On Saturday morning, I attended an education town hall hosted by Senator Beall. At this town hall, I was able to learn about the financial aspect of education and how money is distributed in the system. (Click Here to view the slide show presented at the event) At the town hall, Senator Beall discussed the importance of funding and how our current prison system is increasingly costly. This was a very important point that I wanted to incorporate in my senior project in terms of broader aspects. When areas are stricken with poorer education where students are not inspired to learn or pursue higher education, students often have a harder time finding higher-paying occupations and therefore resort to crime. The poverty to prison pipeline is a very real and serious issue. A study by the Brookings Institute showed that three years prior to incarceration, only 49% of prime-aged men were employed and their median earnings were $6,250. Only 13% earned over $15,000. Although the cycle is much more complex, when generalized, they are: 1) Schools fail students, 2) students work low income jobs and do not make a sustainable amount of money, 3) they resort to crime, 4) more people are incarcerated, 5) more funding is required for prisons and taken away from education, 6) thus quality in education continues to decrease as more students resort to crime. It would only get worse. There is no straightforward solution, but Senator Beall emphasized the importance of funding our education system. The town hall also included other information, but they weren’t directly in relation to my project.
In terms of the work I’ve been doing with my offsite advisor, I’ve been collecting and analyzing data for her blog. I focused on the harms of the use of tech in education. I have also reached out to some Miner and Glider teachers to ask about how it’s been dealing with the impending closure, but I have yet to get a response. In the upcoming weeks, I hope to draft up some papers for my final project or at least organize the different topics I want to focus on.