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October 15, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Per-pupil spending in the region varies greatly across school districts

A new report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute reveals the significant disparities in per-pupil spending in the region that show some disconnects between student spending versus school rank. The report is accompanied by an interactive map of district spending. (WaPo, 10/15)

Charter schools in the District spent $18,150 per student during the 2011-2012 school year, while Prince George’s County Public Schools spent $10,408 on each child it served, a significant difference between the highest and lowest spenders in the Washington region, according to a study released Wednesday by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.


A student who moves just a few streets away, from a home in the District into Prince George’s County, could see a 42 percent decrease in the amount of funding the school district provides.

– In an effort to get more District students to college, thousands of DCPS high schoolers are taking a free, mandatory SAT test today. (WAMU, 10/15)

HEALTH | The Robert Wood Johnson’s Commission to Build a Healthier America urges that funding priorities shift to emphasize three areas found essential to improving the nation’s health: Increasing access to early childhood development programs; revitalizing low-income neighborhoods; and broadening the mission of health care providers beyond medical treatment.  The Commission has determined that these areas have the greatest potential for improving the health of the population, especially for low-income families, and offer the greatest opportunities for collaboration. You can read the recommendations and supporting evidence here.

Related: On Tuesday, October 28th at 9:00 AM, co-chair of the Commission, Alice Rivlin, PhD, will join us to speak on creating healthier communities through cross-sector collaborations and explore how funders can work together by connecting program areas along with those in the public, business, and nonprofit sectors to make our region’s communities stronger and healthier. Rivlin is also a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution and Director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform. The event, “How to Make a Healthier Community,” is for WRAG members and is co-convened by our Healthy Communities Working Group and the Northern Virginia Health Foundation.  For more information on registering for this special event, click here.

POVERTY | When discussing poverty in America, one group that is often left out of the conversation are those within the LGBT community. Anti-LGBT policies and discrimination can hinder ones ability to find work or earn livable wages as LGBT individuals struggle disproportionately with poverty. (TalkPoverty, 10/9)

Related: On Wednesday, October 29th at 12:00 PM, WRAG will host a brown bag discussion for members on local and national funding for LGBTQ issues. The discussion will feature Ben Francisco Maulbeck, president of Funders for LGBTQ Issues, as he shares an overview and analysis of the landscape of LGBTQ funding nationally and in our region. Find out more here.

– Yesterday, a new plan was announced to shelter families at D.C. General within smaller facilities around the city. You can get more details about the full plan here. (, 10/14)

– What can providing homeless families with private shelter mean for children in the long run? (DCFPI, 10/15)

WORKFORCE | McAuliffe announces budget cuts, layoffs to address revenue shortfall (WaPo, 10/15)

NONPROFITS | What can you do when a fiscal cliff is threatening to stall operations at your organization? Lynsey Wood Jeffries, CEO of Higher Achievement, talks about the six strategies she employed during the organization’s major turnaround in 2012. (SSIR, 9/10)

FOOD | Whole Foods to roll out rankings for produce (WaPo,10/15)

I say “potato,” you say “pehtato”…that is, if you’re from Florida. Check out how other people around the world say it, too.


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