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P-12 Education Program

The Southern Education Foundation (SEF) undertakes a wide range of strategies and programs that involve research, analysis, advocacy, technical assistance, and outreach to improve the education of low income students and students of color. 

SEF's P-12 Education program works to:
  • Improve education policy and practice from early childhood to young adulthood
  • Inform the public about vital education issues and policy options
  • Strengthen parent, school, and private sector efforts to better meet the needs of low income students and students of color
  • Promote high quality, universal education for all children.

Demographics of the South's Public School Students

The South is the first region of the country with a majority of low income students and a majority of students of color in its public schools. SEF has studied these trends and their increasing effects on public education in the region.

 
  • In 2007, SEF's report A New Majority revealed that for the first time in more than 40 years, the South became the only region of the country where low income children constitute a majority of public school students.

  • In 2010, SEF's report A New Diverse Majority found that both students of color and low income students now make up a majority of the South’s public school students.

  • SEF's Worst of Times report showed that the number of children living in extreme poverty is increasing across the region.  

  • View SEF's latest report A New Majority: Low Income Students in the South and the Nation.

Expanding Quality Early Education

SEF believes that high quality pre-kindergarten is the most effective way to ensure a student’s readiness to learn, reduce retention, and promote greater achievement. Check out our research and advocacy efforts towards universal early childhood education.


Tax Credit Scholarships for Private Schools

Tax Credit Scholarships – or ‘neo-vouchers’ – are increasingly considered as a means to finance private education with public dollars.  SEF has studied and reported on abuses and misuses of Georgia’s program since its implementation, beginning with our two-year study, A Failed Experiment, in 2011.  We found that the program fails to achieve its primary public aim of providing the state’s low income children attending troubled public schools with new, affordable opportunities for a good education
 
Check out reports on how this program discriminates against certain students and how cheating is widespread.


SEF Community Partnerships:

Wide Angle Learning

Pilot Project

SEF and the Mississippi Teacher Corps worked with students to develop documentary projects about their own communities, deepening student learning,encouraging community involvement, and expanding teacher effectiveness. Wide Angle Learning Pilot Project

Birmingham Dropout

Recovery Project


SEF, through the Birmingham Education Fund, worked to bring students who have left public school without a diploma back. In 2011, 33 of the first 76 students in the program graduated with their high school diplomas. This work follows SEF’s 2008 report, High School Dropouts: Alabama’s Number One Education & Economic Problem.

 


Other SEF Publications on Issues of P-12 Education

 







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