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Old 12-17-2019, 04:37 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
6,125 posts, read 6,472,034 times
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https://gazette.com/premium/census-b...5d73e6b9e.html

"Census Bureau data released last week show the overall poverty rate in El Paso County declined to a 10-year low of 9.9% in 2018, but there continue to be wide gaps between the “haves” and the “have nots,” notes a regional economic analyst.

“We are in the longest economic expansion we’ve ever had, with increases in income not just in the top 1% or 5% tiers but also middle- and lower-income levels. It raises everyone’s standard of living,” said Tatiana Bailey, director of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Economic Forum and an assistant professor in the College of Business.

“But the chasm between the top 5% and the bottom 50% is huge, and we are one of the most unequal developed countries, looking at that metric, of the industrialized world.”

As has been the case historically, among the Pikes Peak region’s 17 public school districts, those in more affluent areas have the lowest rates of poverty as a percentage of enrollment, and vice versa, according to the new Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates data from the Census Bureau.

Academy D-20 in northern Colorado Springs has the lowest rate, at 5.1% of students ages 5-17 living in poverty. Lewis-Palmer D-38 in Monument has the second lowest, with 5.8%.

At 26.3%, Harrison D-2 has the highest percentage in the region of enrolled students living in poverty. Colorado Springs D-11’s student poverty rate is 16.8% of enrollment, but the district has the most students, 6,177 kids, living in poverty.


2018 school district poverty rates in El Paso and Teller counties

Academy D-20, 5.1%, or 1,174 students ages 5-17, out of 22,802 total

Calhan RJ-1, 12.8%, or 85 students ages 5-17, out of 662 total

Cheyenne Mountain D-12, 7.1%, or 280 students ages 5-17 out of 3917 total

Colorado Springs D-11, 16.8% living in poverty, or 6,177 students ages 5-17 out of 36,803 total

Cripple Creek-Victor RE-1, 17.3%, or 88 students ages 5-17 out of 509 total

Edison 54-JT, 22% living in poverty, or 18 students out of 82

El Paso County School District 49, 8.2%, or 1,437 students ages 5-17 out of 17,456 total

Ellicott D-22, 15.5%, or 155 students ages 5-17 out of 998 total

Fountain D-8, 12.5%, or 1,044 students ages 5-17 out of 8,034

Hanover School District 28, 18.2%, or 66 students ages 5-17 out of 362 total

Harrison D-2, 26.3%, or 3,444 students ages 5-17 out of 13,117 total

Lewis-Palmer D-38, 5.8%, or 409 students ages 5-17 out of 7,008 total

Manitou Springs D-14, 6.7%, or 81 students ages 5-17 out of 81 total

Miami-Yoder 60-JT, 14%, or 63 students ages 5-17 out of 448 total

Peyton 23-JT, 8.9% living in poverty, or 83 students ages 5-17 out of 83

Widefield D-3, 12.3%, or 1,239 students ages 5-17 out of 10,043 total

Woodland Park RE-2, 10.5%, or 289 students ages 5-17 out of 2,752 total

The Census Bureau uses a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is in poverty, said Kristina Barrett, public affairs specialist.

For a family of two adults and two children, the annual income threshold before taxes and not including public housing, food stamps or Medicaid or capital gains was $25,465 for 2018.

The decreasing federal poverty level is “really good news,” Bailey said.

El Paso County’s overall poverty rate has dropped nearly 4% from a high of 13.4% in 2010, according to the new data, which the agency says provides “the only up-to-date, single-year income and poverty statistics for the nation’s 3,141 counties and 13,197 school districts.”

But school districts reflect a different story, Bailey said.

Although statewide and regionally, the workforce is robust with an infusion of new employees and those reentering the job market, “The reality is there is still a large chasm between the haves and the have nots in the United States, and the most unfortunate part of that is when you start talking about kids, because it’s not their fault,” she said.

For all school districts, the median estimated poverty rate for school-age children was 14.9% in 2018.

El Paso and Teller counties fared a little better, with last year’s median estimated poverty rate for students ages 5-17 at 12.5%.

Another system of measuring poverty, the federal government’s free and reduced lunch program, shows the same pattern of children qualifying for free or low-cost meals at school living in poorer neighborhoods.

Thus, the range of students qualifying for the program runs from 10% in Lewis-Palmer D-38 and 12% in Academy D-20 to 73% in Harrison D-2 and 64% in Cripple Creek RE-1, according to Colorado Department of Education statistics.

“That tells you poverty is geographically highly concentrated, and there’s a vicious cycle implicit in that,” Bailey said. “When you have poorer people in a region, less is being generated in property taxes, and the schools are getting less money, so you have more teacher turnover, and the schools aren’t as good.

“It’s one of the many reasons poverty is generational.”


Income criteria differ for the free and reduced lunch program, with this school year’s threshold being $33,475 for a family of four for free meals and $47,638 for reduced prices. Some school districts, such as Harrison D-2, have such a high rate of students qualifying that every student receives free meals while at school.

The Census Bureau poverty data is used to determine Title 1 funding for schools, a program that funnels additional federal dollars to schools in low-income neighborhoods so they can hire extra staff to help bring struggling students up to grade level.

Teller County’s median household income in 2018 was $67,923, according to the new Census Bureau numbers. Teller County’s median household income last year was $64,850, where the poverty rate of the population was 7.4%."
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Old 12-17-2019, 08:59 AM
 
23,125 posts, read 42,315,643 times
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Wow. Seventeen school districts. Seventeen sets of administrators and staff. When I lived in Fairfax County, VA we had one school district / supervisor / staff for a county of 1M people which arguably was one of the ten best school systems in the nation. People moved to High Tax Fairfax to be sure their kids got a good education (same for Montgomery County across the river in MD). School bond issues ALWAYS passed with at least 70% approval.

IMO if these 17 districts could be combined there's a lot of overhead money that could be put into teacher pay and classroom betterment.

Maybe 100 years ago all these districts were needed due to lack of roads and communications but to keep 17 districts now is just plain wrong.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 12-17-2019 at 10:15 AM..
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Old 12-17-2019, 09:08 AM
 
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Three years on and I am still amazed at how inefficiently this city/county operates.
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Old 12-17-2019, 09:21 AM
 
23,125 posts, read 42,315,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orngkat View Post
Three years on and I am still amazed at how inefficiently this city/county operates.
Which gets at another of my gripes .... that there are multiple governments being paid for by one group of citizens.

El Paso County and the cities of Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Monument, Fountain, Security, Widefield, etc should be one government, one elected leader and council, one sales tax rate, one property tax rate, one set of laws and ordnances, one Sheriff, one PD, one FD, one school system, one court system, one set of zoning laws, etc. It's what, 650k people, that's all. All this duplication and hair splitting is a waste of tax money that could be used pay for road and stormwater improvements, etc.
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Old 12-17-2019, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
33,999 posts, read 14,299,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Wow. Seventeen school districts. Seventeen sets of administrators and staff. When I lived in Fairfax County, VA we had one school district / supervisor / staff for a county of 1M people which arguably was one of the ten best school systems in the nation. People moved to High Tax Fairfax to be sure their kids got a good education (same for Montgomery County across the river in MD). School bond issues ALWAYS passed with at least 70% approval.

IMO if these 17 districts could be combined there's a lot of overhead money that could be put into teacher pay and classroom betterment.

Maybe 100 years ago all these districts were needed due to lack of roads and communications but to keep 17 districts now is just plain wrong.
The good old days. And for those reading, as an administrator in Fairfax County, Mike's description is very accurate.

I grew up in western NYS, where every town had its own school system. I never could see the advantage to that system, and was surprised to find it in Colorado.
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Old 12-17-2019, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Perhaps the citizens that live in these towns and school districts desire autonomy and choose not be lumped in together as part of a single central government and school district.
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Old 12-17-2019, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
33,999 posts, read 14,299,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rochester_veteran View Post
Perhaps the citizens that live in these towns and school districts desire autonomy and choose not be lumped in together as part of a single central government and school district.
And then they complain about the cost of overhead. Can't have everything.
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Old 12-17-2019, 11:08 AM
 
23,125 posts, read 42,315,643 times
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Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
...I grew up in western NYS, where every town had its own school system. I never could see the advantage to that system, and was surprised to find it in Colorado.
What surprises me is that antiquated structures haven't changed with the times the way industry had to modernize or die, the same way farmers had to mechanize their farms or go bust. But we still have these ancient redundant bureaucracies in much of the nation's educational infrastructures.

Case in point: Much of mainland Europe got leveled in WW-2 and had to rebuild anew, especially railroads and steel mills. We weren't leveled so we just went back to the same old same old and by the 1970s most eastern railroads were bankrupted and our steel mills were closing because newer methods and mills in Japan, Germany, and Korea were cranking out better steel at far better prices and our universities were increasingly filled by better students from abroad.

Arguments about local control should have gone away 50 years ago with the advent of standardized testing and textbooks. Two plus two is the same in every school district in the world, local control has no value other than to satisfy tribal instincts of us versus "those people" in "that" district. Every school is local and has a principal whose belly button can be pushed by any parent if needed. We only need one school board to set rules and regulations, figure out the schedules, set the bus routes, and design decent lunch menus.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 12-17-2019 at 12:00 PM..
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Old 12-17-2019, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
178 posts, read 103,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Arguments about local control should have gone away 50 years ago with the advent of standardized testing and textbooks. Two plus two is the same in every school district in the world, local control has no value other than to satisfy tribal instincts of us versus "those people" in "that" district. Every school is local and has a principal whose belly button can be pushed by any parent if needed. We only need one school board to set rules and regulations, figure out the schedules, set the bus routes, and design decent lunch menus.
I disagree that local control is antiquated. Who knows better about the wants, needs, governance and education than the people who live in the community. That's not tribal instincts, that's having a voice in decisions that are made regarding the community that we live in. Local elections are the most important as they affect voters the most. In the town I came from, a western suburb of Monroe County and Rochester, NY, I personally knew the Town Supervisor and many of the Town Council members and I could just go up and talk with them when I saw them around town and if I needed to give them my concerns, they listened as they were true public servants and were serving the citizens of the town. Personally, I'd much rather have smaller government than big government because it's easier to hold smaller government accountable and in check.
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:27 PM
 
6,101 posts, read 8,296,070 times
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I think this area is too Libertarian in spirit to go for a unified school district - local control is much desired here, and the smaller districts take pride in their uniqueness and small community feel. I am not sure how much administration cost is saved by going to a unified district - some, yes - such as 1 superintendent vs. 17 (although you'd have to pay a superintendent of a district that size more than one for a smaller district, so it wouldn't be a straight-up 100% savings x 16)- but some of those upper-level management positions simply could not be handled by 1 person in a district that size and so you'd still have duplication. People who are not in education think the standards are the curriculum, for example - and don't realize how much more goes into it and how much more there is to the local control issue. They also tend to think principals have more power than they generally do. There are some pros to a unified district as well as cons, but whatever one's opinion of which way is better, I seriously doubt it would be seriously considered here any time soon. And I also do not see that it solve all the the inequality issues, since the people from poor neighborhoods would still be from poor neighborhoods - in fact more kids would likely go without lunch in a unified district, because the district as a whole would no longer qualify for the federal money like D2 can now, for example. In a large unified district, it is easier for the inequalities that exist to go more unnoticed, because they don't show up as well in the district-level stats as shown in the above report. The Colorado Springs or El Paso County unified district would look pretty darn good as a combined district - without doing one thing differently in terms of serving the poorer areas than what they get right now.
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