|A Worthy Concept|
It's Worth The Money
As a disabled vet I cheer the support for my brethren, but in the much bigger picture, I don't like this particular prioritization. When it comes to veterans and defense, reducing support for our many economically-disadvantaged kids seems like a tough way to help our vets--and certainly a questionable method of paying for a Defense establishment that already spends more than the next 7 countries combined. I wish the White House and our congressional reps would consider what we'd lose here in Rapid City (as well as every other school district in this state) if Trump's budget materializes. Professional training and technology spending would be most immediately affected, taking away the extra attention and assets that are probably needed to give these disadvantaged kids an extra boost in school.
Longitudinal (read: follow-up) studies are probably impossible to find at a local level, but researchers have seen some correlation between Title I spending and individual achievement on a national scale. Studies on academic success are a mixed bag, but a most interesting conclusion was reached in 2015 at the University of California, where researchers followed participants into their adult economic outcomes and found positive correlations between Title I funding increases and "higher earnings and work hours, reductions in incarceration" and reductions in poverty rates. The Trump administration, focused as it is on "jobs, jobs, jobs" should take note. The link between poverty and poor academic achievement is a long standing reality in the world of public education, but as Trump, who "loves the poorly educated" should know, when it comes to economic success, the effects of good character are as meaningful as the effects of education. If the UC researchers are correct, Title I and its strategies for developing self-motivation may have as much, possibly greater, impact on the former than it does on the latter.
The pedagogical magic of that connection seems clear enough to researchers. It would be a shame to weaken an opportunity like that for South Dakota's neediest kids.