Friday, May 26, 2017

Take a Break

The end of the school year for most is at hand along with the Memorial Day holiday. The start of summer must soon be here...maybe! At any rate, this is the point in the year where I take a couple of months off from blogging all things education and Schools Count.

I just wanted to send you a simple note of thanks for sticking with me as I endeavor to help people keep up with events taking place with our charity, financial problems/concerns in education and various other related issues. I really do appreciate your taking the time out of your day to keep up with all that we do on this end.

I hope your summer is relaxing and that you are able to find much pleasure in all that you do with your family and friends. Nothing says summer better than some quiet time, traveling, heading to the beach, visiting some sights that have, to this point, been largely unseen or simply kicking back in some other fashion. Hopefully, the days will be long and they will be enjoyable.

I'll look forward to seeing you and hearing from you in late July/early August.

Be well,

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Lowlights of the '18 Education Budget

Usually I get my blog out very early in the day however, today is the exception. I have spent a good portion of the morning going over the Administration's 2018 budget for education. I will give you the facts. There are two main categories dealing with allocation of monies to education. One area is called Elementary, Secondary and Vocational while the other main category is Higher Education.

Both areas will take major hits. The Elementary, Secondary and Vocational programs will see a cut of 16.1% over the next 10 years. The 10 initiatives within this sphere will all see major reductions during this same period of time. Higher Education is in more trouble as the reductions to the overall program are a whopping 41.6%.

Whether poor urban areas, suburbia or rual America, schools in this country will be harmed with the elimination of 22 programs and severe cuts in many of the rest.

These are the facts!


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Unwarranted Cuts to Education

I might just as well be blunt about it...the federal budget put forth by the Administration with respect to our nation's education system is in a word a travesty.

A travesty because it eliminates 22 federal programs!!! That's right, 22 programs gone. On top of getting rid of many of these vital services the budget cuts $1.2 billion in after school programs which serve in excess of 1,500,000 students. Another $190 million is lost in literacy education and deep cuts are made to vision screening as well as speech therapy.

The budget also stops subsidizing the payment of interest on student loans. Money is steered out of Title I programs that are specifically designed to help those mired in poverty. Technical and career education progams are facing steep cuts while $27 million is eliminated in arts education.

Quite literally, dozens of additional programs are facing stiff and unwarranted cuts. Let's not kid ourselves, Congress will go along with many of these cuts and to what end? At least part of the 'end game' is the fact that many students will be hurt.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Public Education Chopping Block


Below is a story put out by the Washington Post regarding deep cuts to traditional public education.   Though Congress will ultimately wield its own appropriation power you will surely witness severe cuts to public education across the board and it will come to your district.

Trump's first full education budget: Deep cuts to ... - Washington Post 

Dismaying to Say the Least

Friends and supporters of Schools Count,

Many of you know that our charity, as part of its mission, works with students in impoverished portion of Chicago and the surrounding area.    There are many areas of this country, urban and rural alike, that are having a hard time.   Jon Tester is no shrill.   I found his piece about the the Upward Bound program to be eye-opening in light of the work we do and the many cuts coming down the line from the U. S. Dept. of Education so I thought I'd share it with you.

Thanks, Dick

Upward Bound is an initiative funded through the Department of Education that helps students from low-income families, or from parents who don't have bachelor's degrees, pursue their dream of a college education.

It's been successful at the University of Montana for more than 50 years. But this year, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos denied UM’s application for Upward Bound.

Why, you ask? Because a single page in the 65-page application wasn't double-spaced.

The University revised the application, but Secretary DeVos refuses to reconsider.

We need to teach Secretary DeVos a lesson that most children learn early on in life: Actions have consequences. And the consequences for denying Montana students opportunities will be severe.

Monday, May 22, 2017

All You Need to Know


Each year I send out a note to all the schools receiving supplies notifying them of the date and time of delivery. Below is but one note, though brief, from Ms. Mathis of John Hay Elementary. I believe it encapsulates the very essesnce of the gratitude of students, families and staff at the respective schools. Just wanted to share it with you to give you a sense of what your many efforts mean to those in need.

Good evening,

This is such great news! We appreciate all that you do for Hay students and YES, someone will be available to receive the supplies Tuesday, August 8th at 9:30. Please come to door 3 in the parking lot on Latrobe street.
We would love to come to the dinner on Nov 8th!

Thanks so much for all you do for Hay Students. You have been such a blessing to our community and we value our relationship!

Latrese T. Mathis

John Hay Community Academy
1018 N. Laramie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60644
W: 773-534-6000
F: 773-534

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Get in on the Action!

I'm sure plenty of you have some wonderful plans for the summer and here's hoping it is relaxing and pleasant!! When summer winds down there is one additional way to put an exclamation point on it being a productive one. Please consider helping our charity deliver school supplies to nearly 15,000 children within CPS and Harvey, IL schools.

All that is needed is a bit of lifting and storing of supplies at various schools. We always have some good laughs and meet some terrific people at the various schools who are ecstatic to think we would continue to help the children.

The days of delivery are Tuesday, Aug. 8th, Wednesday, Aug. 9th and Thursday, Aug. 10th. We would meet each day at the respective schools (if you are able to help I will send you the addresses) at 9:00 am. Typically, we finish delivering at 2:30 pm. Simply shoot me an email to say you want to give us a hand and you're in!! You can contact me at and I'll be sure to add you to our volunteer list.

Thank you!

Girls Singing at IMN

Classes Singing at IMN

IMN School Opens

Driving into Port Au Prince

IMN School Welcome

Tour of IMN School

IMN School