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August 25, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Plans for set aside seats met with opposition

With 43 percent of all D.C. students currently considered at-risk, the D.C. Public Charter School Board leader, Scott Pearson opposes a plan requiring schools with less than 25 percent at-risk students to give priority in lottery admissions for 25 percent of the seats at their schools. (WAMU, 8/22)

City officials say that the provision — along with requirements for a certain amount of seats for out-of-boundary students at all schools — would ensure that students facing difficult circumstances could attend the city’s best-performing schools. There has been an increased emphasis on the needs of at-risk students; $116 million in additional funding is being directed to at-risk students in the school year beginning next week.


In an interview, [Scott] Pearson said that he could not support the recommendation because it had not been properly considered.

“This recommendation was formulated in the final weeks of an eight-month process, there were no consultations with affected schools or communities and there was no analysis of impact. So it really had nowhere near the level of thoughtfulness and consideration that the other recommendations in the report had,” he said.

Nearly 1,100 New Central American Students Join D.C. Area Schools (WAMU, 8/25)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING/POVERTY │ According to data from the New York City-based nonprofit, Citizens Budget Commission, the District may actually be considered a relatively affordable city when analyzing both housing and transportation costs for a low-income, three-person household, making it the second most affordable major city behind San Francisco. (WaPo, 8/25)

Of 22 major cities in the United States, the District – which is in the throes  of an affordable housing debate – ranked only behind San Francisco in terms of being most affordable for the prototypical low-income family. On average, a low-income family here spends about 43 percent of their money on rent and transportation costs.

YOUTH │ Defense attorneys in D.C. are advocating for courts to end the practice of shackling juvenile offenders who stand before a judge. Advocates argue that the practice is cruel and sends the wrong message to youth when the end goal is rehabilitation. (WaPo, 8/24)

– The unaccompanied minor crisis has been in the news a lot lately, with steady numbers of children arriving across the border. Here are some short-term and long-term ways in which funders can respond to the growing issue. (Arabella Advisors, 8/22)

Millennials Transform Charitable Giving Into Philanthropic Action (HuffPo, 8/22)

COMMUNITY │ The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has launched four discretionary grant cycles for the 2014-2015 season with over $400,000 in grants to award – its Community Investment Funds, Future Fund, Business Women’s Giving Circle, and Loudoun Impact Fund grants.  Applications are now being accepted from nonprofits, schools and faith-based organizations serving Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties, and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park. Find out more here. (CFNOVA, 8/18)

The National Book Festival is coming soon!

– Ciara

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