Investing in Education, Workforce Development, and the Safety Net Will Close the Income Gap (Give It Some Thought: Community Foundation blog): “[...] while our region’s economy has led to economic growth and prosperity for many on the middle and higher rungs of the ladder, residents on the bottom of the income scale largely are being left behind [...] Our philanthropic efforts take on a new urgency as local and state governments are grappling with budget cuts that would have a devastating effect on low-income residents already hit hard by the recession.” CFNCR President Terri Lee Freeman advises focused investment in “three key areas: education, workforce development and the safety net.” You can learn more about Catalogue Education nonprofits here, and those with a job training-based mission here.
High Proportion of Veterans Live in Rural Areas Less Served by Philanthropic Efforts (Nonprofit Quarterly): “[The Daily Yonder’s Bill] “Bishop points out that 30.6 percent of US military veterans live in rural and exurban counties that house only 25.9 percent of the nation’s over-18 population [...] Veterans in Washington, DC — near the Pentagon, Fort Myer, Fort Meade, and Fort Belvoir — account for only 6.9 percent of the adult population in the area.” In other words, veteran populations tend not to be as concentrated in metropolitan areas, which are often the areas with the greatest philanthropic resources to help out. And overall, “if foundations aren’t paying sufficient attention to rural America, they are likely to be underfunding rural communities — communities with disproportionately high numbers of military veterans.”
Prince George’s County April home prices rise (Washington Post): “While local markets vary significantly from neighborhood to neighborhood, almost all of the 22 jurisdictions in the Washington region have seen some price growth over the past year. The notable exception has been Prince George’s County. But in April — for the first time since they started to plummet in early 2007 — home prices in Prince George’s County are up.” The average detached home price in the County peaked in 2006 and then fell by nearly 50% by 2012 (from $400,000 to $185,000); the foreclosure crisis also had a profound affect on Prince George’s. But this month, the average price has risen to $207,000.
Gap between best and worst DC schools growing (Washington Examiner): “The gap between the District’s best- and worst-performing schools has been growing amid the most intense school reform in the city’s history [...] The American Institutes for Research found that, if two students have the same test scores in 2010, but one attends a wealthy, high-performing school and the other attends the opposite, the student at the wealthy school likely would have outpaced the latter student substantially in 2011, even though they were on equal footing the year before.” For example, on average, students in Ward 3 schools demonstrated a 70.8% two-year growth percentile, while students in Ward 8 received a 46% growth score.
State Of The World’s Mothers Report 2012 (Huffington Post): This year, Save the Children ranked Norway, Iceland, and Sweden as the best places to be a mother. “In addition to its annual ranking, the 2012 report focuses specifically on the issue of children’s nutrition. One in four of the world’s children are chronically malnourished or stunted [...] malnutrition kills as many as 2.6 million children and 100,000 mothers every year. Millions of others are left struggling with the physical and mental impairments of stunting.” Over half of the world’s children do not have access to vitamin A, zinc, and water and sanitation — universal access to these perhaps could save as many as 680,000 lives.
Battered and Bruised Minds Lead to Homelessness (TIME: Battleland): “The Department of Veterans Affairs first-ever large-scale study of homeless vets shows that the vast majority of homeless vets have mental disorders [...] Dealing with veterans’ mental health may be just as important in preventing homelessness among vets as dealing with their lack of housing;” the study shows that “78?83 percent of the newly homeless diagnosed with mental disorders at the end of the study, were diagnosed before they became homeless.” Additionally, the “Homeless Incidence and Risk Factors for Becoming Homeless in Veterans” report also followed 300,000 veterans who left active duty between July 2005 and September 2006 until October 2010; while none of these particular veterans had been homeless before, more than 4% became homeless at some point during that period.
Maryland’s ‘achievement gap’ highlighted by new advocacy group (Washington Post): “Maryland has the second largest disparity in the country between low-income students and their wealthier classmates on the 8th grade math test the fourth largest socio-economic disparity in the country on the corresponding 8th grade English test,” MarylandCAN reports in their “State of Maryland Public Education.” Says MarylandCAN executive director Curtis Valentine, “We have a lot to be proud of in Maryland when it comes to educating our kids … but we struggle to serve all Maryland students.” Continue reading →
Updated (9.30.11): “Sunday Hours at MLK Library Restored at Last Minute” (DCist)
From “Downtown library shutting its doors on Sundays” in this past Sunday’s Post:
This Sunday, parents read picture books aloud in the children’s room, teens lined up to use a mini-recording studio, and anxious Internet seekers checked a waiting list for computer access that was maxed out at 50 names.
It was a busy scene but, for many, a sad one: It marked the end of Sunday hours at the District?s main library. MLK was the last branch in the city, and one of the last libraries in the region, to stay open on a day when so much is closed. Continuing budget cuts mean an end to this Sunday refuge for families, teens and the homeless. Continue reading →