Sunday, June 17, 2012
Free Summer Reading Programs ?
Why are their so few free summer reading programs this summer?
Summer school programs and Title I funding: the reason parents and teachers need to get involved with state education policy and school budgetary decisions. Most Title I schools receive 1,000-2,000 dollars per child per year to supplement educational programs for children living in poverty; this includes supplemental reading and math programs. Many states departments of education underfund poor schools because they are being supplemented federally (State Tax Policy). This means that few if any Title I funds can be used to support summer reading programs. Today more Title I funds are being used to deal with budgetary shortfalls. Title I funding has increased to over 7 billion dollars so we should have more supplemental programs? Where and what is all this money being used for? 10%-50% is being spent on published reading intervention programs. Many big educational publishers see Title I monies as a place to make great profits!
Many schools spends tens of thousands of dollars annually on software and reading intervention programs yet most schools reading performance is getting worse not better. Reading intervention programs cost on average 150-300 dollars per child annually, this includes teacher training, and schools may need to place up to 250 students in these programs every year. Most are software based reading interventions, and computers can’t listen to students read or give feedback so most are only slightly successful. The sad part of the equation is the cost benefit analysis is students make the same gains using free interventions. Great teachers and parents working together to teach children to read!
Parents and teachers need to get involved with state education policy and Title I budgets in their local schools. The Title I funding can be as much as 300,000 dollars for a large elementary school.