Home Visits Help Parents Overcome Tough Histories, Raise Healthy Children

Rosendo Gil, a family support worker with the Imperial County, Calif., home visiting program, has visited Blas Lopez and his fiancée Lluvia Padilla dozens of times since their daughter was born three years ago.

Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News


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Rosendo Gil, a family support worker with the Imperial County, Calif., home visiting program, has visited Blas Lopez and his fiancée Lluvia Padilla dozens of times since their daughter was born three years ago.

Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News

Seated at a kitchen table in a cramped apartment, Rosendo Gil asks the parents sitting across from him what they should do if their daughter catches a cold.

Blas Lopez, 29, and his fiancée, Lluvia Padilla, 28, are quick with the answer: Check her temperature and call the doctor if she has a fever they can’t control.

“I’m very proud of both of you knowing what to do,” Gil says, as 3-year-old Leilanie Lopez plays with a pretend kitchen nearby.

Padilla says that’s not a question they could have answered when Leilanie was born. “We were asking question after question after question,” she recalls.

Gil, who worked as a nurse in his native Mexico, is now a family support worker with the Imperial County Home Visiting Program. He has visited the El Centro, Calif., family dozens of times since Leilanie’s birth. At each visit, Gil teaches the couple a little more about child development and helps them cope with the stresses of work, school, relationships and parenting.

Gil and other home visitors around the nation face a daunting task: to help new parents raise healthy children and overcome poverty, substance abuse, depression and domestic violence.

Home visiting organizations operated out of the national limelight for decades until the Affordable Care Act created a nationwide program in 2010 to support them. The federal Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program now awards $400 million in annual grants to help new families with young children and couples who are expecting.

The Imperial County, Calif., program serves roughly 100 families with its $630,000 annual budget from the federal government. Nationwide, federally-funded home visitors reached 160,000 parents and children in 2016, according to the Health Resources Services Administration.

Funding for the program is set to expire at the end of September unless Congress acts to reauthorize it. With the deadline looming, advocates and providers are urging federal lawmakers to reauthorize it for five more years at double the current funding level. Two bills are pending in the House.

“Expiration is just not an option,” says Diedra Henry-Spires, chief executive officer of the nonprofit advocacy organization Dalton Daley Group and one of the leaders of the nationwide Home Visiting Coalition. “Too many families are relying on these services across the country.”

Rosendo Gil plays with 3-year-old Leilanie Lopez. He’s encouraged her parents to read to her every day.

Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News


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Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News

Rosendo Gil plays with 3-year-old Leilanie Lopez. He’s encouraged her parents to read to her every day.

Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News

Studies have shown that home visiting programs get results – they help reduce child abuse and neglect and improve child and maternal health, for example. Researchers say home visiting also saves money that would otherwise be spent later on the child welfare system, special education, medical care and other services.

Organizations that provide home visits fear that some programs may have to reduce the number of families they serve, while others may have to close altogether if the funding is not renewed in time.

Chicago-based Healthy Families America sends social workers, nurses and others into homes in 35 states. Its national director, Cydney Wessel, hears from many participants who say they want to avoid the mistakes their own parents made and raise their children in homes without violence or substance abuse.

“Under stressful situations, parents often revert to how they were parented” if they don’t have somebody to help guide them along a different path, Wessel says.

Lopez and Padilla were determined to discipline Leilanie without spanking her. “I don’t want to follow that same pattern,” Padilla says.

The couple credits Gil with teaching them much about babies over the past three years — for example, that holding them a lot doesn’t make them clingy. Gil recently brought Leilanie a book called “Mommy’s Best Kisses,” reiterating to the parents the importance of reading to her every day.

“He’s like a friend,” says Lopez, a former migrant worker who is studying to get his high school diploma. “We have counted on him.”

Gil has also helped the couple live on their own and communicate better with each other, Lopez says. He helped them find services when Leilanie’s speech was delayed and encouraged Lopez, who has Crohn’s disease, to take his medicine.

Rosendo Gil, who was a nurse in his native Mexico, works to build trust with all of his clients. Blas Lopez and Lluvia Padilla say Gil has taught them how to better care for their daughter and themselves.

Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News


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Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News

Rosendo Gil, who was a nurse in his native Mexico, works to build trust with all of his clients. Blas Lopez and Lluvia Padilla say Gil has taught them how to better care for their daughter and themselves.

Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News

Gil says it is crucial to gain the trust of his clients, which he sometimes does by telling them about his own alcoholic father or the challenges he faced raising his daughters. “It opens the door,” says Gil.

And over time, he sees changes and feels grateful he played a part.

“I see parents going back to work and back to school,” he says. “I see parents breaking the cycle on substance abuse. I see families becoming role models to other families. … This is so great to see.”

Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit health newsroom whose stories appear in news outlets nationwide, is an editorially independent part of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Attorney asks state Supreme Court to block textbook funding to private schools

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Santa Rosa school district seeks Title 1, STEM assistance

MILTON — The Santa Rosa County School District has requested funds in the form of three separate grants for the 2017-2018 school year.

Karen Barber, the director of federal programs, submitted an application for the Title 1, Part A Grant for Disadvantaged Children and Youth, a continuation grant that provides supplemental services to 20 Title I public schools and two Title I private schools within the district. The grant also provides funding for the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics Innovate Initiative.

The grant provides funds for maintenance and enhancement of school-wide reading and math reform to increase the following activities: the amount and quality of learning time for students in grades K-12; the percentage of teachers participating in high quality professional development; and parent involvement, according to the grant synopsis.

The grant will fund the purchase of researched-based materials and instructional technology to ensure the increase of student proficiency in reading and math and increase graduation rate and successful transition to college and career. Grant funds are also allocated to provide supporting services to students who qualify for Neglected and Delinquent and/or Homeless Education Services, according to the grant synopsis.

The funds requested by the school district for this grant are $4,610,943; the amount of the grant last year was $4,316,614.

Charlin Knight, the director of workforce education, submitted an application for the Carl D. Perkins Secondary Grant and the Carl D. Perkins Postsecondary Grant. These grants are used to provide students within the school district with the academic and technical skills needed to be successful in a knowledge and skills based economy, according to the grant synopsis.

These federal resources help ensure that career and technical programs are academically rigorous and up-to-date with the needs of the regional business and industry; the funds also support innovation and expand access to quality career and technical education programs, according to the grant synopsis.

The funds requested by the school district for the secondary grant are $203,557; the amount of the grant last year was $202,785. The funds requested for the post secondary grant are $54,286, which is the same as the amount received last year. No funds are required from the school board.

Jeff Sessions Wants To Undermine College Access For Blacks and Latinos

Jeff Sessions. Photo: Gage Skidmore–Flickr

[Comment]

Then President Lyndon B. Johnson knew the importance of correcting the historical injustices of slavery when he spoke at Howard University on June 4, 1965: “You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, and do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please. You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘You are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair. Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.”

In a perfect America founded and operating on colorblind meritocracy, admission to selective institutions of higher learning, boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies and access to federal contracts would be determined solely by ability, skill and talent, never having to take into consideration race or gender—and certainly never having to take into consideration a moral, national imperative to redress wrongs rooted in a long history of slavery, sexism, structural racism and prejudice.

But as we all know, that is not the America we call home.

We live in an America that has –at some points more fervently than others– perpetually strived for the elusive ideals of freedom, liberty and justice—for all. But as we collectively labor through the mud of inequality and the residue of injustice that disproportionately effects communities of color and women, it is at best cynical and at worst callous that the very federal agency charged with addressing the impact of discrimination on historically disadvantaged groups is now, under the direction of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, preparing to attack those laws, policies and guidelines set in place to end and correct the effects of a discrimination and “improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups and women.”

According to a leaked memo, the Department of Justice is planning to redirect resources from its civil rights division to investigate and sue universities that use “intentional race-based discrimination” in their admissions process because of its purported negative effects on Asian-American applicants. But let’s be clear, this is an attack on equality and education for marginalized groups.

This brazen, transparent, counterproductive assault on affirmative action, coupled with other proposed initiatives, would seal the door of opportunity shut for millions of Americans.

The Trump administration has proposed slashing the Department of Education’s funding by over $9 billion; withholding much needed federal money from high-poverty public schools; and reducing funding for federal work-study and Pell Grants, making it harder for lower income and Black and Hispanic students to afford higher education.

In a nation where education is the most effective tool most of us have to climb the American ladder of success, and is practically synonymous with opportunity and achievement, the executive branch of our government appears driven to keep those who can least afford it away from a quality education at all phases of schooling.

There are a lot of myths out there about affirmative action. The most prevalent one—the one that fires up the aggrieved Trump base—is that hordes of Black and Brown applicants are taking away opportunities rightfully earned by better-qualified white applicants.

The truth is, according to the latest data, the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action have been white women. And though the administration insists it is motivated by a sense of fairness, no attention is being paid to the growing advantage socioeconomic and legacy status play in college admissions.

Like race or gender, many selective universities consider an applicant’s legacy status as a factor in the admissions process, which puts students from marginalized, low-income and underrepresented communities at a distinct disadvantage. A 2011 Chronicle of Higher Education study found that a legacy connection gave an applicant a 23.3 percentage point advantage over a non-legacy applicant. And applicants whose parent attended the school gained an average advantage close to 50 percentage points.

That our universities and workplaces review candidates through a race- and/or gender-conscious lens is an acknowledgement of the outsized role racism and sexism currently plays and has historically played in our nation’s history. The Supreme Court has ruled—time and again—that schools, in particular, have the right and “compelling interest” to use race in a limited way to achieve a diverse student body.

The goal is not to disadvantage any group, but to recognize and attempt to remedy centuries of injustice.

The National Urban League unequivocally condemns any effort by the Department of Justice to undermine the still necessary role of affirmative action in college admissions, taking us back to a time when African Americans, women and other marginalized groups did not have equal and fair access to higher education or employment.

I look forward to the day when a man or woman will neither be preferred nor penalized based on gender, color or socioeconomic class.

Perhaps affirmative action, as a lasting solution, is complex and imperfect, but so is the nation we call home.

Narc H. Morial

President and CEO
National Urban League

Trump’s needless cuts put pregancy prevention program at risk

Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017 | 2 a.m.

Add teenage girls and young women to the list of Americans whose health and welfare have been placed at risk by the Trump administration.

A program aimed at empowering teens to avoid unplanned pregnancies and protect themselves from sexually-transmitted diseases is in danger of being curtailed or possibly even eliminated, and the administration’s conservative political ideology is the key culprit.

In June, 81 local governments and health organizations were notified that federal Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program grant funding was being cut as of the next fiscal year. Among those receiving notification was the Southern Nevada Health District, whose program provides information to hundreds of girls and young women per year on safe sexual and reproductive practices — and which places particular emphasis on serving at-risk, disadvantaged local residents.

The grant funding, which is awarded over five-year periods with funds delivered annually, was created by Congress and implemented by the Obama administration in 2010. SNHD was among the organizations that received funding in the first round of grants and was midway through the round when it learned the grants would be eliminated in June 2018.

So why were the grants axed? No explanation was given, said Xavier Foster, health education supervisor for the SNHD.

But since then, it’s been reported that the department that administers the grants, Health and Human Services, decided to “hit the pause button” because of “weak evidence” that the programs were working any better than sex education curriculum and health services that are currently being offered.

Dig into that explanation a little, and it falls apart. It’s based on evaluations of fewer than half of the 102 grants that were awarded in 2010, and no research on results from the second round of grants. Second, the program was designed to encourage experimentation on approaches to find out which ones were most effective in reaching different groups of teenagers — rural versus urban, younger versus older, etc. So while some innovations may not have worked, it doesn’t mean that the whole program should be shut down.

Most problematic with the explanation is that there’s been a 50 percent national reduction in teens having babies between 2007 and 2015. Why cut a tiny sliver of the federal budget — the grants total about $200 million — when the overall trend is so positive?

Here’s why: conservative politics. Health and Human Services is run by Tom Price, a far-right culture warrior who as a House member from Georgia staunchly opposed federal funding for Planned Parenthood, a family planning program and a rule requiring insurers to cover contraception at no cost to policyholder,s among other things. Another key figure involved is Valerie Huber, the former operate of an abstinence advocacy group, who serves as chief of staff for the assistant secretary who oversees the grants.

In Las Vegas, where the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program operates on a $750,000 annual budget — all of which comes from the grants — the cuts have left officials scrambling to find an alternative source of funding.

At stake are programs such as classes at three juvenile justice detention sites and four probation sites, where participants are given information about reproductive and sexual health and are connected with sources for birth control, family planning services and more.

The classroom curriculum includes instruction on “denial tools,” or strategies that teens can use when they’re being pressured to have sex.

“An example would be when somebody says, ‘You’d have sex with me if you loved me,’” Foster said. “We’d flip that around and say, ‘If you loved me, you wouldn’t be putting me in this situation.’”

The local program also provides classes in schools and offers instruction to parents on how to discuss reproductive issues with their children, among other services.

Losing the program would be “sad and tragic,” Foster said.

“I see the need, and I see the reaction to the engagement,” he said.

Along with cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency budget, rollbacks of protections for workers, sharp reductions in programs for the poor and elderly, and much more, discontinuing the grant is yet another example of how the Trump administration’s assault on Obama’s legacy is putting Americans in jeopardy.

DeVos has the right idea for sparking America’s next education …

American education is at a crossroads. With per pupil spending at record highs, and educational attainment stagnant at best, our return on investment has never been worse. Understanding that reality is undoubtedly the context for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ persisting intention to introduce education choice.

DeVos’ plans are fitting. Every generation or so, reformers grapple with the declining quality of education, and succeed in making some improvements. Too often, those changes merely nibble around the edges, as the entrenched interests of teachers’ unions, administrator associations, and school boards prevent large-scale reform.

Consequently, about once per century — so just twice in American history — there is a movement to refashion the very notion of education in America. The first of these, in the early 1800s, culminated in what we now recognize as our public education system. To this day, Americans should be proud of a system that, in spite of a deeply heterogeneous population, both taught the basics and fostered a unifying vision of the common good.

Unfortunately, the opposite has been true for too long. The second of these “education revolutions,” motivated by the work of John Dewey and William James, has laid the foundation for the current system – a system in which truth is relative, and in which education’s purpose, therefore, is not to cultivate an understanding of the “permanent things,” but to make each student the best, most predictable, well-trained cog in a machine

 

It’s no coincidence that American students have steadily become less religious, less patriotic, and less entrepreneurial: that’s the goal of the Dewey-James-educrat regime.

Consequently, the time has come for the third American education revolution, one in which families have true freedom—and the means to exercise it—in education.

Several principles should guide this reform.

The most important is that families be put back in charge of their children’s education. The pendulum has swung so far in the direction of government control that many teachers and school administrators believe they, not families, know what’s best for children. But this should not surprise us, as nearly a century of Dewey-James philosophy has undermined the family as an important social—and civic—institution.

Second, we must explicitly re-commit to the belief that our education policy focus on children, not “systems.” Too much of the rhetoric from opponents focuses on perpetuating the education bureaucracy. Not surprisingly, as the bureaucracy has increased, educational attainment has decreased—proving the truth of Ronald Reagan’s maxim that “Government doesn’t solve problems; it subsidizes them.”

Third, states, not the federal government, must take the lead in education. This is not only a proper understanding of federalism, but also far more efficient. With too few education dollars actually being spent on instruction, why do we continue to enlarge the federal education bureaucracy?

State policymakers, however, have to grapple with the same dynamics: defenders of the status quo want to maintain their power. Reformers would be wise, therefore, to emphasize that education funding follows the child; it’s not allocated to keep failing schools open, to keep underperforming teachers and administrators employed, or to build fancy buildings. As Secretary DeVos remarked this spring, “we must shift the paradigm to think of education funding as investments made in individual children, not in institutions or buildings.”

Finally, we must remember—including those of us who are choice proponents—that our educators need more freedom as well. In our current, overly-bureaucratized regime, scores of regulations and testing get in the way of our teachers doing what they desire to do: simply teach kids. What an opportunity we have to reject the altar of bureaucracy and help children, parents, and teachers!

To do so, however, will require a comprehensive solution—one that empowers families to find the best educational option for their children; one that frees teachers to teach; one that untethers administrators from endless regulations; and one, most importantly, that provides to children the opportunity to pursue the American Dream.

Right now, we are failing to fulfill that promise. Only by embracing a uniquely American concept—setting education free—can we truly resolve that problem.

Kevin D. Roberts(@KevinRobertsTX), Ph.D., is a longtime educator and executive vice president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a nonprofit group that advocates for limited government.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

New River Community College gets kickstart grant for Pulaski County scholarships

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DeVos has the right idea for sparking America’s next education revolution

American education is at a crossroads. With per pupil spending at record highs, and educational attainment stagnant at best, our return on investment has never been worse. Understanding that reality is undoubtedly the context for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ persisting intention to introduce education choice.

DeVos’ plans are fitting. Every generation or so, reformers grapple with the declining quality of education, and succeed in making some improvements. Too often, those changes merely nibble around the edges, as the entrenched interests of teachers’ unions, administrator associations, and school boards prevent large-scale reform.

Consequently, about once per century — so just twice in American history — there is a movement to refashion the very notion of education in America. The first of these, in the early 1800s, culminated in what we now recognize as our public education system. To this day, Americans should be proud of a system that, in spite of a deeply heterogeneous population, both taught the basics and fostered a unifying vision of the common good.

Unfortunately, the opposite has been true for too long. The second of these “education revolutions,” motivated by the work of John Dewey and William James, has laid the foundation for the current system – a system in which truth is relative, and in which education’s purpose, therefore, is not to cultivate an understanding of the “permanent things,” but to make each student the best, most predictable, well-trained cog in a machine

 

It’s no coincidence that American students have steadily become less religious, less patriotic, and less entrepreneurial: that’s the goal of the Dewey-James-educrat regime.

Consequently, the time has come for the third American education revolution, one in which families have true freedom—and the means to exercise it—in education.

Several principles should guide this reform.

The most important is that families be put back in charge of their children’s education. The pendulum has swung so far in the direction of government control that many teachers and school administrators believe they, not families, know what’s best for children. But this should not surprise us, as nearly a century of Dewey-James philosophy has undermined the family as an important social—and civic—institution.

Second, we must explicitly re-commit to the belief that our education policy focus on children, not “systems.” Too much of the rhetoric from opponents focuses on perpetuating the education bureaucracy. Not surprisingly, as the bureaucracy has increased, educational attainment has decreased—proving the truth of Ronald Reagan’s maxim that “Government doesn’t solve problems; it subsidizes them.”

Third, states, not the federal government, must take the lead in education. This is not only a proper understanding of federalism, but also far more efficient. With too few education dollars actually being spent on instruction, why do we continue to enlarge the federal education bureaucracy?

State policymakers, however, have to grapple with the same dynamics: defenders of the status quo want to maintain their power. Reformers would be wise, therefore, to emphasize that education funding follows the child; it’s not allocated to keep failing schools open, to keep underperforming teachers and administrators employed, or to build fancy buildings. As Secretary DeVos remarked this spring, “we must shift the paradigm to think of education funding as investments made in individual children, not in institutions or buildings.”

Finally, we must remember—including those of us who are choice proponents—that our educators need more freedom as well. In our current, overly-bureaucratized regime, scores of regulations and testing get in the way of our teachers doing what they desire to do: simply teach kids. What an opportunity we have to reject the altar of bureaucracy and help children, parents, and teachers!

To do so, however, will require a comprehensive solution—one that empowers families to find the best educational option for their children; one that frees teachers to teach; one that untethers administrators from endless regulations; and one, most importantly, that provides to children the opportunity to pursue the American Dream.

Right now, we are failing to fulfill that promise. Only by embracing a uniquely American concept—setting education free—can we truly resolve that problem.

Kevin D. Roberts(@KevinRobertsTX), Ph.D., is a longtime educator and executive vice president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a nonprofit group that advocates for limited government.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

Save the Perkins Loan Program … again – Wilkes Barre Times

More than 40 years ago, a young adult with very modest family means began an uncertain journey in higher education. It was fraught with many pitfalls and unknowns as this aspiring collegian was one of 13 children and had to finance his college education on his own through a mixture of loans, grants, scholarships and institutional financial aid awards.

Thankfully, in the late 1970s and early 1980s financial aid for students in need was somewhat plentiful. Over his four years in college, this engineering major secured National Direct Student Loans, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Basic Educational Opportunity Grants, Ohio Instructional Grants, institutional grants and more, while also earning extra money in the work-study program on campus.

He eventually earned his undergraduate degree and entered the workforce, where he became the inventor of 12 U.S. patents for a major tire manufacturer. Since then, this lifelong learner has earned his master’s in economics and Ph.D. in business administration and returned to higher education to teach and lead the next generation.

Why am I sharing my story with you today? It is not unique, I agree. Many students in need struggle to finance their college educations to this day, just as I did from 1977 to 1981.

Unlike then, though, financing college degrees for students in good standing is becoming more complicated and ambiguous. Take the Federal Perkins Loan Program for example. Two years ago, the federal government moved to eliminate it even though it supported more than 300,000 low-income students nationally at more than 1,700 institutions. The idea was to streamline financial aid to one grant, one work-study program, and one loan per student.

The one plus one plus one scenario is interesting, but we need to find a practical way to make it work prior to removing the current support structure for our students. With bipartisan support, the Perkins Loan Program was saved in 2015 and students continued to have access to higher education.

Unfortunately, we are back to the same situation. Unless Congress acts by Sept. 30, the extension of the program will end. Its replacement has not yet appeared for public consumption, and as I wrote two years ago, “We have taken a solid program that works for everyone and replaced it with, well, nothing. That’s not solid policy, good government, or building a future for all of us.”

Hope remains, however, as a bipartisan group of 77 lawmakers has introduced House Resolution 2482 to once again save the Perkins Loan for students in need.

The Perkins Loan supplements larger federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. While students do not need to repay Pell Grants, the Perkins program carries a 5-percent fixed interest rate over 10 years. Institutions, such as Misericordia University where I serve as president, contribute to the loan fund to supplement the taxpayer portion. Misericordia has more than $600,000 committed to the program in the form of loans in support of over $1 million in federal funds.

Universities and the federal government recover their investments if the program ends. Students who need funding – get nothing.

The federal government could simply stop contributing additional dollars and let student payments fund future loans. In fact, that is what has been the practice since 2004. Are we going to eliminate a fully funded program that works for students and taxpayers alike for the purpose of oversimplification?

The annual cap for a Perkins Loan is $5,500 annually, with the average being $2,000. We can, and do, loan students about $8,000 to help them get a degree. Those students are going to pay taxes after graduation for about 40 years. This seems to be a terrific investment and a way to provide access to students with limited resources.

A simplification of higher education financial aid is indeed a laudable goal. It was a primary effort in the last reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in 2003. The HEA technically expired in 2013, leading to numerous efforts to construct a new HEA or the next reauthorization.

In my opinion, we should not end successful programs prior to creating a new HEA that can support all students who are capable and ready to work toward a degree or certificate. Colleges and universities, including Misericordia University, are ready to continue to use our financial contributions for today’s students. I hope our legislators will continue to provide federal support to match university funds in support of our capable students and future community leaders.

Thomas J. Botzman

Guest Columnist

Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., is president of Misericordia University in Dallas.

Santa Rosa school district seeks Title 1, STEM assistance

MILTON — The Santa Rosa County School District has requested funds in the form of three separate grants for the 2017-2018 school year.

Karen Barber, the director of federal programs, submitted an application for the Title 1, Part A Grant for Disadvantaged Children and Youth, a continuation grant that provides supplemental services to 20 Title I public schools and two Title I private schools within the district. The grant also provides funding for the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics Innovate Initiative.

The grant provides funds for maintenance and enhancement of school-wide reading and math reform to increase the following activities: the amount and quality of learning time for students in grades K-12; the percentage of teachers participating in high quality professional development; and parent involvement, according to the grant synopsis.

The grant will fund the purchase of researched-based materials and instructional technology to ensure the increase of student proficiency in reading and math and increase graduation rate and successful transition to college and career. Grant funds are also allocated to provide supporting services to students who qualify for Neglected and Delinquent and/or Homeless Education Services, according to the grant synopsis.

The funds requested by the school district for this grant are $4,610,943; the amount of the grant last year was $4,316,614.

Charlin Knight, the director of workforce education, submitted an application for the Carl D. Perkins Secondary Grant and the Carl D. Perkins Postsecondary Grant. These grants are used to provide students within the school district with the academic and technical skills needed to be successful in a knowledge and skills based economy, according to the grant synopsis.

These federal resources help ensure that career and technical programs are academically rigorous and up-to-date with the needs of the regional business and industry; the funds also support innovation and expand access to quality career and technical education programs, according to the grant synopsis.

The funds requested by the school district for the secondary grant are $203,557; the amount of the grant last year was $202,785. The funds requested for the post secondary grant are $54,286, which is the same as the amount received last year. No funds are required from the school board.