Renascence School Education News - private school

Monday, March 30, 2015

How much does college really cost? Less than you might think

The Seattle Times – Katherine Long

“Hardly a week passes without the release of some new report that discusses the extraordinary growth in the cost of higher education. Lost in the debate is one caveat: A majority of students get some sort of financial aid, which makes the cost of going to college less than many think. That’s one of the takeaways from a report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a federal agency that compiles education data. Most reports about escalating college costs focus on the so-called “sticker price.” But as the published prices have skyrocketed, so has the amount of aid available to low-income students. The study reports that many Americans believe college is too expensive, and some see it as prohibitively so. But for a more realistic look at the cost, it’s important to factor in financial aid (which can dramatically lower the price for some families) and the total cost of living expenses (not just tuition).”(more)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Education funding gaps: Which states are hitting, missing the mark?

The Christian Science Monitor – Stacy Teicher Khadaroo

“While the debate rages over the federal budget and how much will go to K-12 schools, states and localities supply the biggest share of education dollars – about 87 percent on average. But is that money distributed fairly to the students who need it most? School districts that serve the most students in poverty receive an average of $1,200, or 10 percent, less per student in state and local funding than districts with few students in poverty, according to a report released Thursday by The Education Trust released Thursday by The Education Trust (Ed Trust), a group in Washington that advocates for closing economic and racial inequities in schools. The resource gap grows to $2,200 when adjusting to account for an estimated 40 percent higher cost to educate high-poverty students, the report notes. “We know that money is not the only thing that matters for student success, but at the same time, inequities in funding underlie a whole lot of other inequities in our school systems,” says Natasha Ushomirsky, the report’s co-author.”(more)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How To Make the Most of the Single Best College Tax Break

Time – Kim Clark

“Nearly 2 million Americans pay too much in taxes because of confusion over education benefits. Here’s how to avoid that mistake. Back in January President Obama proposed consolidating many overlapping education tax benefits, a plan that appears long dead. Too bad, since millions of taxpayers make mistakes writing off education expenses on their 1040s and pay hundreds in unnecessary taxes as a result. A 2012 Government Accountability Office report found that education tax breaks were so complicated and poorly understood that 1.5 million families who were eligible for one failed to claim it and overpaid their taxes by more than $450 a year. Another 275,000 families were so confused that they opted for the wrong benefit and overpaid by an average of $284.”(more)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How Would Students Spend the Principal’s Money?

Time – Matt Cohen and Daniel Schugurensky

“A Phoenix high school’s experiment shows that kids can prioritize and collaborate when their education is at stake. During the 2013-14 school year, Quintin Boyce, the principal of Bioscience, a public high school in Phoenix, took a portion of his discretionary budget and told students they could decide how it was spent. He set no rules, except that the projects should benefit the school community. He knew many things could go wrong, but trusted that the students were going to assign those resources with responsibility and fairness. This was a historic experiment – to the best of our knowledge, it was the first time that American high school students had used a process called participatory budgeting that we, as scholars of participatory democracy, have studied. But the Bioscience budgeting was more than history – it was an answer to the broader problem of participation.”(more)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Life Is Taxing… Teaching Your Kids Real Financial Facts

Forbes – Neale Godfrey

“That time of year is upon us. Yes, it’s tax season! We always seem shocked by the fact that tax-time has crept up on us so unexpectedly. Nevertheless, Benjamin Franklin once reminded us that, “In this world nothing is sure but death and taxes.” Paying taxes is real and it is the law, according to the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, if you don’t pay, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has right to go after you or your estate to get what is owed… plus penalties… forever. Paying taxes is also a practice and, frankly, a habit that has to be built into any budget. It is never too early to start that discussion with the next generation, because if you don’t, they may get the wrong impression and feel that they are the victims, as if paying taxes is an injustice. We grumble about taxes this time of year and we need to be conscious of the affect that attitude has on our young children…Learning about money is learning about values, and one of those values is citizenship. Taxes help a country to pay its bills for the services that even rich people could not pay for on their own…The earlier you can start the conversation with the next generation, the easier it will be for them to embrace it, plan for it, and be honest about it.”(more)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

American Technical Training Fund: Creating a Strong Training Pipeline to Middle Class Jobs

Ed.gov – Johan Uvin

“…the President’s FY 2016 budget request includes a proposal to create a new $200 million American Technical Training Fund that would expand innovative, high-quality technical training programs that are aligned with the workforce needs of employers in high-demand industries. This new fund would enable the creation of 100 technical training centers across the country, modeled on the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCAT), which have achieved impressive program completion and job placement rates with many non-traditional postsecondary students. The President’s proposal comes at a time when earning a college certificate or degree has never been more important. In fact, some level of postsecondary education or training has become a prerequisite for joining the middle class. Labor market projections show this trend is only going to increase.”(more)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Shrinking the Education Gap Would Boost the Economy, Study Says

Time – Kevin McSpadden

“Narrowing the education gap between America’s poor and wealthy school children could accelerate the economy and significantly increase government revenues, according to a new study. An improvement in the educational performance of the average student will result in “stronger, more broadly shared economic growth, which in turn raises national income and increases government revenue, providing the means by which to invest in improving our economic future,” says the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.”(more)

ESEA would see $2.7B increase under FY 2016 budget

E-School News – Staff Writer

“President Obama’s FY 2016 budget request includes four focus areas for education, including increasing equity and opportunity for all students; expanding high-quality early learning programs; supporting teachers and school leaders; and improving access, affordability and student outcomes in postsecondary education. Education Technology State Grants would receive $200 million to support models that use technology to help teachers improve instruction and personalize learning for students.”(more)

Closing schools not the answer to budget woes

The Star – Cathy Dandy

“Schools must close! This has been the cry for 18 years now as successive provincial governments continue to create a crisis in order to extract money from the education budget. School boards, easy targets because of some dysfunctional trustee antics, are attacked. “Under-enrolled! Inefficient use of resources!” cry the mandarins who developed the formula to measure school use. In these hard financial times, when the provincial government is facing billion-dollar deficits, these arguments might sound rational. But the funding formula that drives the provincial hand-wringing has two major flaws — there is no evidence to suggest the numbers are in the best interests of students, and the numbers ignore the fact that these schools are a community investment. The funding formula was created to pay for a certain number of square feet containing a teacher and 30 students and that’s it..”(more)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Testing Costs a Drop in the Bucket

Education Next – Matthew M. Chingos

“The cost of standardized tests, long assailed by testing critics as too high, has resurfaced in the debate over reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act currently underway in Congress. The National Education Association (NEA) has argued that funds spent on testing could be “better spent on high-quality early childhood education, health care, after-school programs, and support services.” Recently, the New Jersey Education Association released poll results indicating that a majority of voters and parents think that “too much money is spent on testing.” Testing critics usually point to estimates of total spending on assessments; a commonly cited figure—$1.7 billion spent by states each year—comes from a report I wrote in 2012. [1] But what these claims always miss is that, however calculated, spending on testing is barely a drop in the bucket of a public education system that spends over $600 billion per year.”(more)