April 8th 2014
Youth detention must be utilized carefully to make sure low-level, non-violent youthful offenders do not move deeper into the criminal justice system. A new report by Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families says juvenile detention - the short-term involuntary holding of juveniles - is often the gateway to longer-term incarceration and must be used thoughtfully.
April 7th 2014
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education reports that students of color experience more suspensions, poorer quality teachers, and have access to fewer advanced math and science courses. The findings, released March 14, 2014 demonstrate that students of color experience more negative outcomes with education than white students. The disciplinary concerns were discussed in a recent AACF Blog post. But disparities don't end with disciplinary action. They exist in teacher quality as well.
March 27th 2014
Students of color experience more negative outcomes with education than white students. According to a report by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education, students of color experience more suspensions, poorer quality teachers, and have access to fewer advanced math and science courses. The findings, released March 14, 2014, are based on 2012 data. The results are consistent with recent Arkansas research showing similar concerns for minority and low-income students.
March 18th 2014
The current poverty benchmarks in the United States are miserably out of date, basing their measurements on decades old research. In the 1960s, the average family of three spent about a third of their after tax income on food, so the poverty line was set at about three times the cost of the cheapest food plan from the Department of Agriculture.[i] This way, a family could afford a nutritional diet by spending no more than a third of their income on food. In 1965, this calculation was officially adopted by the Office of Economic Opportunity as the standard measure of poverty, and it hasn't fundamentally changed since.[ii] This guideline for poverty, which was implemented almost half a century ago, has only been updated to account for inflation. The federal poverty line for a family of four is only $23,850 a year.
March 17th 2014
The Arkansas Legislature has published funding allocations for fiscal year 2014-2015 according to the Revenue Stabilization Laws. The total budget is just over $5 billion, an overall increase of about 2.2 percent or $108 million from the current 2013-2014 fiscal year budget (which ends June 30 of this year). Funding for higher education institutions was the only major part of the budget that had a decrease in the newly adopted budget. Higher Education lost about 1.4 percent (or $10 million), all of it coming from four-year colleges. The largest increase went to the Public School fund, which got a 3.8 percent bump in allocations, amounting to a $77 million increase.