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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Agency cuts funds for LULAC student centers

    http://www.dallasnews.com/

    Agency cuts funds for LULAC student centers

    Oak Cliff facility among those that offer services to Hispanics in need


    12:00 AM CDT on Friday, August 4, 2006

    By MICHELLE MITTELSTADT / The Dallas Morning News

    WASHINGTON – LULAC-run centers in Oak Cliff and around the U.S. that counsel low-income Hispanic students on getting into college have lost their federal funding, jeopardizing future operations.

    The Education Department on Thursday officially notified the League of United Latin American Citizens that its request for $3.4 million in federal grants was denied. That decision ends the government's 27-year relationship with the LULAC National Educational Service Centers, which operate in 17 cities.

    The announcement disappointed LULAC officials, who had applied for funds for the existing centers and sought to open facilities in eight other cities.

    "We are outraged as to how this could happen, and we can't imagine what their justification really could be," said Matthew Looney, national development coordinator for the centers, also located in Houston, San Antonio, El Paso and Corpus Christi.

    LULAC's grant applications fell below the cutoff score necessary for funding, Education Department spokesman Trey Ditto said. That means the group will be ineligible for the federal program during the next four years.

    There were 753 applicants nationwide seeking a share of the $136 million in Talent Search grants given out for next year, 450 of which were funded.

    Applicants had to score 98.6 or better on a 100-point scale – and LULAC's application fell well below that cutoff, officials said. The organization's application was below 60 on all three evaluators' reviews.

    "The fact that LULAC scored below the threshold means that they did not meet the requirements of the panel," Mr. Ditto said.

    LULAC officials were puzzled by the low scores, noting that in the last funding cycle they'd scored 100.

    While the grant process is now closed, Mr. Looney said LULAC would press its case with Congress, the White House and others. "I don't think it's the end of the road," he said.

    Texas Sen. John Cornyn has talked to the Education Department about LULAC's bid and "stands by to assist in any way that he can," spokesman Brian Walsh said.

    In the past four years, the LULAC centers have assisted 52,542 students – nearly 2,500 of them in Dallas – with college counseling, financial aid and admissions applications. The centers depend on federal funds for two-thirds of their budgets, and they will be hard-pressed to continue with student counseling and services such as English-language classes for parents, Mr. Looney said.

    But he said LULAC is in discussions with corporate partners and foundations to make up for the loss of federal funding.

    In addition to the five Texas locations, LULAC operates centers in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Pomona, Calif.; Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo, Colo.; Miami; Chicago; Kansas City, Mo.; Albuquerque; Philadelphia; and Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

    E-mail mmittelstadt@dallasnews.com
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  2. #2
    Senior Member jp_48504's Avatar
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    Gee, i wonder why they lost their funding. ....
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    Senior Member Dixie's Avatar
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    "We are outraged as to how this could happen, and we can't imagine what their justification really could be,"
    People are realizing what you are and they are not going to fund your lobbying and marches. Get ready to loose more and more funds. Private, Public, Corporate, Government... You better start passing the hat to your buddies because the game is over for you LULAC. Amy politician that gives you money is getting a kickback in contributions. Your funds are gone!!!!!!!!! I guess some deserving charities will be receiving much needed funding now that the undeserving glutton that is out to destroy America has been cut off.

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    Senior Member CCUSA's Avatar
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    This is great news! Finally, another win for the American people!

    Down with funding anarchy!!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member jp_48504's Avatar
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    I am moving this to the News Section.
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    Senior Member IndianaJones's Avatar
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    "We are outraged as to how this could happen, and we can't imagine what their justification really could be," said Matthew Looney, national development coordinator for the centers, also located in Houston, San Antonio, El Paso and Corpus Christi.
    Everyone else is outraged that a racist agenda organization gets federal funding. 27 years of laughing at Americans and getting paid to do it!
    We are NOT a nation of immigrants!

  7. #7
    Senior Member jp_48504's Avatar
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    LULAC to fight denial of funds

    A talk with federal officials tentatively set for late August



    By Israel Saenz Caller-Times
    August 8, 2006

    The League of United Latin American Citizens and others have requested to meet with U.S. Department of Education officials about the denial of $3.4 million in federal grants for educational assistance programs that would affect 12 area schools.

    Feliberto Valdez, director of the Corpus Christi LULAC National Education Service Center, said he will continue to seek alternative local sources of funds but plans to shut down the center's operations Aug. 31.

    "We're trying to get members of the community to send letters to the Department of Education," he said. "We're also trying to see what financial support we can get from the community, in case we are not able to change that decision."

    The Education Department announced on Thursday that a grant application for the 16 national centers has been denied because of a low grant-application score, sparking a response from officials, including Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi.

    Ortiz sent a letter to Education Secretary Margaret Spellings last week, requesting an in-person debriefing on the grant competition process and explanation for the department's denial of funding.

    "The plan right now is to convince the Department of Education to award that grant," said Cathy Travis, Ortiz's communication director. "You have to know people and know how education works, to know how much good those programs have done in South Texas."

    Through the center's Talent Search program, advisors go to high school and middle school campuses to give assistance to Hispanic and low-income students on college preparation exams, financial aid applications and study skills.

    Education Department spokesman Trey Ditto said the center's grant application underwent the same process all others face before they are awarded or denied.

    Three volunteer evaluators review each grant application, grading them based on each program's stated objectives, community support, personnel quality, evaluation plan and budget.

    "These reviewers are three non-federal employees who have no relation to the department or President Bush," Ditto said. "This is the same system we have been using for years."

    Applicants had to score 98.6 or better on a 100-point scale. The center's application score was below 60 on all three evaluators' reviews, Ditto said. There were 752 eligible applicants seeking a share of the $213 million in the department's Talent Search grants, 458 of which were funded.

    The Corpus Christi branch received about $907,800 in the last four-year cycle funded by the Department of Education, said Valdez. The branch used $229,305 of that in 2006. Valdez said more than three-fourths of the center's funding has come from Education Department grants.

    Ditto said a meeting between Education Department and LULAC officials has been tentatively set for later this month.

    Ray High School career counselor Debbie Barrera, about to start her first year in that position, said the denial of funding comes as a shock. She has previously worked as an academic counselor at Ray and as an intervention specialist at Carroll High School.

    "It's a great loss for our students," she said. "A lot of parents do not have the computer skills to get online and complete (financial aid) applications. It's a very threatening application, to be honest."

    Contact Israel Saenz at 886-3767 or HYPERLINK mailto:saenzi@caller.com saenzi@caller.com

    http://www.caller.com/ccct/local_news/a ... 878,00.htm

    l
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  8. #8
    Senior Member jp_48504's Avatar
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    A talk with federal officials tentatively set for late August
    We need to call our members of congress, the senate and the education department and encourage them to let the denial stand.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member jp_48504's Avatar
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    Marvin Diaz, a Texas Southern University senior, helps Kristian Briscoe, 5, learn a computer program at the Houston League of United Latin American Citizens education center.

    Gary Fountain: For the Chronicle

    photos

    Aug. 11, 2006, 9:28AM
    Cuts impede some college aspirations
    Loss of grant to shut center that helps Hispanics succeed in school

    By ANITA HASSAN
    Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

    Watching his older sister's hardships after she got pregnant and dropped out of high school, Bennie Lopez Jr. sought a different future for himself through LULAC's National Education Service Center in Houston.

    "I was planning on this organization being here for me when I was a senior and getting their help, so I could become a judge like I always wanted to be," said Lopez, a 15-year-old Cesar E. Chavez High School freshman.

    But the East End center, which provides college counseling for about 1,500 Hispanic students, will close at month's end because the program was denied a $3.4 million U.S. Department of Education grant.

    "That actually hurts me because I wanted to come ... to help me with my scholarship opportunities," Lopez said. "Without them, I think it will be a lot harder."

    Last week, 13 education centers run by the League of United Latin American Citizens around the nation, including five locations in Texas, lost federal funding. The cut affects more than 15,000 low-income, first-generation students nationwide.

    "The program is vital to the East End community," field center director Rose Ann Blanco said this week. "It boils down to: Students don't know where to go, and they can always turn to LULAC."

    The centers have two primary goals: to prevent at-risk youth from dropping out and to identify college-bound students and help them with admissions and financial aid options.

    The centers have operated for 30 years through the Talent Search grant, administered by the Education Department. Brent Wilkes, LULAC's national executive director for 10 years, said funding was denied for at least three other Hispanic community-based organizations around the nation, and the combined effect could be a reduced number of Hispanics going to college.

    Education Department spokesman Trey Ditto said LULAC submitted a "poorly written" application, and that the organization did not meet grant criteria. But he also said department officials plan to meet with LULAC officials in the coming weeks to discuss why the proposal was not renewed.

    U.S. Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, said he didn't expect the funding cuts for LULAC, the largest recipient of Talent Search grants.

    He said he has asked the secretary of education to have LULAC's proposal reconsidered and each site looked at individually.

    "I think it took a lot of members by surprise," Green said.

    Blanco, who has been director of the Houston center for nearly 30 years, said it works with three middle schools and nine high schools in the city. She said the center also provides math and science tutoring, and a reading program for younger students.

    She and her three-person staff had planned this year to reach out to McReynolds Middle School, which is in danger of being shut down next summer after consistently being rated academically unacceptable, Blanco said.

    "At McReynolds I wanted to start a math and science after-school tutoring program to improve TAKS scores," she said. "Now I don't know. We won't be here, unless we get funding."

    Bennie Lopez isn't the only local student distraught about the impending closure. Isaac Gonzalez, 19, who graduated from Austin High in 2004, said he continues to come to LNESC for help with financial aid.

    "I have a younger sister in high school who really looks up to me, and by them not being around, what's going to happen to my little sister?" asked the biology and psychology major at the University of Texas.

    Gonzalez is the first person in his family to go to college.

    Debra Carrizal, a counselor at the center for 13 years, feels the closing will hurt good students who just need help.

    "These kids ask us everything," she said, "even where to vote. ... They will call and ask because they feel they can trust us."

    LULAC's Wilkes was more dire in his assessment.

    "They're killing us," he said, "even though we're in the neediest schools with the neediest students."

    anita.hassan@chron.com

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/hea ... 09779.html
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  10. #10
    MW
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    Applicants had to score 98.6 or better on a 100-point scale – and LULAC's application fell well below that cutoff, officials said. The organization's application was below 60 on all three evaluators' reviews.
    Note, LULAC's application fell well below the cutoff! Anyone want to bet that the Secretary of Education won't reverse the boards findings under intense pressure from pro-illegal activists in Congress? We need to keep a close eye on this folks. If it is reversed, especially after they fell well below the cutoff, we need to raise some he$$! By virtue of falling well below the cuttoff, I'm obviously going to assume there were others that were closer to meeting qualifications that were also denied. If the findings are reversed, then it is only logical to assume that all of those that scored above LULUC should also be approved, which won't happen.

    Please, someone, anyone, keep an eye on this for us!

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