UPC And Licking County Public School Students


            The 11-10-13 Newark Advocate ran an article by Anna Jeffries, Enrollment down slightly in many Licking school districts. The article gave preliminary data made available “from Licking County schools” (?) with specific numbers for the various school districts and an accounting of how these number were arrived at, and what they are used for. ““We are just a microcosm of the state of Ohio,” Hile said [David Hile, superintendent of Licking Valley Schools]. “The state of Ohio is losing population, people are moving and we have aging populations. All the demographic factors affecting the country and the state are affecting Licking Valley.”” Although the statistics show a slight decline within Newark City Schools (the largest school district in the county) Jeffries writes “The district is seeing significant growth in its lower grades, from kindergarten to fourth grade and, if that continues, it could increase enrollment going forward, Ute said [Newark City Schools Superintendent Doug Ute].” The significance of the count is more than statistical, “It’s important to be precise to ensure students are being tracked properly and schools are funded accurately, he [John Charlton, Ohio Department of Education spokesperson] said.” To counter what Anna’s headline establishes, some districts have opted for open enrollment, siphoning off students from adjoining districts to offset the decreased state funding that per head state calculations produce. This in turn leaves those adjoining districts with less. Analysis believes a UPC number attached to each student might be of benefit here. The economic “value” (asset/debit) of each individual could be “tracked properly” and so much more efficiently.


Analysis now looks at another set of statistics. Half Our Public School Students Are Officially Poor by Laura Kiesel, TheStreet (11/06/13) reports that “A study released last month by the Southern Education Foundation found that nearly half (48%) of the nation’s 50 million public school students, and half or more of those in most Southern and some Western states, are now low income. The report based its findings on USDA figures for students in preschool through high school that qualified for federal free and reduced-price meal programs in the 2010-11 academic year. According to the federal guidelines, the income cap for these programs for a family of four was $40,793 in 2011.” Further in the article she writes “U.S. Department of Education statistics reveal that the number of homeless children enrolled in public schools rose 10% in the 2011-12 academic year from the year before, bringing the number to a record high of more than 1.1 million. This is a 72% increase since the 2006-07 school year — just before the Great Recession. In particular, 43 states have experienced consecutive annual increases in youth homelessness since the onset of the recession, with 10 states reporting increases of 20% or more. Worse yet, these statistics are probably an underestimate of the nation’s homeless children; they don’t consider infant and toddlers, or children not identified as homeless by school officials. Additionally, some students may not be included in the Education Department statistics because although they are eligible for aid for the homeless through their schools, their families are ineligible through the US. Department of Housing and Urban Development.”


Analysis asks whether these are one and the same folks (with or without a UPC number to track them properly)? Is the local reader of the Jeffries article connecting with what Kiesel reports? Did the recent cut in food stamp funding, etc. advocated and endorsed by Licking County’s congressional representatives embrace the  Licking County students covered by the Kiesel findings (“We are just a microcosm of the state of Ohio,”), or are these “some other” people, not necessarily those represented by Pat Tiberi and Bob Gibbs? Does the state funding “solution” championed by Licking County’s various state legislative representatives promote and encourage a Universal Product Code mentality and efficiency regarding the education of Licking County Public School students?  

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