Newly Proposed Funding Cuts to U.S. Department of Education


March 31, 2017 –  Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. A number of stories discuss U.S. Education Department budget cuts proposed by the Trump Administration. New data sheds light on what elite colleges and universities are doing to support low-income students.

REMINDER: The deadline to apply for the 2017 Cooke Young Scholars Program is less than a week away! Alert your high-achieving 7th graders with financial need to complete the application today.

Elementary & Secondary Education

  • A decade ago, Washington High School in the high-poverty Franklin Pierce School District near Tacoma, Washington, was described as a “drop-out factory.” Now the school’s graduation rates for low-income, minority and bilingual students are better than the state average. According to the Seattle Times, the success is based on close attention to red-flag indicators and a special emphasis on building adult and student relationships.
  • Millions of dollars in proposed Trump administration budget cuts to the TRIO and GEAR UP college prep programs would affect about 83,000 low-income and first-generation students.  Inside HigherEd reports the estimate was made by Maureen Hoyler, president of the Council for Opportunity in Education.

Higher Education

  • Economists at Stanford, Harvard and Brown universities released new data on America’s colleges and universities that showed two-thirds of Vanderbilt University graduates from low-income backgrounds make it into the top 20 percent of earners. However,  high-income students at Vanderbilt outnumber low-income students 10 to 1, Nashville Public Radio.
  • VIDEO: In a collaboration between SXSWedu and The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sara Goldrick-Rab discusses how college costs and the structure of the financial aid process prevents many low-income students from going to college. Goldrick-Rab is a scholar of higher education at Temple University whose work focuses on policies to reduce socioeconomic and racial inequalities.
  • The Teachers College at Columbia University recently released research on the impact of technology in student advising. With the goal in mind to improve student success despite cutbacks to funding and staff, many institutions are turning to technology to streamline course selection and crisis intervention, GoodCall reports.
  • Pell Grants, which provide financial support to 8 million low-income college students every year, are facing $3.9 billion in funding cuts next year and $1.3 billion this year under the Trump Administration’s budget proposal. The Associated Press reports that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is considering allowing students to use the grants year-round.

Cooke Foundation Highlights

  • We recently awarded $225,000 in Good Neighbor Grants to youth-serving nonprofit organizations in the Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Through the program, Montgomery College in Maryland was awarded $32,000 to support the ACES Student Research Program. The funds will allow students to be paired with faculty members to complete a rigorous research project with the goal of publication or presentation at a national conference. LoudounNow reports the Loudoun Education Foundation was also awarded $35,000 to support the launch of EDGE Plus, an after-school program for high-potential fourth and fifth grade students.

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