UMSL educator talks summer learning loss, K-12 funding
It’s that time of year when most parents start planning their children’s summer activities, which includes summer camps. And thanks to a new web site and app – Blueprint4SummerSTL – hunting for summer fun will be a lot easier.
James Shuls, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, joined Maxine Clark, the founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop who helped fund the Blueprint4SummerSTL, on St. Louis Public Radio’s “St. Louis on the Air” on April 2.
Shuls said summer education programs are important for students from disadvantaged families.
“Summer learning loss is real, but it impacts students from disadvantaged families the most,” he said on St. Louis Public Radio. “Over the course of the summer, students from more advantaged families, more affluent families, oftentimes go on vacation. They go on culturally advancing field trips to museums and different places, and they do all kinds of things. More disadvantaged families oftentimes don’t do those things. We see from the summer, this gap starts to widen more and more. A lot of the achievement gap we start to see between advantaged and disadvantaged students or between races, a lot of that is established and grows through the summers.
Shuls also wrote a commentary for the March 31 issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch were he discussed a better design for K-12 funding.
He said the formula used by the state to calculate funding for each district is slightly flawed.
“The formula pegs local effort at 2004 assessment levels,” he wrote in the commentary. “If a district’s assessments go down, the state will provide the district with additional funds. But if the local property assessments go up, the local district’s effort is not recalculated and the state will keep providing the same amount. By simply recalculating local effort at current assessment rates, we could eradicate our ‘underfunding’ problem.”
Short URL: https://blogs.umsl.edu/news/?p=56333