Thursday, June 1, 2017

Jeff Bryant Welcome to the Opportunity Network Update!

6/1/2017 – Our School Funding Crisis Has A Cause: Bad Leadership:

Jeff Bryant Welcome to the Opportunity Network Update!
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 Education Opportunity Network -


THIS WEEK: Americans Want Integration … Pre-K Inequity … College Debt Fiasco … Beware ‘Pay For Success’ … DeVos Chooses Discrimination

TOP STORY

Our School Funding Crisis Has A Cause: Bad Leadership

By Jeff Bryant

“State lawmakers’ inability to do basic arithmetic is having painful impacts on schools, teachers, and children … Research consistently shows there is a direct correlation between what we spend on schools to how well our students perform on achievement tests and other measures … Surveys show Americans are generally willing to pay higher taxes to for education, especially if the money is used to pay teachers more and improve facilities and technology. Yet, political leaders continue to slash taxes instead and redirect more funds to unfounded experiments like charter schools and voucher programs.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Most Americans Want To See More School Integration As Trump Destroys Existing Efforts

The Huffington Post

“Schools are still divided along fault lines of race and class. And a majority of Americans today want this to change … 70% of Americans support the economic integration of schools, even as the Trump administration just ended one of the federal government’s few programs promoting such efforts … About 100 districts across the country are making concerted efforts to diversify schools economically, a number that is up from 40 districts in 2007 … Nearly half of the country’s low-income students – 40% – attend schools characterized by high rates of concentrated poverty.”
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A Record Number Of Kids Now Attend Public Preschool, So Why Has Inequality Grown?

PBS Newshour

“While a record number of states are providing public preschool … inequality has grown over the last decade, as access to pre-K and the quality of the programs themselves vary significantly from state to state … 24 states, mostly Texas and California, have increased spending on public preschool. This 8% or $7.4 billion increase in state-funding demonstrates that a growing number of states have come to place a value on early learning … Several studies over the years have shown that in order for kids to see longer-term benefits into elementary school and beyond, pre-K programs must be of a high-quality.”
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Americans Are Paying $38 To Collect $1 Of Student Debt

Bloomberg

“The federal government has, in recent years, paid debt collectors close to $1 billion annually to help distressed borrowers climb out of default … Much of that money may have been wasted … Debt collectors receive up to $1,710 in payment from the U.S. Department of Education each time a borrower makes good on soured debt … They keep those funds even if borrowers subsequently default again … More than 40% of these borrowers defaulted again within three years … Even when borrowers don’t default, debt collection efforts often yield little … The Education Department is paying its debt collectors up to $1,710 per borrower to collect around $45.”
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Why “Pay For Success” Financing Could Cost Taxpayers More Than They Bargained For

In These Times

“Philanthropists, financiers, and policy leaders have helped elevate the Pay for Success model quickly over the past few years … Pay for Success can leave taxpayers paying substantially more than if their governments had just funded programs directly, cement narratives of fiscal austerity and incentivize misguided social outcome … The Obama administration laid the groundwork for Pay for Success, paving the way for its potential expansion under Trump … Two Pay for Success preschool programs have launched, neither of which could yet credibly be called successful.”
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Betsy DeVos Wants To Take Money From Poor Kids And Give It To Schools That Could Discriminate Against Them

The Progressive

Jeff Bryant writes, “In Washington, DC, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was called to defend to Congress the Trump administration’s education budget which cuts education options for poor kids and increases options for parents to leave public schools … Both Republicans and Democrats expressed concerns with cuts in federal support … But the sharpest exchanges with the Secretary focused on the budget’s significant funding increases for alternatives to public schools … Democratic Representatives were especially concerned, not only with the repurposing of Title I money to create school choice options, including vouchers, but also about the kind of schools the money would be permitted to go to.”
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