Issues New Guidance on Title IX: DoEd’s Office for Civil Rights releases a guidance package emphasizing the responsibility of school districts, colleges and universities to designate a Title IX coordinator. The package also contains an overview of the law’s requirements in several key areas, including athletics, single-sex education, sex-based harassment, and discipline. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. Since the issuance of Title IX regulations in 1975, school districts, colleges, and universities receiving federal financial assistance from the Department of Education have been required to designate at least one employee to coordinate the recipient’s compliance with Title IX.
Underperforming Schools Offered New School Turnaround Website: DoEd launches a new, redesigned School Turnaround Learning Community website. It that offers a range of free resources and opportunities to help underperforming schools get back on track. The site is now a project of the Center on School Turnaround at WestEd. The center provides technical assistance and shares research-based practices and emerging promising practices to help states in turning around their lowest-performing schools. The site offers interactive webinars, resource collections, a Turnaround in Action blog, and a resource library to help users address the complexities of school improvement work.
Free or reduced price lunch: A proxy for poverty?: The percentage of students receiving free or reduced price lunch is often used as a proxy measure for the percentage of students living in poverty, according to a posting on the new National Center for Education Statistics blog. While the percentage of students receiving free or reduced price lunch can provide some information about relative poverty, it should not be confused with the actual percentage of students in poverty enrolled in school. For example, in 2012, just over half of public school children were eligible for free/reduced price lunches, compared to the actually poverty rate of 22%. The difference is that the free/reduced price lunches is more inclusive, allowing more student to qualify even though they may fall above the federal poverty threshold, the researchers note.