A new report ("A New Majority") by the Southern Education Foundation found that 66 percent of children in Louisiana public schools come from low-income households. The state ranks below Mississippi (71 percent) and New Mexico (68 percent). The south accounts for more than half of all low-income students in the country. For the first time in decades, the report states, 17 states' public schools now serve a new majority of low-income household students in preschool through 12th grade.
A majority of public school children in 17 states, one-third of the 50 states across the nation, were low income students — eligible for free or reduced lunches — in the school year that ended in 2011. Thirteen of the 17 states were in the South, and the remaining four were in the West. Since 2005, half or more of the South’s children in public schools have been from low income households. During the last two school years, 2010 and 2011, for the first time in modern history, the West has had a majority low income students attending P-12 public schools.
That average of 66 percent accounts for low-income students in rural areas (129,674, or 63 percent), suburbs (93,933, or 59 percent), and cities (70 percent). In Mississippi and Louisiana, at least nine out of every 10 school districts had a majority of low-income students. Eighty-two percent of school districts in Louisiana have a majority student body that qualifies for free lunch, or free/reduced-price lunch (90 percent), the meal program offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Washington Post notes that in 2011, nearly half of the country's 50 million public-school students qualified for free or reduced-price meals.
You'll still need a museum ticket, but you won't have to pay for it. Go to Smithsonian Magazine's website to sign up. One ticket is good for two people, though guests are limited to one ticket per household. A ticket is only valid for one museum.
A list of participating New Orleans museums is under the jump ...
The nonprofit café and caterer Liberty’s Kitchen doubles as a culinary training program for teens and young adults who want to change the course of their lives, offering them mentoring, hands-on experience and access to jobs in the city’s hospitality industry. This is a mission people in the local restaurant world understand and support, which is underscored by the impressive list of chefs and restaurants participating in an upcoming fundraiser for Liberty’s Kitchen.
The event is called Come Grow with Us, and it will be held June 21, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Cannery, an events hall at 3803 Toulouse St. in Mid-City.
Jeff Baron, co-owner of Crescent Pie & Sausage Co. and Pizzicare, was in charge of rounding up participating restaurants to provide the event’s food, and he’s tapped a good representation of the new guard in the city’s dining scene.
A blow — and a decisive one — for Gov. Bobby Jindal's attempt to remake the Louisiana public education system:
Louisiana's Supreme Court has ruled that the funding method for a private school tuition voucher program pushed through the Legislature last year by Gov. Bobby Jindal is unconstitutional.
Tuesday's 6-1 decision upholds a state district court ruling that the state constitution forbids using money earmarked for public schools in the state's Minimum Foundation Program to pay for private school tuition.
There will be plenty of reaction soon. Scott McKay at The Hayride weighs in early:
This is hardly the victory the teacher unions will make it out to be, because Jindal can merely create a new line item in the general fund covering the voucher program and then cut MFP funding by a commensurate amount. Obviously he’s going to need to have a majority vote at the Legislature to make that happen, and it seems they’re a bit cheesed off at him at present, so that’s one more fight the governor probably doesn’t need.
But while the decision is more of an additional obstacle than a substantive defeat, its timing is atrocious for Jindal — and it will add to the perception that nobody’s minding the store — a perception that the current budget chaos is injecting jet fuel into.
Previewed in this week's Gambit, NBC's Education Nation is a three-day "summit" with panel discussions and town halls focusing on schools, teachers, students and job opportunities in New Orleans. All events are streamed live on the Education Nation website and the final half-hour will air on partner station WDSU-TV.
On Friday, April 12, NBC News’ Hoda Kotb leads three panel discussions followed by a closing interview with Gov. Bobby Jindal. Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) superintendent John White will also be interviewed
The “Early Learning: Sowing Seeds for Success” panel features Dr. Geoff Nagle, director of the Tulane Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health; Pearlie Harris, director of Royal Castle Child Development Center; Tony Recasner, CEO of Agenda for Children; and Jenna Conway, executive director of Early Childhood with LDOE. The panel begins at 1:45 p.m. and will be streamed to the website.
The “K-12: Lessons from the New Orleans Experience” panel features Sarah Carr, author of Hope Against Hope; Leslie Jacobs; and Andre Perry, associate director for educational initiatives for the Loyola Institute for Quality and Equity in Education. Following the panel, there will be an interview with White. The panel and interview streams at 2:30 p.m. on the website.
“Job One: Preparing Louisiana to Compete in the 21st Century Economy” features Charlotte Bollinger of Bollinger Shipping; Rod Miller, CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance; Rita Benson LeBlanc; and Monty Sullivan, chancellor of Delgado Community College. That panel begins at 4 p.m. and will be streamed on the website.
The closing interview with Jindal begins at 4:45 p.m. Events from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. also will air live on WDSU.
Louisiana science activist Zack Kopplin — just out of high school — was a panelist on tonight's episode of HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher, discuss social issues that included climate change and same-sex marriage with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and others. Watch a segment of the show:
Kopplin, who's proven to be as media savvy as he is bright (exhibit A, B, C), will surely be embraced by Maher, and good on him. That said, it's worth remembering that Maher has been something of a dick when it comes to Louisiana issues. (He was more polite to Gambit when Noah Bonaparte Pais interviewed him in 2009.)
Once, this little patch between Mardi Gras and the big music festivals of April was a relatively quiet time. Then people figured out that also made it a good time to schedule other events, and now the March calendar is full of them too.
Hogs for the Cause is the biggest food event next weekend, but it’s not the only one. In fact, the weekend starts early, on Thursday, March 21, with the Edible Evening, a foodie-focused garden party at the Samuel J. Green Charter School (2319 Valence St.), and it continues at the French Market and other venues for a newly revamped event called FoodFest: America’s Hometown Eats.
For more than 12 years, Café Reconcile has offered young people a chance to transform their life prospects through its jobs skills training and mentoring programs. More recently, the Central City nonprofit restaurant has undergone its own transformation.
A major expansion and renovation has been underway here for some time, and today, March 11, the café part of the Café Reconcile operation reopens, resuming lunch service from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The dining room has been thoroughly redesigned, and it’s much larger than before. There’s also now a courtyard for outdoor meals. The menu of hearty and inexpensive New Orleans classics has stayed much the same (the long-running special of white beans and shrimp will be back on Thursdays, for instance) and more complex dishes will be worked in as the café gets rolling again.
Director of development David Emond says some of the biggest changes are behind the scenes, including “a state of the art kitchen that is finally worthy of our students.”
Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School hosts Treme Day from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. There is a 5K run/walk an a health and wellness fair. The events benefit the school's athletic and enrichment programs.
Registration for the 5K is $20 adults/$15 under 21 in advance, $25 adults/$20 under 21 on the day of the race, and the fee includes a T-shirt. The race starts at 9 a.m.
The school held its inaugural health fair last year, which offered screenings for blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, bone density and eye exams. There were seminars on women's health and childhood obesity. This year's fair is from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Clark is charter school operated by Firstline Schools.
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