Posts Tagged by budget
|August 7, 2014||Posted by M. P. under Education, News||
For many families, the month of August is all about shopping for and packing with their college-bound offspring, many of whom are living away from home for the first time. Parents and students are likely also discussing topics related to this exciting transition – living with roommates, choosing a major, time management, student-parent communication boundaries, and staying healthy. In all of this activity, the issue of personal financial management may be overlooked; or is assumed to be understood by the student, even though knowing what a budget is and living by one are two very different things. Some level of skill around money management is a critical aspect of living independently and should accompany every incoming freshman.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), the country’s largest financial counseling nonprofit organization, released a checklist that covers the basic knowledge a young person should have in order to develop good fiscal habits. Some highlights:
- Before they leave for college, plan and document a realistic monthly budget with your child. They should be responsible for tracking their own spending (there are apps for that!) as well as recording or monitoring all bank (including prepaid debit card) transactions.
- Explain the real-life impacts of accruing credit card debt, especially on top of any student loan debt, from paying interest on a monthly basis when charges are not paid off to a poor credit report following them long after graduation.
- Discuss the risk of identity theft and its fiscal implications, particularly related to information posted on social media, sharing passwords, and security issues with the use of public computers or unsecured Wi-Fi for financial transactions.
The Personal Finance 101 checklist and other resources are available at the NFCC’s website.
|May 11, 2013||Posted by M. P. under Budget, Education, Youth Development||
A report from the Afterschool Alliance highlights another example of programs experiencing decreased funding and increased demand. This challenge, already felt by mental health providers and food banks, is also affecting afterschool and summer programs. Uncertain Times 2012: Afterschool Programs Still Struggling in Today’s Economy discusses the results of a study examining the impact of the economy on afterschool programs for youth, noting that although they provide a popular and worthy service, their budgets continue to dwindle.
The study found that programs in urban, suburban and rural areas are all struggling with less funding and increased demand for their services. Additional findings:
- Nearly 40 percent of programs surveyed reported budgets that are “in worse shape” currently than in the midst of the recession four years ago. Specifically, 68 percent of programs serving a mostly African-American population and 65 percent of those serving a mostly Latino population reported diminished funds compared to three years ago.
- Over half of the programs (58 percent) reported being at or above maximum capacity with 36 percent maintained a waiting list. Demand for afterschool programs serving African-American and Latino children was reported to be even higher. Among programs serving primarily African-American youth, 65 percent were at or above maximum capacity, and 41 percent had a waiting list. Among those serving primarily Latino children, 70 percent were at or above maximum capacity and 48 percent had a waiting list.
The Pittsburgh Project, a nonprofit community development organization on Pittsburgh’s North Side, is featured in this report as an example of the real-world impact of economic conditions on a local program. Since the economic downturn, the Pittsburgh Project has experienced a 40 percent decrease in their budget resulting in staff layoffs, reduced hours, fewer children served and the elimination of many program activities.
|July 17, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Budget, News, Policy||
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center has released several briefs on the 2012-13 PA budget, including their analysis on the cuts, credits and potential impact of the budget on Pennsylvania residents. Budget highlights:
- Final budget total amount is $27.656 billion (an increase of $517 million compared to Governor Corbett’s earlier proposal).
- Overall, General Fund spending was down 1.4 percent from 2010-11. Notable spending cuts include, classroom education (a decrease of 9.6 percent), labor and industry (a decrease of 13.5 percent), community and economic development (a decrease of 18.5 percent) and environment (decrease of 20.4 percent).
- Other areas of major cuts: human services (specifically mental health, homeless assistance), higher education and the end of the General Assistance Program – a program that gave temporary support to over 68,000 Pennsylvanians who were sick or disabled.
- Several tax credits and cuts were implemented or continued, including private school scholarships for youth in low-performing school districts (through the EITC program) and credits for corporations doing business in the Commonwealth.
- The Human Services Development Block Grant did not make it into the final budget, but the legislature passed a bill to enact a Human Services Development Block Grant Pilot Program as law.
Visit The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center website for analysis and commentary on the 2012-13 budget and the latest news on policy in Pennsylvania.
|May 2, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Budget, Education, Policy||
In April, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the release of findings from a Congressionally mandated study on arts education in elementary and secondary public schools, calling it “an important milestone in arts education in our nation,” as it is “the first survey in a decade that carefully documents the state of arts education in the United States.” The study, which included public school students from Kindergarten through 12th grade, looked at the degree to which students received education in arts (music, dance, drama and visual arts) and variables related to both the work/learning environment and the instructors. Findings include,
- In 2009-10, 94 percent of elementary schools offered music education and instruction, 83 percent offered instruction in visual arts, 4 percent offered drama/theater instruction, and 3 percent offered dance.
- During the 2008-09 school year, 91 percent if secondary schools offered music education and instruction, 89 percent offered visual arts, 45 percent drama, and 12 percent dance.
- 57 percent of secondary schools required completion of coursework in the arts as a condition of gradation during the 2009-10 school year.
The complete report, Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 1999–2000 and 2009–10 is available for download at the National Center on Education Statistics website. For more information on how to advocate for arts education in Pennsylvania schools, check out the recent report from the Arts and Education Initiative (AEI) of the Harrisburg-based Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC).
Report citation: Parsad, B., and Spiegelman, M. (2012). Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 1999–2000 and 2009–10 (NCES 2012–014). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.