PRRAC Update  

October 10, 2013 




During the ongoing government shutdown we continue to engage, in spirit, with the federal agencies responsible for providing support for low income families - but we are reminded by the shutdown that the government actually needs its people to develop and move new policies forward. As my mother might say, even "half a loaf" needs someone to bake it!



Where is school integration in Secretary Duncan's strategic plan?  PRRAC joined other members of the National Coalition on School Diversity in criticizing the Department of Education's draft strategic plan for 2014-2018 for excluding school diversity from its goals for K-12 education and early childhood education (the topic was listed only once, in the narrow context of civil rights enforcement).  Our public schools are more segregated today than they were 35 years ago, and school integration is a proven educational reform strategy - so why is the Obama Administration afraid of providing incentives for states and districts to support voluntary integration efforts?   See the NCSD's comment letter here and my commentary in Huffington Post here.



Other resources and events:


"Civil Rights at a Critical Juncture":  Tenth Annual Wiley A. Branton-Howard Law Journal Symposium,October 24, 2013, at Howard Law School - free and open to the public - with keynote address by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.   See the agenda here.  


"Where Integration Meets Innovation":  The draft agenda has been posted for One Nation Indivisible's regional conference in Hartford on November 8-9.  The conference is free but registration is required - register here. 

"Housing aid is maddeningly complex. It doesn't have to be": The Washington Post's widely read "wonkblog" recently looked at the Section 8 Voucher program and reported: "When it works, it works very well. The GAO has found it to be more cost-effective than other federal housing programs, and a randomized study found that housing vouchers significantly improve the health and happiness of all recipients. If those recipients use the vouchers to move to lower poverty areas, the vouchers lead to better income, employment, and educational outcomes. But it's not without its problems."  See the rest of the blog post here, which is focused on a new policy paper by Bruce Katz and Marge Turner calling for streamlined administration of the voucher program in metropolitan areas to overcome obstacles to housing mobility.  See also PRRAC's housing mobility page here.  



- Phil Tegeler, PRRAC 

(If you received this from a colleague, and want to sign up for our biweekly email, click here)