Tag Archives: education

Too Close To Home: Let’s Not Kid Around About Child Poverty

A third of our nation’s children reside in homes defined as poor, where the household income is below 60% of the national median income for 2008, or $31,000. In other countries, this annual income is a fortune, but in this country, a family that survives on $31,000 per year places their children on a pathway to adult poverty, if not homelessness.

More Women are Retiring into Poverty

These broken women on our streets are signs of our broken society. Retiring to our streets should not be allowed.

School Kids and Homelessness Should Not Mix

Unfortunately, 1.1 million American school children call homeless shelters, vehicles on the streets, and even the streets, home. They certainly won’t be bringing apples to their teachers. The barriers that homelessness imposes upon school kids are significant.

Lowering Standards is the Wrong way to Increase Outcomes

Measurements are often given meaning relative to thresholds. Someone is housed or unhoused, poor or not poor, by some definition. Yet these thresholds are arbitrary, and open to debate and manipulation. While one might think there would be agreement on what homeless means, especially since it is a word that almost defines itself, there is considerable argument over its definition with significant policy consequences.

As the social sector struggles to measure its impact and make the case that real progress is being made, the LA Unified School District (LAUSD) might have found the easiest and most fool proof way of increasing graduation rates; lower graduation standards. The LAUSD is facing a dropout crisis, and like many social sector organizations, whether government or non-profit, is feeling the pressure to improve outcomes based on a set of measurable indicators. For schools, a fairly important indicator is graduating students.

TANF Mothers Give Expert Advice on Program Reform

Some Capitol Hill staffers and other interested parties, including yours truly, got an earful on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program from experts who know it well — five current and former “welfare mothers.”

As I’ve mentioned before, TANF is overdue for reauthorization, i.e., a thoroughgoing review and revision of the law that allows the federal government to spend money on the program and establishes its basic rules.

Homeless College Students Encounter Real Life Tests

When you walk into your dorm room for the first time as a college student, or onto campus for your inaugural class, you feel like you are crossing the threshold of an exciting new future.

Hanging out in the student union all night, heading back to your dorm or apartment at any hour, and writing dissertations on real life issues that you are passionate about are central parts of the college experience. The freedom, the understanding that you are building a foundation for an amazing career is at the core of higher education.

House Bill Threatens Pell Grants for More than Half a Million Low-Income Students

Everything we know about the job market tells us that a college degree is a passport to employment that provides a decent wage, plus benefits like paid leave, health insurance and a retirement plan.

That doesn’t mean everyone with a college degree will get a well paying job. It does, however, mean that most without a college education won’t.

College Students are not Supposed to Become Homeless

The email was sort of cryptic, but certainly from a person who was educated. Of course the grammar was nearly perfect. The origin of the email address was UCLA. Our homeless agency had just received an electronic plea for housing from an about-to-be-homeless student at one of California’s prestigious higher education institutions, home of Nobel […]

Ensuring the Poor Know Their Insurance Options

I had the privilege of attending the inauguration ceremony of new California state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones in Sacramento on Monday night. Amongst the new Insurance Commissioner’s top priorities for California is the creation of an educational outreach program that helps educate under-served areas on affordable insurance options. One such option in California is the […]

For Low-Income Students, Getting a College Degree is More Elusive than Simply Getting In

For many people and organizations, college admission is regarded as the holy grail of educational equity. If students get to college, then they have “made it.” This is far from the reality, especially for low-income students and minorities. While it is true that graduating from high school and being admitted to college are important accomplishments, […]