Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Details: Pell Grants for Kids

Like all other cabinet-level departments, the Dept. of Education unveiled its 2009 fiscal year budget yesterday. Here are some details on the much-talked about and controversial Pell Grants for Kids:

  • $300 million has been designated for the program.
  • The scholarships are directed primarily towards minority, low-income students attending low-performing schools.
  • Students receiving the scholarships will have to take national standardized assessments and have their progress tracked (although schools will not be held to NCLB standards).
  • Individual states and LEAs will be able to apply for the grants on a competitive basis.
Latino students are likely to benefit significantly from the program, as they are some of America's students most likely to attend low-performing schools and thus, most likely to receive one of the Pell Grants for Kids.

If yesterday's budget hearing was any indication, this program is sure to incite strong feelings from voucher opponents. At one point, the questions from the audience actually devolved into a rant against Secretary Spellings's aides and their "love of vouchers and NCLB."

Hold on, friends...this is going to be a wild ride.

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