CFK Weekly—May 28, 2002

We encourage distribution of this information! If reprinting
in whole or part, please attribute it to Connect for Kids (www.connectforkids.org).

NEW ON CONNECT FOR KIDS

**Step-by-Step Success

**The Child Care Carousel

SUMMER'S ALMOST HERE!

**Summer Safety Tips

**Who'll Be Home Alone This Summer?

**Summer School: More Important, Less Available

**Good Books for Summer Reading

IMPROVING FOSTER CARE

**Improving Options for Teens Aging Out of Foster Care

**Institutions vs. Foster Homes: the Empirical Base for the Second
Century of Debate

**The Cost of Raising a Child

**Numbers of Foster Parents Declining

JUNE EVENTS

**Stand for Children ? June 1, 2002

**Successful Early Childhood: the Municipal Role ? June 6

**Audio Conference on Unemployment Insurance

IMPROVING STUDENT LEARNING

**Per Pupil Spending Varies Widely Across States

**Far from Fair

**Assessment and Assignments: a Look Inside the Classroom

**High Classroom Turnover: How Children Get Left Behind

**Finding Common Ground

**Idea for Action: Starting a Volunteer Project in Your School

**After the Bell Rings

WELFARE REFORM

**Welfare Caseloads Down Nationally, But Up in Most States

**Fast Facts on Welfare Policy

**Education and Training Key to Overcoming Poverty

**American Indian Families and Tribes

WHAT WORKS, WHAT DOESN'T FOR YOUTH AT RISK

**Arts Programs for Juvenile Offenders in Detention and Corrections

**Preventing Teenage Pregnancy, Childbearing, and Sexually Transmitted
Diseases

**Trust Betrayed

BY THE NUMBERS

**National Kids Count Data Book 2002

**Digest of Education Statistics 2001

FOCUS ON THE STATES

**State Education Policies Reviewed

**Stateline Has Early Morning Roundup

**State-by-State News

SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE

_________________________________

NEW ON CONNECT FOR KIDS

**Step?by-Step Success

by Caitlin Johnson

In Portland, Oregon a flexible approach to helping welfare recipients
land jobs has been one of the most successful in the country. Find out
what's working, and how programs like Portland's Steps to Success would
be threatened by proposed changes to the nation's welfare reform legislation.

http://www.connectforkids.org

**The Child Care Carousel

Child care subsidies are one of the main supports offered to low-income
parents under welfare reform. But two recent reports reveal that efforts
required to remain eligible for the subsidy can endanger parents' ability
to hold down a job. Here's a summary from the Urban Institute's Assessing
the New Federalism project.

http://www.connectforkids.org

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SUMMER'S ALMOST HERE!

**Summer Safety Tips

Summer is coming! Time to check out summer safety tips from the American
Academy of Pediatrics ? preventing heat stress in active children, pool
and boat safety, bug safety, bicycle, skateboard and scooter safety, and
more.

http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/summertips.htm

**Who'll Be Home Alone This Summer?

This Urban Institute brief charts how elementary school children will
spend their time this summer. The largest group (34 percent) will be in
the care of relatives, a goodly proportion will be in parent care or a
summer program (30 percent and 24 percent), but more than one in ten (11
percent) will be caring for themselves while their parents work.

http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/900517.pdf

**Summer School: More Important, Less Available

With the newly enacted federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act
forcing heavier reliance on standardized testing, some educators say tools
like summer school are even more important to help students not able to
make it past the year-end tests. But the recession and state revenue losses
are causing cutbacks in summer school opportunities across the country,
according to the Christian Science Monitor.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0522/p01s02-ussc.html

**Good Books for Summer Reading

Looking for good books for your kids to read this summer? Get help
from the National PTA's "Where to Find the Books that Will Turn Your Kids
On to Reading" with links to recommended book lists.

http://www.pta.org/parentinvolvement/helpchild/oc_read.asp

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IMPROVING FOSTER CARE

**Improving Options for Teens Aging Out of Foster Care

Just like other youth finishing high school, teens aging out of foster
care are looking to the future and setting goals. Many want the opportunity
to obtain higher education, but face serious obstacles without the support
of birth families. The Child Welfare League of America reviews what some
states are doing to support foster and adopted youth in earning their college
degrees.

http://www.cwla.org/articles/cv0205youthcare.htm

**Institutions vs. Foster Homes: the Empirical Base for the Second Century
of Debate

Some state legislatures are considering expanding group home care for
children in the child welfare system. But this study from the Jordan Institute
for Families at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill finds that
there is virtually no evidence to indicate that group care enhances the
accomplishment of any of the goals of child welfare services: it is not
safer or better at promoting development, is not more stable, does not
achieve better long-term outcomes, and it is not more cost efficient. The
report argues that group care should only be considered for those teens
and older children who have the most serious forms of mental illness and
self-destructive behavior.

http://www.jimcaseyyouth.org/docs/GroupCareLong.pdf

**The Cost of Raising a Child

The average cost of raising a nine-year-old child, excluding medical
care, was $8,260 per year in 2000, according to the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, but the average amount provided to foster parents to meet
the needs of a nine-year-old child is $4,932 per year. This Jim Casey Foundation
report documents costs and payments for each state.

http://www.casey.org/cnc/foster_care_month/cost_of_raising_child.htm

**Numbers of Foster Parents Declining

As of March 31,2000,there were 581,000 children in foster care, with
close to half of them (47 percent) being cared for in non-relative foster
family homes. But a recent report by the Inspector General of the Department
of Health and Human Services reports that states could do a much better
job of recruiting foster families to care for teens, children with special
needs, and other ?hard-to-place? children in the child welfare system.

http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/summaries/oei-07-00-00600s.pdf

_________________________________

JUNE EVENTS

**Stand for Children ? June 1, 2002

This year's Stand for Children is focusing on the need to double the
number of children helped by the federal Child Care and Development Block
Grant and to oppose harsh new welfare-to-work requirements proposed in
federal welfare reauthorization legislation. You can find out what your
community is planning so families can learn about local services available
for children and youth.

http://www.stand.org/standday/highlights.html

**Successful Early Childhood: the Municipal Role - June 6

Municipal and community leaders can learn about strategies for improving
local early childhood systems by participating in this Institute for Youth,
Education and Families audio conference. Topics will include building public
will for action, bringing the right stakeholders to the table and implementation
and funding challenges and solutions.

For registration and other information, contact Andrea Reid (202-626-3043;
reid@nlc.org).

**Audio Conference on Unemployment Insurance

The Center for Law and Social Policy's (CLASP) June 7 audio conference
is on unemployment insurance and welfare reauthorization. Find out first
hand how safety net politics and policies for low-income families are playing
out on Capitol Hill. You can also hear how Georgia is accomplishing changes
in unemployment insurance policy to better serve working poor families,
who usually are not eligible for unemployment insurance.  Cost: $15.

http://www.clasp.org/audioconference/2002_brochure.htm#about

Find more events, celebrations and conferences on the Connect for Kids
June calendar.

http://www.connectforkids.org/calendar1569/calendar.htm

_________________________________

IMPROVING STUDENT LEARNING

**Per Pupil Spending Varies Widely Across States

When it comes to per pupil school spending, New Jersey is at the head
of the class, spending $10,283 per student in 2000, according to Stateline.org's
analysis of census figures released May 23. Other big spenders per student
were New York, Massachusetts, Alaska and Connecticut. Utah spent the least
per student ($4,331), followed by Mississippi, Arizona, Idaho and Tennessee.

http://www.stateline.org/story.do?storyID=239397

**Far from Fair

When reporters from the Sacramento Bee wanted to look behind disparities
in educational outcomes among Sacramento's students, they found ?stunning
differences? in the conditions of the community's public high schools.
Some schools -- many of them in wealthier suburban communities ? have sparkling
pools, hallways with skylights, clean restrooms and a broad range of language
and other courses to choose from. But

disparities in settings and educational opportunities are so great
throughout California that the American Civil Liberties Union has launched
a class-action lawsuit that speaks of roach-ridden classrooms, textbook
shortages and high numbers of unqualified teachers.

http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/education/story/2798197p-3592816c.html

**Assessment and Assignments: a Look Inside the Classroom

Did you know there are better ways to teach kids new words, besides
the standard 15-word vocabulary assignment? While most public attention
these days is riveted on the results of large-scale testing programs, research
suggests that the kinds of daily work assigned in the classroom can not
only assess what students are learning, but also provide one of the most
powerful tools available for improving student achievement. Education Week
looks at what's happening in Lincoln, Nebraska.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/newstory.cfm?slug=37assess.h21

**High Classroom Turnover: How Children Get Left Behind

When people talk about the problems with schools these days, they pay
far too little attention to student mobility, especially among students
from low-income families, migrant families and children in foster care,
according to this analysis by Chester Hartman. While some schools are easing
student transitions with helpful programs like a buddy system, a sensitive
intake process or reliable transfer of records, Hartman says that local,
state and federal governments should do more to improve housing policies
and other programs to help disadvantaged families avoid moving their children
from school to school unnecessarily.

http://www.prrac.org/

**Finding Common Ground

Two school reform models, service learning and Comprehensive School
Reform, have a lot in common -- opportunities for students to apply their
knowledge to real-life situations and help students develop civic skills
and competencies, according to this American Youth Policy Forum report.
The report looks at barriers to adopting and implementing service-learning
programs and offers recommendations to policymakers on how to align the
two school reform models. For a free copy, e-mail your name, organization
and mailing address to Sarah Pearson (spearson@aypf.org).

**Idea for Action: Starting a Volunteer Project in Your School

If you're interested in starting a community service or service learning
program in your school, Idealist has resources and tips to help you get
started.

http://www.idealist.org/kat/volunteercenter.html

 

**After the Bell Rings

A report on Michigan's patchwork of after-school programs for youth
at risk notes that when most after-school programs rely almost exclusively
on parent fees, at an average annual cost of $2,500 per student, many low-income
children and youth are barred from participating. This Michigan's Children
report calls for the state to take on a major role to help provide sustained
funding for a comprehensive approach to out-of-school care and make wise
use of newly reauthorized federal funding in the 21st Century Community
Learning Centers program.

The report also notes that because of Michigan's tough ?zero-tolerance?
laws, too many Michigan youths are without constructive activities or supervision
all day because they have been suspended or expelled from school.

http://www.michiganschildren.org

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WELFARE REFORM

**Welfare Caseloads Down Nationally, But Up in Most States

The Department of Health and Human Services headlined that nationally
welfare caseloads are down, but the state-by-state chart shows that declines
occurring in a few states offset increases in welfare caseloads in thirty-seven
states from October 2001 through December 2001.

http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/news/stats/newstat2.shtml

**Fast Facts on Welfare Policy

The Urban Institute's new ?Fast Facts on Welfare Policy? has charts,
tables and summary paragraphs on such topics as the work status of welfare
leavers, rules and regulations of the seven major programs that serve low-income
families with children, how TANF dollars are spent and how cash assistance
has dropped across racial and ethnic groups.

http://www.urban.org/pubs/welfare_reform/FastFacts.html

**Education and Training Key to Overcoming Poverty

Some people assume that poverty is as inevitable as death and taxes,
but others say there are ways to reduce poverty. As Congress works through
renewal of its landmark 1996 welfare overhaul, some are looking to job
training as an important weapon in the war on poverty, reports the Christian
Science Monitor. http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0521/p02s01-uspo.html

**American Indian Families and Tribes

What are key issues for welfare reform in Indian country? A series
of Kaiser Family Foundation reports looks at the decisions made and what
lies ahead for welfare reauthorization for Indian families.

http://www.kff.org/content/2002/20020415/6024.pdf

_________________________________

WHAT WORKS, WHAT DOESN'T FOR YOUTH AT RISK

**Arts Programs for Juvenile Offenders in Detention and Corrections

This guide to promising practices describes specific programs and distills
the lessons learned in collaboration, strategic planning, program design,
artist selection and training, implementation and evaluation. For more
information or to order a copy e-mail GradyH@prodigy.net.

http://www.arts.endow.gov

**Preventing Teenage Pregnancy, Childbearing, and Sexually Transmitted
Diseases

There is broad consensus over discouraging early childbearing, but
little consensus over how to achieve this goal. This Child Trends brief
concludes from an extensive review of the research that a number of approaches
work, including some sexuality education and HIV education programs, but
there is no empirical evidence on the effectiveness of abstinence-only
sex education. A variety of other approaches have proven effective -- those
that focus on early childhood investments, involve teens in school and
in outside activities (including youth development in combination with
sexuality education and community volunteer learning), and those that send
nurses to visit teenage mothers, which reduces their chances of becoming
pregnant again.

http://www.childtrends.org/PDF/K1Brief.pdf

**Trust Betrayed

Experts estimate that by the time they finish high school about 15
percent of students will have been sexually abused by a school staff member.
While many school districts are doing a better job in developing appropriate
policies on sexual harassment and abuse, many need to do more to make sure
such policies are known and followed, to screen staff and volunteers and
to ensure the safety of students, according to this article in the June
issue of the American School Board Journal.

http://www.asbj.com/current/coverstory.html

_________________________________

BY THE NUMBERS

**National Kids Count Data Book 2002

The National Kids Count Data Book finds that the 1990s were marked
by an increase in working poor families who are just a child care or transportation
crisis away from finding their fragile arrangements for managing work and
family obligations unraveling.

http://www.kidscount.org

**Digest of Education Statistics 2001

The National Center on Education Statistics' Digest of Education Statistics,
2001 covers prekindergarten through graduate school, with numbers of schools
and colleges, teachers, enrollments, educational attainment, finances,
federal funds, outcomes for graduates, libraries, technology and international
comparisons.

http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2002/digest2001/

_________________________________

FOCUS ON THE STATES

**State Education Policies Reviewed

The Education Commission for the States provides information on state
education bills acted on during the 2000-01 legislative session ? from
accountability to uniforms and vouchers. http://www.ecs.org/html/educationIssues/ECSStateNotes.asp

**Stateline Has Early Morning Roundup

Stateline.org now has a daily roundup of state government developments
so you can find out what's going on in state capitals first thing every
morning.

http://www.stateline.org/roundups.do

**State-by-State News

California

Are you facing a tight budget for your program? California's Action
Alliance for Children is sponsoring an online discussion board with Kim
Klein and Stephanie Roth of the Grassroots Fundraising Journal to share
their fundraising expertise -- answering questions on direct mail, special
events, major gift campaigns, phone-a-thons and tools to help develop successful
fundraising programs.

http://www.4children.org

Three New Reports Available from the CalWORKs Project focus on TANF
recipients facing alcohol and other drug, mental health, or domestic violence
issues. http://www.cimh.org/calworks

Illinois

As Illinois legislators debate a balanced budget for fiscal year 2003,
a new special report by Voices for Illinois Children analyzes the "doomsday"
budgets forwarded by the state House Democrat and Republican caucuses. 
http://www.voices4kids.org/humancosts.pdf

Bolstered by a strong economy, low unemployment rates and "moderate"
or even generous welfare-to-work policies, Illinois has seen a significant
decrease in welfare receipt. ?Welfare Reform in Illinois: Is the Moderate
Approach Working?" from the Illinois Families Study concludes that work
does "pay" for the poor -- thanks in part to several strong work supports
available in Illinois -- but Illinois' poor still face considerable hardships.http://www.northwestern.edu/ipr/research/IFS.html

Maryland

Teach Baltimore addresses two of education's most urgent problems:
chronic

summer learning loss among low-income students that leads to a widening

achievement gap, and the shortage of qualified, committed and well-trained

urban teachers in high poverty urban schools. This short new fact sheet

outlines several key research findings about maximizing student learning

during the summer and non-school hours.

http://www.jhu.edu/teachbaltimore/

North Carolina

Wake County was the largest school district in the country to mix students
according to income rather than race. The results are paying off in improved
student achievement results but raising protests among some parents, according
to Education Week.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/newstory.cfm?slug=37wake.h21

Oregon

"Welfare Restructuring, Work and Poverty: Policy Implications for Oregon"
finds that families leaving welfare reported inadequate wages, limited
employment benefits, little to no job mobility, significant economic hardship
and few opportunities for more education or job training programs. http://wnw.uoregon.edu/policymat.shtml.

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Public Education Partnership's Voter's Guide to the
2002 Governor's Election features the responses of gubernatorial candidates
to a questionnaire on key education issues, along with interviews with
the directors of selected public education advocacy groups on the topic,
"What would it mean to be a real education governor in Pennsylvania?"

http://www.publiceducation.org/pubs/pub_penreports.htm

Virginia

Virginia is making renewed efforts to sign up the children of low-income
families for its Family Access to Medical Insurance Security health insurance,
including a comprehensive review to ensure Virginia takes full advantage
of the federal resources available. Monthly premium payments have been
suspended until state officials can determine the appropriate level of
cost sharing with the family.  In addition, enrollment information
is to be made available in every school in an effort to integrate the state's
health coverage program with the school lunch program.

For more information and an application for the Family Access to Medical
Insurance Security program, call toll-free 1-866-873-2647.

http://www.famis.org

Washington

"The Impact of Substance Use and Violence/Delinquency on Academic Achievement
for Groups of Middle and High School Students in Washington? calls for
reducing substance abuse and delinquent behaviors among young by tailoring
intervention strategies to particular student's needs, beginning intervention
efforts at a young age and increasing efforts outside the classroom and
in the community.

http://hspc.org/wkc/index.html

West Virginia

The Education Commission for the States reports that Governor Bob Wise
signed into law a 4.2 percent pay raise for teachers and a full 180-day
school year for students. In addition, he signed legislation allowing consumers
to buy back-to-school supplies and clothing tax free for the first weekend
in August, as long as each individual item costs less than $100.

http://www.ecs.org/html/newsMedia/e-Connection.asp#ws

Keep up the good work, everyone!

Jan Richter, Policy and Outreach Specialist, and the Connect for Kids team

Jan@benton.org