Important Children and Youth stories gathered from around the USA.
State K-12 Education Funding Down: A newly released Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report shows that public investment in K-12 schools – crucial for communities to thrive and the U.S. economy to offer broad opportunity – has declined dramatically in a number of states over the last decade. At least 23 states will provide less general funding in the current school year than when the Great Recession took hold in 2008. Eight states have cut general funding per student by about 10% or more over this period, and five of those eight enacted income tax rate cuts costing tens or hundreds of millions of dollars each year rather than restore education funding.
Do Low-Income Students Have Equal Access to Effective Teachers?: A new DoEd report examines whether low-income students are taught by less effective teachers than high-income students and if so, whether reducing this inequity would close the student achievement gap. The study found small inequities in teacher effectiveness between low- and high-income students. However, in a small subset of districts, there is meaningful inequity in access to effective teachers in math where providing equal access to effective teachers over a five year period would reduce the math achievement gap by at least a tenth of a standard deviation of student achievement, the equivalent of about 4 percentile points. The report also finds patterns of teacher hiring and transfers that are consistent with small inequities in teacher effectiveness while teacher attrition is not.
Study Highlights Promising Practices, Challenges in Offering Family Ed: Researchers found that 85% of married and unmarried couples randomly assigned to the HHS Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education (HMRE) programs attended at least one session of a workshop designed to support and strengthen their relationships. About 65% attended at least half of the sessions. The programs encouraged workshop participation by proactively addressing barriers to attendance—helping with transportation and child care, offering scheduling flexibility, and giving participants opportunities to make up missed sessions. The strong participation may have also resulted in part from the programs’ restrictions on unmarried couples’ eligibility: programs sought to enroll only couples who reported being in a committed relationship.
DoEd Looks at Kindergarten Entry Assessments: A new DoEd study examined how many public schools nationwide used kindergarten entry assessments (KEAs). The sample consisted of 9,370 kindergarten students attending 640 public schools. Schools that used KEAs were compared to schools that did not in terms of enrollment, student body demographics, and other characteristics. Overall, 73% of public schools offering kindergarten classes reported that they used KEAs. Among schools using KEAs, 93% stated that individualizing instruction was one purpose, and 80% cited multiple purposes. Schools’ reported use of KEAs did not have a statistically significant relationship with students’ early reading or mathematics achievement in spring of the kindergarten year after controlling for student and school characteristics.
Total K-12 Education funding Increases; The amount of money spent, per pupil, in public elementary and secondary schools rose to $11,066 in FY 2014, according to a new First Look report. That is a 1.2% increase over the previous year (FY 2013), after adjusting for inflation. In FY 2014, total revenues per pupil averaged $12,460 nationally, an increase of 1.1% from FY 2013. At the state level, current expenditures per pupil ranged from $6,546 in Utah to $20,577 in the District of Columbia. This First Look contains national and state totals of revenues and expenditures for public elementary and secondary education for school year 2013-14. This First Look includes revenues by source and expenditures by function and object, including current expenditures per pupil and instructional expenditures per pupil.
ACT/ SAT Test Prep Coaching Programs Can Help: Student preparation programs were found to have positive effects on general academic achievement (high school) for high school students, with a medium to large extent of evidence, according to the What Works Clearinghouse at DoEd. In the six studies that reported findings, the estimated impact of the intervention on outcomes in the general academic high school achievement was positive because three studies show statistically significant positive effects and no studies show statistically significant or substantively negative effects. Test preparation programs—sometimes referred to as test coaching
programs—have been implemented with the goal of increasing student
scores on college entrance tests.
Impact of Race to the Top Grants on Student Achievement Not Clear: Researchers could find no clear evidence that the $4.35 billion in DoEd Race to the Top grants improved student achievement. Through three rounds of competition in 2010 and 2011, RTT awarded grants to states that agreed to implement a range of education policies and practices designed to improve student outcomes. However, the relationship between RTT and student outcomes was not clear, as trends in test scores could be plausibly interpreted as providing evidence of either a positive, negative, or null effect for RTT, the study finds.
Report Shows SNAP Supports Children: A newly released Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report shows the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) delivers more nutrition assistance to low-income children than any other, making it the nation’s largest child nutrition program. In 2016, SNAP will help about 20 million children each month — about one in four U.S. children — while providing about $30 billion in nutrition benefits for children over the course of the year. The CBPP paper shows that while SNAP provides only a modest benefit, it forms a critical foundation for the health and well-being of America’s children, lifting millions of families and their children out of poverty and improving food security. Research shows that its support can have important long-lasting effects.
Most Wealthy Americans Plan to Give More to Charity: A report from U.S. Trust and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy finds that 91% of high-net-worth U.S. households donated an average of $25,509 to charity in 2015, while 83% plan to give as much or more over the next three years, Based on a survey of nearly 1,500 households with a net worth of $1 million or more and/or an annual household income of $200,000 or more, the 2016 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy found that women, African Americans, and younger high-net-worth individuals (age 50 and under) were more likely than others to say they plan to increase their giving over the next three years.
Minority Youth More Financially Vulnerable Than Whites, Survey Finds: Young African American and Hispanic adults feel more vulnerable to unexpected financial challenges than do young white adults, a survey conducted by the Black Youth Project (BYP). Part of the GenForward survey series, a monthly, nationally representative study of 1,851 racially and ethnically diverse adults between the ages of 18 and 30, the survey found that 77% of young African-American adults, 76% of young Asian-American adults, 70% of young Latino adults, and 58% of young white adults believe that white Americans have an advantage when it comes to getting ahead economically. And when asked whether they would have difficulty coming up with $1,000 to pay an unexpected bill, 50% of young whites said they would have a lot of difficulty, compared with 59% of African Americans and 64% of Latinos.
Info: https://goo.gl/FFgtGo (report).