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10-21-16 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Interactive Map: Many Poor Kids Still Miss Free Breakfast In NJ

Advocates urge schools to shift to serving meals after the start of school day

More students ate breakfast at school last April than in any of the prior six years, but 300,000 low-income students who are eligible to get breakfast still don't, a new report shows.

Advocates for Children of New Jersey released its annual report on the school breakfast program Thursday. Titled “Healthy Food, Strong Kids,” the report shows a 4 percent increase in the number of low-income students getting a free or low-cost breakfast at school in April 2016 compared with 2015. Since 2010, that number has risen by 77 percent. That increase has led to a doubling of the amount of federal aid schools get to provide that meal to an estimated $98 million in the current fiscal year.

The report also found that more children are likely receiving summer meals than in the past, as the number of sites providing these meals across the state rose by more than 20 percent in just the last year, to 1,350 this past summer.

Still, these nutrition programs and an afterschool meals program, are underutilized in many high-poverty areas.

“The good news is that childhood hunger is a solvable problem,” said Cecilia Zalkind, ACNJ's president and CEO. “But it requires a concerted community response rooted in leadership, partnership, and the willingness to do things differently.”

ACNJ's report states that 340,000 New Jersey children face hunger each year, and schools and communities should do more to access federal child nutrition programs and get more nourishment to the state's children.

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/10/20/interactive-map-many-poor-kids-still-miss-free-breakfast-in-nj/#

Colleen O'Dea | October 21, 2016

 

The Record--Lawmakers say they'll introduce student accident insurance measure

Two state legislators didn’t waste any time addressing the Paterson Public Schools’ elimination of student accident insurance.

State Sen. Paul A. Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) and Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-Paterson) announced in a joint statement Thursday afternoon that they will introduce legislation requiring public schools in New Jersey to provide accident and injury insurance for students who participate in school sports and other extracurricular activities.

Their initiative came in response to an article published Thursday in The Record that detailed the financial burden Paterson parents must absorb if their son or daughter is injured playing a sport for the city’s schools, or while participating in such extracurricular activities as a field trip or recess.

“The schools have a responsibility to protect and care for their students,” said Sarlo, who is active in youth sports and was a three-sport athlete at Wood-Ridge. “These are school-sponsored events, where the students are competing on teams that represent their schools and in extracurricular activities that are part of their education. If they get hurt or injured in the process, they need to get treated, and their parents shouldn’t be forced to pay the bills.

“That would be an abandonment of the schools’ responsibilities.”

Student accident insurance was eliminated by the Paterson Public Schools for this school year when its budget was finalized in the spring. Many school districts in New Jersey carry student accident insurance provided by Whippany-based Bollinger Specialty Group.

http://www.northjersey.com/sports/lawmakers-say-they-ll-introduce-student-accident-insurance-measure-1.1680925

By KEITH IDEC|STAFF WRITER | The Record

 

Philadelphia Inquirer--Free associate's degrees coming for some Phila. H.S. students

Some city students will soon be able to earn associate's degrees along with their high school diplomas, as the Philadelphia School District launches its first middle college high school.

Beginning in September, 125 students at Parkway Center City will take courses at that high school as well as at Community College of Philadelphia.

The program is aimed at teens who would become the first in their families to attend college.

Students will have the opportunity to earn up to 61 college credits by the time they graduate from high school - enough for an associate's degree. They can also earn certificates in entrepreneurship and in computer programming and software development.

Families will pay nothing for the courses or students' books and materials; the school system projects it will spend $3.3 million over four years.

Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. has wanted to bring a middle college to Philadelphia since he arrived in 2012; he previously launched one in Prince George's County, Md.

"This is an important step," Hite said Wednesday. "Middle college provides a unique opportunity to provide children with access to a very different type of learning opportunity."

Any city student with strong grades, a good behavior record, and strong standardized test scores may apply for admission to the program. Candidates must sit for an interview and agree to attend a summer program prior to their freshman year.

http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20161020_Free_associate_s_degrees_coming_for_some_Phila__H_S__students.html

Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer| Updated: October 20, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT

 

Education Week--Ed. Dept. Releases Guidance on Early-Learning Support in ESSA

In guidance to states released Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education outlines ways that states and districts can use federal funds to support young learners through the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The guidance notes that early-education support is woven throughout the law, which is the successor to the No Child Left Behind Act. For example, for the first time, the law explicitly allows federal funds to be used to train school administrators in the best ways to support educators who work with students through age 8.

Other early-learning initiatives that can be paid for through federal funds include:

  • Training early-learning teachers to support English-language learners in developing English proficiency and academic readiness;
  • Updating and aligning certification and licensing standards for early-childhood educators, including administrators working with young children from preschool through 3rd grade;
  • Providing support and ongoing training to early-learning teachers on the interactive use of technology for enhancing classroom instruction and reaching out to families;
  • Ensuring regular observations of early-learning classrooms to improve teachers' effectiveness in creating high-quality instructional, social, and emotional climates.

The guidance also describes the new Preschool Development Grant program. The current grant program supports 18 states that are either starting, or improving, their preschool programs.

The grant program started before the new law was passed. And, though states will still have access to money to improve preschool, ESSA limits the federal government's role in creating rules that states must follow to get grant dollars. 

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/early_years/2016/10/ed_dept_releases_guidance_on_early-learning_support_in_essa.html?_ga=1.102037381.503518935.1451996967

 

By Christina Samuels on October 20, 2016 10:36 AM


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