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Tuition-Free NY would account for about 1% of New York State’s entire budget. An investment of 1% would provide free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students every year. It would offer them future opportunities, increase post-graduate purchasing power and keep them in the state for at least five years — per the legislation — to contribute to our local and state economy. It would provide revenue to New York in the process, all of which contributes toward paying down that already-modest 1% upfront investment.

Tuition-Free NY and programs like it will pay for itself by keeping bright, young minds in-state, maintaining a highly educated workforce and encouraging community service.

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James Skoufis, “As the youngest legislator in New York state, I propose free public college tuition” (via micdotcom)

If Georgia can do it for high school grads, why can’t NY?

(via simplyscott)

Just to clarify: Georgia does not do this. I was among the last group of Georgia high school grads that got free tuition for maintaining a B average. After that, because the state was unwilling to expand the revenue pool for the HOPE scholarship beyond the state lottery or eliminate high-income students from eligibility, the benefit was changed from “free tuition” into this confusing mess.

Basically, you get a certain amount per credit-hour you take each semester. At UGA, where tuition is $5,418 per semester, the most you can get covered is $3,390, a little under two thirds of the cost — and that’s for a 15-hour courseload, so god help you if you have to rely on your own income for things like housing and food. A typical full-time student with a 12-hour courseload gets only half of their tuition covered.

This is important to me because I went to college in-state specifically because of HOPE. I was accepted to a number of cool out-of-state institutions, but my parents were not offering me any help and I had no savings. With my tuition covered at UGA, I was just barely able to cover my own living expenses with part-time income and modest loans.

With the system set up as it is today, I would probably not have been able to go to college after graduating high school. I would have had to stay with my parents, enter the workforce, and just pray I managed to save up enough cash for higher education. (Lord knows that’s a super easy proposition for someone without a degree.) Alternatively, I could have enlisted in the military. In 2003. That would be sure to end well, what with Iraq and Afghanistan and a congress whose lipservice support for the troops does not extend to frivolous luxuries like ‘health care.’

My point is that free tuition is an UNBELIEVABLY HUGE DEAL for smart kids from poor families. It is not an exaggeration to say that it changed the course of my life. Support measures like this one, and keep them funded.

(via doctordisaster)

Ugh, “unwilling to eliminate high-income students from eligibility” says so much about this country right there.

I was lucky enough to get parental support on top of my loans, which I’m still paying off (with a lot left) in my 30’s…

(via doctordisaster)

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winterlive:

think-progress:

Not pulling any punches.
Read our entire interview with LeVar here.

TP: As much as millennials have embraced your campaign, there’s also been some backlash to the Kickstarter. Do you want to comment on any of those negative reactions?LB: I would LOVE to.

“What criticisms have you seen?
I actually haven’t read the Washington Post article because I didn’t want to get upset. I’m acutely aware of the issues that it brings up.
Okay, let’s run down the issues. Sounds like you can just take the lead on this one.So number one, Reading Rainbow was not cancelled because it was not effective.Reading Rainbow was the most used television resource in our nation’s classroom. In 2009, it was [cancelled] due to No Child Left Behind. That government policy made a choice between teaching the rudiments of reading and fostering a love of reading. So the idea that I am trying to somehow revive a failed endeavor is bullshit. That’s right. I said it. Bullshit.
What are your thoughts on that issue? In a perfect world, we’d be able to financially support both efforts. How do you make the choice between teaching kids the basics of reading and instilling a love of reading?How do you make that choice? I’m sure it was a tough choice. I’m sure the idea, the principle, the spirit of No Child Left Behind is great and noble. How you accomplish that makes all the difference in the world. We’re trying not to leave any kids behind, and our choice is to give it away when they can’t afford it. (Editor’s note: Even in 2009, there were critics who asked if the Department of Education’s failure to fund a working program was the real reason Reading Rainbow was cancelled. One headline asked, “Did Education Dept.’s Shift Help Kill PBS’s ‘Reading Rainbow’?” in, of all places, The Washington Post.)”
I better not read that article either… What on earth is there to criticize about Reading Rainbow??? I “can go anywhere”, damn it!!

winterlive:

think-progress:

Not pulling any punches.

Read our entire interview with LeVar here.

TP: As much as millennials have embraced your campaign, there’s also been some backlash to the Kickstarter. Do you want to comment on any of those negative reactions?

LB: I would LOVE to.

What criticisms have you seen?

I actually haven’t read the Washington Post article because I didn’t want to get upset. I’m acutely aware of the issues that it brings up.

Okay, let’s run down the issues. Sounds like you can just take the lead on this one.
So number one, Reading Rainbow was not cancelled because it was not effective.Reading Rainbow was the most used television resource in our nation’s classroom. In 2009, it was [cancelled] due to No Child Left Behind. That government policy made a choice between teaching the rudiments of reading and fostering a love of reading. So the idea that I am trying to somehow revive a failed endeavor is bullshit. That’s right. I said it. Bullshit.

What are your thoughts on that issue? In a perfect world, we’d be able to financially support both efforts. How do you make the choice between teaching kids the basics of reading and instilling a love of reading?
How do you make that choice? I’m sure it was a tough choice. I’m sure the idea, the principle, the spirit of No Child Left Behind is great and noble. How you accomplish that makes all the difference in the world. We’re trying not to leave any kids behind, and our choice is to give it away when they can’t afford it. (Editor’s note: Even in 2009, there were critics who asked if the Department of Education’s failure to fund a working program was the real reason Reading Rainbow was cancelled. One headline asked, “Did Education Dept.’s Shift Help Kill PBS’s ‘Reading Rainbow’?” in, of all places, The Washington Post.)”

I better not read that article either… What on earth is there to criticize about Reading Rainbow??? I “can go anywhere”, damn it!!

(via doctordisaster)

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soulrevision:

One of the most effective ways for us to fight back is to arm ourselves with knowledge and apply what we learn. Education through higher learning institutions and self/community education is a must! We will win, not just against law enforcement, but against any and all oppressive systems & institutions that seek to rob us of our rights.

soulrevision:

One of the most effective ways for us to fight back is to arm ourselves with knowledge and apply what we learn. Education through higher learning institutions and self/community education is a must! We will win, not just against law enforcement, but against any and all oppressive systems & institutions that seek to rob us of our rights.

(via stargazington)

Photoset

frenchchairs:

It is an unusual school in an unusual location and is run by an unusual teacher.

Rajesh Kumar is a shopkeeper by profession but spends hours every morning teaching around 80 children from the poorest of the poor in India’s capital.

The 43-year-old visited the construction of the Delhi transit station a few years ago and was disturbed by the sight of  many children playing at the site instead of attending school.

When he questioned the parents working at the sites they all said there were no schools in the vicinity and no one cared.

Consequently, his open-air class room was born - between pillars and beneath the tracks of the Delhi transit system, known as the Metro.

Every few minutes a train passes above, the children unperturbed by its sounds.

There are no chairs or tables and the children sit on rolls of polystyrene foam placed on the rubble.

Three rectangular patches of wall are painted black and used as a blackboard.

Anonymous donors have contributed cardigans, books, shoes and stationery for the children, as their parents cannot afford them.

One unnamed individual sends a bag full of biscuits and fruit juice for the pupils every day - another incentive for the children to turn up for their studies.

AWESOME.

(via darksilenceinsuburbia)

Link

lazybookreviews:

We published this completely mammoth investigatory piece on how students at Tufts have attempted to change how the university deals with survivors of sexual assault, and I am afraid that no one will actually read it, so I would really appreciate a signal boost from campus feminists and allies.

Signal boost.

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(via Religious Discrimination Has No Place in the Classroom | American Civil Liberties Union)

"Like any parents, we were deeply concerned when our son C.C. began getting sick to his stomach on the way to school each morning.

At first, we thought he had fallen ill. But we soon found out a far more disturbing truth—that our son, a Buddhist of Thai descent, was afraid to go to school because his teacher was chastising him in front of his peers for his Buddhist faith.

As we dug deeper, we discovered that our son’s sixth-grade curriculum at Negreet High included extreme religious indoctrination. The school itself was covered in religious icons. Christian prayer was incorporated into nearly every school event. And our son’s teacher routinely preached her biblical beliefs to students and tested the children on their piety with exam questions such as this one: “ISN’T IT AMAZING WHAT THE _____________ HAS MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

…And when we brought our concerns to the school superintendent, expecting compassion for our son’s treatment, we found none. She informed us that we live in the “Bible belt” and suggested that we transfer our son to another district school 25 miles away where, she claimed, there were “more Asians.”

…Please join us in calling on the Department of Justice to launch an immediate investigation into this unlawful religious discrimination so that no other child has to go through the harassment that our son has endured.”

(via Religious Discrimination Has No Place in the Classroom | American Civil Liberties Union)

"Like any parents, we were deeply concerned when our son C.C. began getting sick to his stomach on the way to school each morning.

At first, we thought he had fallen ill. But we soon found out a far more disturbing truth—that our son, a Buddhist of Thai descent, was afraid to go to school because his teacher was chastising him in front of his peers for his Buddhist faith.

As we dug deeper, we discovered that our son’s sixth-grade curriculum at Negreet High included extreme religious indoctrination. The school itself was covered in religious icons. Christian prayer was incorporated into nearly every school event. And our son’s teacher routinely preached her biblical beliefs to students and tested the children on their piety with exam questions such as this one: “ISN’T IT AMAZING WHAT THE _____________ HAS MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

…And when we brought our concerns to the school superintendent, expecting compassion for our son’s treatment, we found none. She informed us that we live in the “Bible belt” and suggested that we transfer our son to another district school 25 miles away where, she claimed, there were “more Asians.”

…Please join us in calling on the Department of Justice to launch an immediate investigation into this unlawful religious discrimination so that no other child has to go through the harassment that our son has endured.”

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Since taking office, Gov. LePage has made national news in his work to try to undermine Maine’s child labor laws. This is the same Governor who thinks twelve-year olds should be working, and who tried to roll back the minimum wage for students, as well as open the door to them working longer and longer hours. Thankfully, parents, teachers and advocates have (thus far) thwarted his efforts.

But, he’s at it again. This time, he’s attempting to undermine laws that date back to the mid-1800s when child labor laws were first developed.

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Stop Child Labor Roll Backs - Diane Russell

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This would not normally be the sort of thing Americans United would pay much attention to. Private schools are free to set their own rules and standards – even if those policies sometimes don’t make sense.

But in this case there’s an important wrinkle: Faith Christian Academy is a voucher school. Prospective and current students are eligible for taxpayer-funded scholarships provided through Florida’s Step Up For Students program.

Like all voucher programs, Step Up For Students is funded directly by public money. Faith Christian Academy’s decision to expel a minority student over her natural hair isn’t just a quirky news story; it also reveals the implications of allowing public funds to go to sectarian schools.

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A Hair-Raising Dilemma: Fla. Voucher School Threatens Student With Expulsion Over Her Hair | Americans United

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(via Indonesia is forcing girls to take “virginity tests” before they can go to high school.)
“A city on Indonesia’s Sumatra Island is about to force female students to pass a virginity test before they can go to high school.
Whether or not girls are virgins has nothing to do with their right to a good education. No male students are forced to undergo this humiliating exercise, one which shames sexually active teens and may expose rape victims to further abuse. 
If we don’t speak out, this policy will spread in Indonesia and surrounding countries. But Indonesian authorities aren’t expecting international scrutiny, which means it’s the perfect time to call on Education chief Muhammad Rasyid to stop this anti-woman campaign.”
PETITION SIGNED. Sick mother fuckers.

(via Indonesia is forcing girls to take “virginity tests” before they can go to high school.)

A city on Indonesia’s Sumatra Island is about to force female students to pass a virginity test before they can go to high school.

Whether or not girls are virgins has nothing to do with their right to a good education. No male students are forced to undergo this humiliating exercise, one which shames sexually active teens and may expose rape victims to further abuse. 

If we don’t speak out, this policy will spread in Indonesia and surrounding countries. But Indonesian authorities aren’t expecting international scrutiny, which means it’s the perfect time to call on Education chief Muhammad Rasyid to stop this anti-woman campaign.”

PETITION SIGNED. Sick mother fuckers.

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(via St. George, La.: One group’s quest for a new city could determine the fate of metropolitan Baton Rouge | NOLA.com)
"…It is a fight that threatens to put a barrier between urban Baton Rouge proper and an affluent suburban area to the south. The proposed new city, encompassing the Mall of Louisiana and critical commercial areas, would take with it a huge chunk of the East Baton Rouge Parish sales tax base, stripping vital revenue from the city and other parts of the parish.
The conflict also threatens to deepen long-standing divisions of class and race that continue to permeate life in East Baton Rouge Parish and simmer just below the surface of the fight over St. George. Though the campaign doesn’t talk about it in these terms, a predominantly white and middle-class area of south Baton Rouge is attempting to secede from a school system and a city that is majority African-American, and includes the poorest residents of the parish.
In East Baton Rouge Parish, “you have a separation that is both based on race and class, and this would really perpetuate that,” said Albert Samuels, an associate professor of political science at Southern University. “Some of these supporters of this effort to incorporate St. George and create a school district, they have the temerity to say with a straight face that this has nothing to do with race. But they’re acting as if the previous 50 or 60 years of history in this town have absolutely no consequence for where we stand now.”

(via St. George, La.: One group’s quest for a new city could determine the fate of metropolitan Baton Rouge | NOLA.com)

"…It is a fight that threatens to put a barrier between urban Baton Rouge proper and an affluent suburban area to the south. The proposed new city, encompassing the Mall of Louisiana and critical commercial areas, would take with it a huge chunk of the East Baton Rouge Parish sales tax base, stripping vital revenue from the city and other parts of the parish.

The conflict also threatens to deepen long-standing divisions of class and race that continue to permeate life in East Baton Rouge Parish and simmer just below the surface of the fight over St. George. Though the campaign doesn’t talk about it in these terms, a predominantly white and middle-class area of south Baton Rouge is attempting to secede from a school system and a city that is majority African-American, and includes the poorest residents of the parish.

In East Baton Rouge Parish, “you have a separation that is both based on race and class, and this would really perpetuate that,” said Albert Samuels, an associate professor of political science at Southern University. “Some of these supporters of this effort to incorporate St. George and create a school district, they have the temerity to say with a straight face that this has nothing to do with race. But they’re acting as if the previous 50 or 60 years of history in this town have absolutely no consequence for where we stand now.”