Author Topic: Duval schools see poverty grow in student population  (Read 444 times)

KenFSU

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Duval schools see poverty grow in student population
« on: March 20, 2018, 11:07:42 AM »
Horrifying stat of the day:

51% of Duval County school children are now classified as poor.

If we really want to be a vibrant, modern city, we need to get our priorities in line.

Quote
Duval schools see poverty grow in student population

Duval County’s student body is getting poorer.

At least on paper.

Figures determining who gets free meals at schools show that over the past four years, the number of Duval County district students identified as low income has grown by 12.2 percent, while the number of high and middle-income students has fallen 12.3 percent.

The data analyzed for this story is used to build poverty estimates for federal lunch and school funding programs.

Of 159 Duval schools that had student economic data for all four years, 150 showed a drop in non-poor students since 2014. Nine schools lost about half or more of their non-poor population, and 45 schools lost 25 percent or more.

In 2014 most Duval students — 55.2 percent — were not identified as poor in the school lunch data, but this year 50.9 percent are.

Increases in poverty can affect student performance, experts say, and can make it harder to attract strong teachers to economically depressed schools.

It’s hard to say from the data if more of Duval’s students have become poor or if the district has lost more of its non-poor students than it gained. Overall enrollment tipped downward only 1.4 percent, to more than 113,000, over the four years.

Full story: http://www.jacksonville.com/news/20180319/duval-schools-see-poverty-grow-in-student-population
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Tacachale

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Re: Duval schools see poverty grow in student population
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 11:13:33 AM »
I'm going with white flight. More and more of the demographic of means, and that puts a lot of stock in education, are moving to the bedroom counties, doing the private school thing, or otherwise avoiding Duval schools.
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thelakelander

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Re: Duval schools see poverty grow in student population
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 11:31:24 AM »
I'll second you with white flight and throw black flight in the mix as well. Look at the demographics of schools in bedroom communities like Clay and St. Johns County, as well as those sending their kids to private and charter schools. Good or wrong, DCPS has a bad general reputation and parents with the financial means are generally sending their children elsewhere. Yet, KenFSU is correct, for Jacksonville to really economically blossom, it's going to have to find a way to improve and enhance the reputation of the public school system.
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Tacachale

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Re: Duval schools see poverty grow in student population
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2018, 12:14:59 PM »
Fixing Duval County Public Schools in any meaningful way means fixing a dysfunctional and historically underfunded school district, the general difficulty of educating poor children, the legacy of segregation and inequality, the problem of sprawl and white (and black) flight, institutional problems arising from the massive size of the district, and various aspects of local cultures that undervalue (and accordingly underfund) education. Not an easy fix.

If it were up to me, I'd:

*Make the School Board appointed. The elected school board is and always has been made up of people who know how to get elected, rather than people who know how to run a school board.
*Find a way to increase teacher retention. A first step would be to stop sending the newbies to the most struggling schools where they burn out.
*Consider splitting up the district. This would involve changing Florida law that matches districts to counties, which are huge compared to most other parts of the country.
*Massive infrastructure improvements in the Old City, including a real transit network, to spark investment in these areas.
*One way tolls at the county line at all roads leading into Duval from St. Johns, Clay, and Nassau. We need a way to compel people in the bedroom counties to contribute more to the Duval infrastructure they benefit from.
*Get real about what improvement really means. We'll never "fix" Duval County schools to compete with either the bedroom counties or other cities with incomparable histories and demographics. Just not going to happen. What we can do is improve them.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

marcuscnelson

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Re: Duval schools see poverty grow in student population
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2018, 01:21:41 PM »
Fixing Duval County Public Schools in any meaningful way means fixing a dysfunctional and historically underfunded school district, the general difficulty of educating poor children, the legacy of segregation and inequality, the problem of sprawl and white (and black) flight, institutional problems arising from the massive size of the district, and various aspects of local cultures that undervalue (and accordingly underfund) education. Not an easy fix.

If it were up to me, I'd:

*Make the School Board appointed. The elected school board is and always has been made up of people who know how to get elected, rather than people who know how to run a school board.
*Find a way to increase teacher retention. A first step would be to stop sending the newbies to the most struggling schools where they burn out.
*Consider splitting up the district. This would involve changing Florida law that matches districts to counties, which are huge compared to most other parts of the country.
*Massive infrastructure improvements in the Old City, including a real transit network, to spark investment in these areas.
*One way tolls at the county line at all roads leading into Duval from St. Johns, Clay, and Nassau. We need a way to compel people in the bedroom counties to contribute more to the Duval infrastructure they benefit from.
*Get real about what improvement really means. We'll never "fix" Duval County schools to compete with either the bedroom counties or other cities with incomparable histories and demographics. Just not going to happen. What we can do is improve them.

I'm no expert on what long-term strategies and improvements would be needed to drive down the number of impoverished students, but I would question the validity and expectations of support ideas like these would have. While I don't question electing the school boards or some of the teacher retention ideas, I worry there would be other issues with some of the other solutions detailed, especially pertaining to cost.

Does splitting up the district really solve anything, or does it just create two competing organizations with redundant administrative infrastructure? Would the cost of infrastructure improvements have a justifiable return? I don't know about you, but I'd worry that a one-way toll would give St. Johns, Clay and Nassau more reasons to build their own urban areas and pull people away from Jax. Why go to SJTC when Durbin Park is almost exactly on the county line, and toll-free?

Again, I can't say for sure what would work, but I think it's necessary to more realistically consider the people who live here and what they want from their county and schools. Policy that pits wealthy bedroom communities against a city in need of economic investment doesn't seem like a solution to lifting people out of poverty, or increasing income.

Tacachale

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Re: Duval schools see poverty grow in student population
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2018, 01:51:43 PM »
Fixing Duval County Public Schools in any meaningful way means fixing a dysfunctional and historically underfunded school district, the general difficulty of educating poor children, the legacy of segregation and inequality, the problem of sprawl and white (and black) flight, institutional problems arising from the massive size of the district, and various aspects of local cultures that undervalue (and accordingly underfund) education. Not an easy fix.

If it were up to me, I'd:

*Make the School Board appointed. The elected school board is and always has been made up of people who know how to get elected, rather than people who know how to run a school board.
*Find a way to increase teacher retention. A first step would be to stop sending the newbies to the most struggling schools where they burn out.
*Consider splitting up the district. This would involve changing Florida law that matches districts to counties, which are huge compared to most other parts of the country.
*Massive infrastructure improvements in the Old City, including a real transit network, to spark investment in these areas.
*One way tolls at the county line at all roads leading into Duval from St. Johns, Clay, and Nassau. We need a way to compel people in the bedroom counties to contribute more to the Duval infrastructure they benefit from.
*Get real about what improvement really means. We'll never "fix" Duval County schools to compete with either the bedroom counties or other cities with incomparable histories and demographics. Just not going to happen. What we can do is improve them.

I'm no expert on what long-term strategies and improvements would be needed to drive down the number of impoverished students, but I would question the validity and expectations of support ideas like these would have. While I don't question electing the school boards or some of the teacher retention ideas, I worry there would be other issues with some of the other solutions detailed, especially pertaining to cost.

Does splitting up the district really solve anything, or does it just create two competing organizations with redundant administrative infrastructure? Would the cost of infrastructure improvements have a justifiable return? I don't know about you, but I'd worry that a one-way toll would give St. Johns, Clay and Nassau more reasons to build their own urban areas and pull people away from Jax. Why go to SJTC when Durbin Park is almost exactly on the county line, and toll-free?

Again, I can't say for sure what would work, but I think it's necessary to more realistically consider the people who live here and what they want from their county and schools. Policy that pits wealthy bedroom communities against a city in need of economic investment doesn't seem like a solution to lifting people out of poverty, or increasing income.

Splitting the districts is likely impossible as state law matches the districts to counties. But the districts are enormous and in a place like Jacksonville, the districts are responsible for managing both struggling urban schools, and suburban schools, and even rural schools like Baldwin. It is obvious that the school board can't do it effectively.

Tolling the suburbanites would be good for all manner of things. Currently a good chunk of St. Johns County works in Duval and benefits from our infrastructure, without paying for it. We've essentially incentivized people to live and keep their property taxes in another county while still reaping the benefits of the city. Strip centers like Durbin Park are going up regardless of what we do in Duval, but they aren't going to spark much in the way of business development. It'll be a long time before St. Johns is remotely on the way to having the infrastructure and wherewithal to attract many employers to their county. It'll be a bedroom county for generations. But if they decide to start developing more urban centers, so much the better. The county is a sprawling mess that'll be like Blanding Boulevard in Orange Park before too much longer.
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?