August 3, 2022

FAFSA completion begins to bounce back – POLITICO

FAFSA FIGURES ON THE REBOUND — High school students among the class of 2022 completed 4.6 percent more FAFSA requests this year that in 2020, an early indicator of possibly more high school graduates heading to college this fall.

— The National College Attainment Network, which published the report, is following the forms through the Train your future FAFSA tracker. The tracker is updated between October 1 and June 30, a key timeline for FAFSA completion.

— Approximately 92,000 additional applications were submitted this year. NCAN estimates that about 52.1% of the senior class have completed a FAFSA, the highest percentage since the start of the pandemic. But the class of 2022 was still below the pre-pandemic class of 2019 FAFSA completion rate (53.8%).

— The gains were largely due to a more than 9% increase in applications from low-income, high-minority public schools, who faces the biggest declines during the pandemic. In these schools, more than half of the students are entitled to a free or reduced lunch and more than 40% of the students are black or Hispanic.

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WHY UPTICK? — To better understand the FAFSA numbers, your host spoke with NCAN’s Senior Director of Data and Strategic Initiatives, Bill DeBaun, the author of the report. Here are the highlights:

BQ: What’s behind the boost? But also, why are we still behind the pre-pandemic numbers?

comics: We just had a much more normal academic year. But we still haven’t returned to pre-pandemic normality and may never be. Students were better connected to college and career services by being back in person at high school. But this year’s class also saw their entire junior year disrupted.

The other element is that the economy is very hot right now. High school graduates ask themselves: “Do I want to enter the job market or do I want to pursue a college education?” For some students, when starting salaries are so high right now, they may be thinking, “I’m going to delay it for a semester or a year.”

BQ: Low-income high schools have also seen a big boost. Do you have any idea why?

comics: Low-income high schools and high-minority high schools both saw steep declines in the Class of 2021. So, mathematically, they have a lot more room to rebound.

My theory on this is that when students of color and students from low-income backgrounds are disconnected from college or career counseling services, it has a disproportionate negative impact on them. Students are reconnected with school counselors and community organizations that provide post-secondary counseling support; it is in a way to put them back in the more normal rhythm of advice.

BQ: What are your biggest takeaways from the States?

comics: At the top of the table here, we almost always have Louisiana and Tennessee. They have very strong FAFSA completion efforts.

But I think the big story among the states this year really has to be Texas and Alabama. This is their first year doing universal FAFSA, and they’ve both been generously rewarded for having these policies. Texas was up nearly 26% year over year in completions. Alabama, about 25%.

I think this gives us pretty clear evidence that universal FAFSA policies really increase the number of FAFSAs completed in a state.

“SYSTEMIC FAILURES” — Nearly 400 law enforcement officials rushed to the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, The Associated Press reported. But the new report on the investigation unveiled on Sunday revealed that “‘systemic failures’ created a chaotic scene that lasted over an hour before the shooter was finally confronted and killed”.

— The nearly 80-page report, written by a Texas House of Representatives Investigative Committee, is the most comprehensive account to date of the mass shooting that killed 21 people on May 24.

According to the Texas Tribune376 officers, mostly federal and state law enforcement, were at the school. Of these, 149 were U.S. Border Patrol and 91 were state troopers. Twenty-five were Uvalde police officers and 16 were sheriff’s deputies. School police had five officers at the scene. The others were law enforcement from a nearby county, U.S. Marshals and agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

INTERPRETATION OF BIDEN’S TITLE IX BLOCKED – A federal judge has temporarily blocked the Department of Education’s Title IX guidelines, which prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The lawsuit was brought by 20 Republican attorneys general led by Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery.

Tennessee Eastern District Judge Charles Atchley, in an order, said the agency’s advice “directly interferes with and threatens The ability of requesting states to continue to enforce their state laws “that prevent transgender people from playing on sports teams and using restrooms that match their gender identity. Atchley also wrote that the ministry’s guidance documents “ignore the limited scope of Bostock.”

– Conservative groups welcomed the decision, including the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents an association of Christian schools and three female athletes seek to intervene in the trial. “The court was correct in finding that the Biden administration exceeded its authority by issuing orders that undermine fair play,” said ADF lead attorney Jonathan Scruggs.

– LGBTQ advocates have vowed to keep pushing decisions back. “We are disappointed and outraged by this decision,” Human Rights Campaign Acting President Joni Madison said. “Nothing in this decision can prevent schools from treating students in accordance with their gender identity. And nothing in this decision eliminates the schools’ obligations under Title IX or the abilities of students or parents to sue in federal court. HRC will continue to fight against these anti-transgender decisions with every tool in our toolbox.

‘MAMAS FOR DESANTIS’ Last week, hundreds of parenting advocates attended a first-ever summit organized by the conservative group Moms for Liberty, which offered attendees seminars on topics such as gender ideology and social learning. emotional while trying to inspire and train potential school board candidates.

– Since launching in Florida in 2021 amid the pandemic, Moms for Liberty has exploded in growth and is approaching 100,000 members nationwide, reports POLITICO Florida’s Andrew Atterbury. The group is known for speaking out at school board meetings, pushing back against what it perceives as liberal policies in schools, and supporting the removal of LGTBQ-themed books from libraries.

— Winning seats on school boards was a key goal among parents at the top. Many had grown frustrated with local policies, especially pandemic rules such as student mask mandates and distance learning. Friday morning’s special guest, Governor Ron DeSantis, encouraged attendees to resist political pressure from woke businesses and elsewhere.

“Now is not the time to be a shrinking violet. Now is not the time to let them grind you down,” DeSantis told the cheering audience. “You have to stand up and you have to fight.”

– The National Task Force on Teacher and School Staff Shortages of the American Federation of Teachers published a report offering solutions to retain teachers. The report identified “four key areas that need to change if we are to reverse the shortage of teachers and school staff: climate, culture, conditions and pay.” Short on time ? here is the short version.

— The AFT, one of the largest teachers’ unions in the country, concluded its biennial convention on Sunday. Union delegates voted overwhelmingly for re-elect President Randi Weingarten, Secretary-Treasurer Fedrick Ingram and Executive Vice President Evelyn DeJesus.

— Judge Stephen Breyer, who retired from the Supreme Court last month, is heading to Harvard Law School. “I am very excited to return to Harvard to teach and write there,” Breyer said in a statement. “Among other things, I will probably try to explain why I think it is important that future generations of those associated with the law engage in work and adopt approaches to law that help the great American constitutional experiment to work effectively for the American people. ”

— The Supreme Court ushered in a new era of religion in schools: Atlantic

– Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas nominated for 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year Award: CNN

— Survivors of the Uvalde school shooting struggle for answers: The Washington Post

– Some new grads drop out of plans to become NJ teachers. Here’s why: NJ.com

— Bulletproof security modules for schools draw internet ire. An expert intervenes: NPR