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PRRAC Update July 21, 2011

Welcome to the PRRAC Update! Every other Thursday, PRRAC sends out a brief digest of news, recent publications, and other points of interest related to our work in housing, education, and health. We welcome feedback and encourage you to forward to others. To join the PRRAC email list, click here.

"The Imperative of Integration"

Read a précis of the important new book by Elizabeth Anderson in the current issue of Poverty & Race - also featuring articles on "Health Impact Assessment" by Saneta DeVuono-powell and Jonathan Heller, and articles on health equity and comprehensive community health care from members of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

Flexibility Bill Could Deprive Students of Title I Resources

Last week, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed a bill that will allow states and school districts to move funds between different titles within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), including Title I. The stated purpose of the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act (H.R. 2445) is to provide states and districts flexibility in spending federal funds, but in reality it would likely divert already limited funds from the students that ESEA was intended to help. The Act would also allow states and districts to transfer funds from Title II of ESEA, which provides funds for professional development of teachers, and Title III which supports English-learners. Funds that can be transferred also include those intended for Native American students, migrant students, and delinquent and neglected youth. House members opposing the bill citing the need to protect targeted funds for low-income students and the lack of evidence to support the need for district spending flexibility.

Other News and Updates

Update on the Road Home lawsuit: We are pleased to report a final settlement in the challenge to racial disparities in the distribution of home rebuilding funds after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Road Home lawsuit was filed against HUD and the Louisiana Recovery Authority in 2008 by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund on behalf of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center and the National Fair Housing Alliance. The settlement agreement is available here and the plaintiffs' press release on the settlement is available here.

Recent regulatory comments: We contributed to detailed comments to HUD on the Moving to Work program, the public housing PHA Plan process, and the public housing demolition and disposition rule. The comments were submitted by the National Housing Law Project and the Housing Justice Network (of which PRRAC is a member).

Reminder: "Immigrant Communities and Fair Housing" - training and networking event co-sponsored by HUD, the National Council of La Raza and the Equal Rights Center, Friday July 22 (tomorrow) at the Wardman Park Hotel, DC, 1:30-4:30 - register here.

Register now for the "Place Matters" conference - September 7th in Washington, DC sponsored by the Health Policy Institute at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, and supported by PRRAC.

Philip Tegeler
Saba Bireda
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
Washington, DC

To review past PRRAC updates, click here
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