Multicultural Education Research ProjectDr. LutteneggerEDU 3200MSCD Fall 2010 Mackenzie Burns Tyler Cole Daralynne Harris Ross Pontious
Tonya’s story Not only was she big for her age, she was older than anyone else in first-grade because she had been retained in kindergarten. Her name was Tonya…she would boss and bully the other children, pilfer items from desks, or talk them into ‘uneven’ trades. Matters worsened when I received a hostile note from a parent. It read, “This is the fourth time that Tommy’s snack cake has been taken from his lunch. What are you going to do about it?” What I did was launch an investigation. First, I asked if anyone else was missing items from lunchboxes and discovered many other children had been affected. Three days later several children reported that they had seen Tonya ‘messing around other people’s lunchboxes.’ I asked her but she denied it. At recess, I looked in her desk and found it littered with empty food wrappers.
WHY? Why do you think Tonya had resorted to stealing her classmates’ lunches? Was it simply because she was a bully? Is this her way of coping with being retained in kindergarten? Or is there more to the story?
Tonya’s Motives Tonya’s mother had lupus and was at a debilitating stage of the disease that prevented her from working. Tonya’s family now consisted of mother, unofficial stepfather (also permanently disabled), and a three-year-old brother. They lived on a fixed income, and Tonya qualified for free lunches. When I asked Tonya why she took things from other children’s lunches, she simply said, “Cause I was hungry.” I asked her if she ate breakfast in the morning, and she said, “No. I have to take care of my little brother before I go to school.”
What About other issues? What about children whose parents cannot afford preschool? What kinds of benefits will these children miss out on that their more fortunate peers will benefit from? With such an importance placed on school readiness how much will missing out on preschool opportunities really hurt these children?
Filling the void What can be done to help these children in dire situations? What should be done to ensure that a less privileged childhood does not translate into a lifelong pattern? Are they doomed to remain “behind” their more privileged peers?
Government Programs Head Start Free and Reduced Lunch
free & REDUCED lunch What Is It?
Federally Assisted Meal Program that provides meals for free
or at a discount to qualifying children
Operated in 101,000 residential child-care systems, public
School and non-Profit private schools
Independent Schools and school districts that chose to take part
In the program will receive donated commodities and cash Subsidies from the USDA for each meal served
In return for subsidies from the USDA schools
must provide lunches that meet federal standards
Free & reduced lunch A Brief History: 1946 National School Lunch Act, under Harry Truman, created the modern school lunch program Chartered under strict requirements: (1) serve lunches meeting minimum nutritional requirements (2) serve meals at no or low cost to qualified children (3) operate the program on a non-profit basis (4) utilize commodities declared by secretary to be abundant (5) maintain proper receipts of all expenditures Since its inception the program has served more than 219 billion lunches In 1947 the program cost the government $70 million in and in 2009 it cost the government $9.8 billion
Free & reduced lunch Children from families that have incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level 130 percent of the poverty level is $28,665 for a family of four ($18,941 for family of 2) Children from families that have incomes between 130 and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced price meals (40 cents or less) 185 percent of the poverty level is $40,793 for a family of four ($26,955 for family of 2) Who Qualifies?
Free & reduced lunch Current Rates of Usage: Program provided an estimated 31 million free or low-cost lunches to children EACH school day in 2009 In Colorado 38% of children statewide were eligible for free or reduced lunch in 2009 with wide variation As much as 71% of students were eligible for free or reduced lunch in Denver county in 2009 Only 8% of students were eligible for free or reduced lunch in Douglas county in 2009
Free & reduced lunch K-12 Students Eligible in Colorado and Larimer County Schools
Free & reduced lunch Application: As prospective educators what do these numbers mean for us? What implications does this have on your future classroom and students? How might teaching in Denver county differ from teaching in Douglas county judging by these numbers?
Head Start What Is It?:
Federally funded child development program for low income children and their families
Mainly aims to serve children between the ages 0-5 and pregnant women from families
living below the federal poverty line
Head Start provides services in: education (preschool readiness), health, social issues,
parent involvement, and community partnership
Head Start programs are funded by the Federal Department of
Health and Human Services
Above all Head Start is a family-oriented, community based
program that strives to address developmental goals for children, support for parents in their work and child-rearing, and linkage with other service delivery systems.
Head Start Originally began as an 8 week summer program for children from low-income communities in 1965 as part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” Served 560,000 children in its first summer and provided preschool classes, medical care, dental care, and mental health services. Under the Carter administration in 1977 Head Start introduced bilingual and cultural programs Early Head Start was initiated in 1994 to serve low income families with pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. Reauthorized in 1998 by Clinton to expand to full day and full year programs A Brief History:
Head Start Who Qualifies? Age Requirements: Early Head Start: 18 Mos. to Age 2 Age Requirements: Head Start: Age 3 to Age 5 Income Eligibility: Family’s Income is at or below $22,050 for a family of four or $14,570 for a family of two Legal Requirements: Valid birth certificate, immunization records, proof of legal custody, and income verification Disabilities: If a child has a current IEP or IFSP income requirements may be overlooked
Head start Who Uses Head Start As Percentage of Total Enrolled Population: Ethnicity: 34% Black, 26% Hispanic, 40% White Parental Demographics: 45% Less than a High School Degree, 41% Single Parents, 21% Non-English Speaking Mother’s Median Age: 23.04
Head start Does It Work? Head Start has received nationwide acclaim for its preparation of children from low income families for elementary school but studies have revealed mixed results: When compared to school-based programs the school-based program is more successful in promoting early literacy and learning whereas Head Start is more successful in promoting health. Students that have attended Head Start programs have been shown to be more likely to display behavioral and emotional issues but have also been shown to smoke less. Overall, studies have confirmed that participation in Head Start programs is generally effective in preparing students for academic success and developing productive habits in preschoolers
Middle ground:When “enough” is not enough What happens when a family does not qualify for Free and Reduced Lunches or Head Start because they make “too much money,” BUT still hardly makes ends meet? For example: A family of two both working 40 hours a week at an entry level position in a grocery store would have a combined income of $26,880 and would not qualify for either Free and Reduced Lunch or Head Start (71 percent of people interested in using Head Start services indicated that low income requirements were the greatest barrier inhibiting their use of those desired resources) Does this mean this family does not need support?
Fraud: Head Start Caught Redhanded Records obtained by GAO indicate that 22 percent of all children enrolled were classified as ‘homeless’ when they were in fact from families over the income requirements. Head Start employees were also alleged to have: classified children as disabled when they are not, counting children in enrollment figures after they had left the program, and using company vehicles for personal use. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ78xnzpP9A&feature=player_embedded
Debate What should be done to reprimand the Head Start workers that participated in this fraud? Are Head Start workers justified in forging or ignoring a family’s income just because they make too much to qualify for the program, even if the family still struggles to make ends meet? Who should be allowed to participate in Head Start? Should there be changes to the income qualifications for government programs such as Head Start and Free and Reduced Lunch? If yes, what would you propose? Do the benefits of the program outweigh the potential issues that come with the program? Questions to Consider:
Works cited Anderson, Kathryn H., James E. Foster, and David E. Frisvold. “Investing in Health: The Long-Term Impact of Head Start on Smoking.” Economic Inquiry 48.3. (2010): 587-602. Web. Oct. 2010. Gormley, William T., Deborah Phillips, Shirley Adelstein, and Catherine Shaw. “Head Start’s Comparative Advantage: Myth or Reality?” The policy Studies Journal 38.3 (2010): 397-418. Web. Sep. 2010. Gunderson, Gordon W. The National School Lunch Program Background and Development. USDA, 17 May 2009. Web. Sep. 2010. McDevitt, Teresa M., and Jeanne E. Ormrod. Child and Development Education. 3rd ed. Columbus: Pearson, 2007. 3-4. McWayne, Christine M., Linnie E Green, and John W. Fantuzzo. “A Variable and Person Oriented Investigation of Preschool Competencies and Head Start Children’s Transition to Kindergarten and First Grade.” Applied Developmental Science. 13.1 (2009): 1-15. Web. Sep. 2010. Jung, Sunyoung and Susan Stone. “Sociodemographic and Programmatic Moderators of Early Head Start: Evidence from the Early National Head Start Research and Evaluation Project.” Children and Schools. 30.3 (2008): 149-157. Web. Sep. 2010. Stacks, Ann M., and TokoOshio. “Disorganized Attachment and Social Skills as Indicators of Head Start Children’s School Readiness Skills.” Attachment and Human Development 11.2 (2009): 143-164. Web. Oct. 2010. Toppo, Gregg. “Some Head Start Workers Commit Fraud so Kids Qualify, Investigators Say.” USA Today 19 May 2010. Web. Sep. 2010. United States Government Accountability Office. “Undercover Testing Finds Fraud and Abuse at Selected Head Start Centers.” GAO Reports (2010): 1-16. Web. Sep. 2010.
Works cited continued Compass of Larimer County. Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Lunch. Compass of Larimer County. 24 February 2010. Web. Oct. 2010. Fraud Suspected at Head Start Program. CNN. Don Lemon. Youtube, 2010. Web. Oct. 2010. Gomez, Enrique. “Income Eligibility Guidelines Free/Reduced Lunch.” Chart. Federal Register 74.58 (2009): 13410-12. Web. Sep. 2010. Head Start. University of Michigan, 2004. Web. Oct. 2010. “Income Eligibility Head Start.” Chart. 2009. Web. Oct. 2010. Levinson, Daniel R. “Challenges to Maintaining Full Enrollment.” Chart. Department of Health and Human Services (2007): 1-29. Web. Oct. 2010. Reyonlds. Children Who Attend Preschool Fare Better. Chart. Benefits of Preschool. Preschool California, 2007. Web. Oct. 2010. “Students Qualifying for Free and Reduced Lunch.” Chart. Colorado Children’s Campaign. 2009.