Friday Churn: Zoning the culprit?

Daily Churn logoWhat’s churning:

A new Brookings Institution study, which examined test scores and housing prices, finds that housing costs are an average of 2.4 times more — nearly $11,000 more a year — near a high-scoring public school than near a low-scoring one.

The report advocates, “As the nation grapples with the growing gap between rich and poor and an economy increasingly reliant on formal education, public policies should address housing market regulations that prohibit all but the very affluent from enrolling their children in high-scoring public schools in order to promote individual social mobility and broader economic security.”

Statistics on the Denver metro area found it to be:

  • 35th out of 100 metro areas in the restrictiveness of zoning
  • 15th in economic segregation
  • 53rd in its housing cost gap
  • 13th in the test score gap between middle and high-income students and lower income students

(See metro Denver results.)

Here are the results for the Colorado Springs metro area:

  • Also 35th in zoning restrictions
  • 59th in economic segregation
  • 33rd in housing cost gap
  • 67th in test score gap

(See Colorado Springs results.)

You can read coverage here from our partners at EdWeek. The Brookings Institute website has links to all the details of the study.

What’s on tap:

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and student leaders from the University of Colorado Denver today will call on Congress to block scheduled interest rate increases for the subsidized Stafford loan program. Rates are scheduled to double to 6.8 percent on July 1 unless Congress stops the hike.

Bennet will attend an 11:30 a.m. UCD student government meeting and talk to students about how the increase would affect them. The senator’s office estimates more than 166,000 Colorado college students hold Stafford loans.

The event will be held in the student senate chambers on the third floor of the Tivoli Student Center on the Auraria campus.

CU-Boulder officials are trying to snuff out the annual April 20 marijuana smoke-in by closing the campus to people who aren’t students, faculty or staff, closing off Norlin Quad lawn areas to everyone and flooding the zone on campus and nearby. University officials warn tickets will be issued for both trespassing and marijuana possession.

Early Thursday evening a Boulder judge rejected a last-minute legal challenge to the campus closure that had been brought by marijuana advocates.

Get the details on CU’s plans here. Check with our partners at 9News throughout the day for updates on the festivities.

The EdNews’ Churn is a daily roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at [email protected]

What's Your Education Story?

As the 2018 school year begins, join us for storytelling from Indianapolis educators

PHOTO: Dylan Peers McCoy/Chalkbeat
Sarah TeKolste, right, and Lori Jenkins at a Teacher Story Slam, in April.

In partnership with Teachers Lounge Indy, Chalkbeat is hosting another teacher story slam this fall featuring educators from across the city.

Over the past couple of years, Chalkbeat has brought readers personal stories from teachers and students through the events. Some of our favorites touched on how a teacher won the trust of her most skeptical student, why another teacher decided to come out to his students, and one educator’s call to ramp up the number of students pursuing a college education.

The event, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, is free and open to the public — please RSVP here.

Event details:

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018
Tube Factory artspace
1125 Cruft St., Indianapolis, IN 46203
Get tickets here and find more on Facebook

More in What's Your Education Story?

School safety

Hiring more security officers in Memphis after school shootings could have unintended consequences

PHOTO: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Tennessee’s largest district, Shelby County Schools, is slated to add more school resource officers under the proposed budget for next school year.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson earmarked $2 million to hire 30 school resource officers in addition to the 98 already in some of its 150-plus schools. The school board is scheduled to vote on the budget Tuesday.

But an increase in law enforcement officers could have unintended consequences.

A new state law that bans local governments from refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officials could put school resource officers in an awkward position.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen recently reminded school personnel they are not obligated to release student information regarding immigration status. School resource officers employed by police or sheriff’s departments, however, do not answer to school districts. Shelby County Schools is still reviewing the law, but school board members have previously gone on the record emphasizing their commitment to protecting undocumented students.

“Right now we are just trying to get a better understanding of the law and the impact that it may have,” said Natalia Powers, a district spokeswoman.

Also, incidents of excessive force and racial bias toward black students have cropped up in recent years. Two white Memphis officers were fired in 2013 after hitting a black student and wrestling her to the ground because she was “yelling and cussing” on school grounds. And mothers of four elementary school students recently filed a lawsuit against a Murfreesboro officer who arrested them at school in 2016 for failing to break up a fight that occurred off-campus.

Just how common those incidents are in Memphis is unclear. In response to Chalkbeat’s query for the number and type of complaints in the last two school years, Shelby County Schools said it “does not have any documents responsive to this request.”

Currently, 38 school resource officers are sheriff’s deputies, and the rest are security officers hired by Shelby County Schools. The officers respond and work to prevent criminal activity in all high schools and middle schools, Hopson said. The 30 additional officers would augment staffing at some schools and for the first time, branch out to some elementary schools. Hopson said those decisions will be based on crime rates in surrounding neighborhoods and school incidents.

Hopson’s initial recommendation for more school resource officers was in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and sparked a wave of student activism on school safety, including in Memphis.

Gov. Bill Haslam’s recent $30 million budget boost would allow school districts across Tennessee to hire more law enforcement officers or improve building security. Measures to arm some teachers with guns or outlaw certain types of guns have fallen flat.

For more on the role and history of school resource officers in Tennessee, read our five things to know.

Sheriff’s deputies and district security officers meet weekly, said Capt. Dallas Lavergne of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. When the Memphis Police Department pulled their officers out of school buildings following the merger of city and county school systems, the county Sheriff’s Office replaced them with deputies.

All deputy recruits go through school resource officer training, and those who are assigned to schools get additional annual training. In a 2013 review of police academies across the nation, Tennessee was cited as the only state that had specific training for officers deployed to schools.