Archive for the 'Vocational Education' Category

November
17th 2017
Tax Reform Would Harm Cristo Rey Students

Posted under Private Schools & Ross Izard & School Choice & Tax reform & Vocational Education

The House of Representatives’ newly proposed tax reform would greatly impair the Cristo Rey Network’s ability to provide educational opportunities to low-income students. The Washington Examiner’s Todd Shepherd–the Independence Institute’s former investigative reporter–describes the negative implications of the proposed tax reform in his piece House tax reform could cripple innovative education model aimed at low-income families.

My good friend, and senior fellow at the Independence Institute, Ross Izard, wrote a private school profile called Building Hope: A Profile of Arrupe Jesuit High School that exemplifies the local impact of the Cristo Rey Network here in Colorado.

Cristo Ray’s consortium of high schools emphasizes the combination of “four years of rigorous college preparatory academics with four years of professional work experience.” The network is Catholic, but open to all students. Its primary concern is helping low-income students reach success, despite religious affiliation.

The network is incredibly successful–it has graduated over 13,000 students, 90 percent of which enroll in college. That’s an enrollment rate 29 percent above the national average for low-income students and 4 percent above the national average for high-income students.

The average Cristo Rey household earns around $37,000 annually, but the network’s 32 schools are exclusively private, college-prep institutions. To pay for their education, students participate in the Corporate Work Study Program, in which they work at local businesses that in exchange pay for the majority of their tuition.

As of now, the tuition students earn through the work study program is untaxed–it goes straight from the business to the school with no obstructions.

With the introduction of the House’s new tax reform, this would no longer be the case. The tuition students earn from their work study program would no longer be exempt from taxation. This would also mean that when it came time to apply to college the Cristo Rey students’ work study would be counted as income. Consequently, the financial aid they receive for college would be diminished.

This negative externality of the proposed tax reform is an unnecessary obstacle forced upon students working for a brighter future–though I believe many legislators are blissfully unaware that it is being included in the reform. Hopefully by the time I go to high school, my brightest friends will get the best opportunity to maximize their potential, despite their income. I wonder how that would be possible without the full support of groups such as the Cristo Rey Network?

 

 

 

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October
27th 2016
A Field Trip to SVVSD’s Career Development Center

Posted under Course Choice & Educational Choice & Vocational Education

As most of my readers know, there are few things I love more than field trips. Education policy is great, interesting stuff, but it sometimes becomes too easy to lose oneself in the spreadsheets and numbers and studies and… you get the point. But education is about kids, not statistics or esoteric policy arguments. That’s why it’s so important for us edu-wonks to get out there and see education in action—especially in places where districts are forging ahead on paths designed to provide more options to their students.

With all that in mind, I took a very cool field trip this week to St. Vrain Valley School District’s Career Development Center (CDC) in Longmont. If that sounds familiar to those of you who follow the work of the Independence Institute Education Policy Center, it’s because my policy friend Ross Izard mentioned the center in “Altering Courses,” his most recent private school profile. The profile takes a look at Crossroads School in Longmont, an alternative private school that serves kids who haven’t been able to find a good educational fit anywhere else. Crossroads has an agreement with St. Vrain under which its students can attend classes at the CDC. Very cool.

I knew St. Vrain’s CDC was going to be impressive, but I wasn’t fully prepared for the number of options it provides to students. The place is positively stuffed with programs for kids who may not be interested in going the college route right after high school. Check out the list of classes on offer:

Agriscience

Automotive Technology

Cosmetology

Culinary Arts & Training

Dental Assisting

Engineering Technology & Machining

Floral Design

Health Sciences

Horticulture (Greenhouse Management)

Multimedia

Welding and Fabrication Continue Reading »

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