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News roundup: housing and education articles

Housing

Foreclosure settlement could help 17K Minn. homeowners

Minnesota homeowners with foreclosed houses, could get help from a settlement announced Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012.

Obama wants Congress to act on expanded home refinance plan

The Obama administration’s latest refinancing proposal could extend mortgage refinancing opportunities to millions of homeowners, but it faces plenty of opposition. The plan is intended to help qualifying borrowers refinance into lower-interest-rate loans, saving them $3,000 a year on average.

Minn. gets $280M for mortgage aid

Certain borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure could get a $2,000 refund, and banks have been ordered to speed up the notoriously slow short-sale process.

A refinance benefit allows borrowers to refinance at a lower interest rate if they are current on their mortgage and have no delinquencies in the past 12 months, are “underwater” on their mortgage (owe more than the home is worth), originated their loan prior to Jan. 1, 2009, and are paying an interest rate of at least 5.25 percent. Minnesota’s portion is valued at about $36 million.

If you might qualify for any type of relief you should contact the Attorney General or the Minnesota Commerce Dept. for more info.  Also, let your friends know about these possibilities.

Education

Bill: teacher evals overrule seniority in K-12 schools

A proposed bill in the state Legislature could drastically change how schools make staffing decisions in tough times by basing layoff on teacher evaluations. However, how to evaluate teachers have yet to be decided upon.

Area superintendents pleased to have ‘No Child’ waiver

Minnesota to be granted waiver from NCLB law

Minnesota schools excused from controversial No Child

Minnesota will be among 10 states freed from the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law, allowing the state to move ahead with a new accountability system for schools that focuses not just on test scores but also on other measures of student growth.

Minnesota Legislature: Charter schools would gain levy funding from district under bill

The Republican-backed plan would allow local referendum dollars to follow students if they attend a charter within their district boundaries. It would take about $20 million from local school districts and transfer it to charters, which are public schools that operate outside the traditional district structure.

State integration task force adopts plan to close achievement gap

A bipartisan task force approved a plan Tuesday that begins to spell out how Minnesota schools can better spend $108 million in funds to integrate schools and close the ever-widening achievement gap. Two members of the 12-member task force voted against the plan and will be submitting separate reports to lawmakers.

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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Community news, Legislative

 

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State to award $52M in affordable housing grants

State to award $52M in affordable housing grants
by Brandt Williams, originally published by Minnesota Public Radio on November 18, 2011

Minneapolis — A state agency is awarding more than $52 million in grants to help people find affordable housing.

Minnesota Housing Finance Commissioner Mary Tingerthal said the money will help more than 2,400 low-income households get into subsidized housing. She says the grants will help create more than 600 jobs when housing construction starts next year.
read more…

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2011 in Community news

 

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A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans in the United States 2011

asian american national data census

A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans in the United States 2011 compiles the latest data on Asian Americans at the national level. Produced by the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, the report is a valuable resource to community organizations, elected and appointed officials, government agencies, foundations, corporations, and others looking to better understand and serve one of this country’s fastest growing and most diverse racial groups. Below is a summary of key findings in the report.

Note:  the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice will release a separate national report in 2012 dedicated to Pacific Islanders.

Asian Americans are the country’s fastest growing racial group.
The Asian American population in the United States grew 46% between 2000 and 2010, faster than any other racial group nationwide.

Asian Americans make significant contributions to the economy through entrepreneurial activity, job creation, and consumer spending.
Asian American entrepreneurs own over 1.5 million businesses, employing about 3 million people with an annual payroll of nearly $80 billion. Asian American firms were more likely than other firms to create jobs, and between 2000 and 2009, the buying power of Asian American communities increased 89%, from $269 billion to $509 billion.

Asian Americans are becoming citizens, registering to vote, and casting ballots
Approximately 68% of Asian Americans old enough to vote are U.S. citizens, but of those eligible to register to vote, 55% have done so, and the rate of Asian American voter turnout still lags behind that of non-Hispanic Whites. Greater naturalization, voter registration, and Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts are needed if Asian Americans are to realize their untapped political potential.

Immigration policies disproportionately impact Asian Americans.
Proportionately, Asian Americans are more likely than any other racial group to be foreign-born. Approximately 60% of Asian Americans were born outside the United States.

Language barriers continue to limit opportunities for millions of Asian Americans.
Roughly one out of every three Asian Americans are limited-English proficient (LEP). Providing assistance in Asian languages and greater opportunities to learn English promotes better access to good jobs, citizenship, voting, healthcare, social services, and the judicial system for millions of Asian Americans.

Asian American educational attainment varies widely among ethnic groups.

Disaggregated data show that the low educational attainment of Cambodians, Laotian, Hmong, and Vietnamese Americans limit employment opportunities for many in Southeast Asian communities. Job training programs and vocational English language instruction should be targeted to Asian Americans with lower levels of educational attainment in an effort to increase access to good jobs.

Some Asian Americans struggle economically.
Hmong Americans have the lowest per capita income of any racial or ethnic group nationwide, while Hmong, Bangladeshi, and Cambodian Americans have poverty rates that approach those of African Americans and Latinos. Federal, state, and local governments should establish or expand culturally and linguistically accessible public assistance programs to meet these needs.

Unemployment has impacted Southeast Asian American communities.
Hmong, Laotian, and Cambodian Americans have unemployment rates higher than the national average. Job training, adult English language learning, unemployment benefits, and other safety net programs should be made accessible to these workers as they struggle to get back on their feet.

Asian Americans continue to face housing concerns.
59% of Asian Americans own homes nationwide, yet homeownership rates lags significantly behind that of non-Hispanic Whites, with a majority of Bangladeshi, Hmong, and Korean Americans renting rather than owning their own homes.  The problem is compounded by large numbers of Asian Americans living in overcrowded housing.

Access to affordable healthcare coverage is critical for Asian Americans.
Asian Americans are twice as likely than both non-Hispanic Whites and African Americans to have seen a doctor in the past five years, despite being more likely to develop hepatitis, stomach and liver cancer, and other diseases. Asian Americans are also more likely than non-Hispanic Whites to be uninsured. The federal government should work with insurance companies and employers to expand access to affordable healthcare coverage for all U.S. residents, including immigrants.

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To view the full report, visit: http://www.advancingjustice.org/pdf/Community_of_Contrast.pdf

To visit the Center for Advancing Justice website, visit: http://www.advancingjustice.org/

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2011 in National news

 

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Minneapolis Foundation releases OneMinneapolis report, Oct. 2011

onempls

About the OneMinneapolis report released in October 2011:

The Minneapolis Foundation partnered with Wilder Research in 2010 to select community-level indicators that reflect the community’s educational, economic, and social environment. OneMinneapolis was created to help our community better understand, track, and improve how all of our neighbors are faring across 24 community indicators.

The OneMinneapolis report identified racial disparities in education, jobs, housing, justice, and other critical areas. The most severe of racial disparities were identified in the following community indicators:

  • Kindergartners ready for school
  • 3rd graders proficient in reading
  • Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) students graduating on time
  • MPS graduates who enroll directly in post-secondary education
  • MPS students who show strong attendance
  • Minneapolis children living in poverty
  • Minneapolis families living in poverty

Highlights of the data for Asian Pacific communities:

minneapolis population table

Original image from OneMinneapolis report, Minneapolis Foundation (2011)

Economics and poverty

  • Among all low-income households in Minneapolis (earning less than $35,000 annually), Asian households are most likely to have affordable housing.
  • Among working aged adults, the employment rate for Asians is 60% and 78% for Whites.
  • 58% of jobs in Minneapolis pay a “family supporting wage” of $40,000 a year (2009).

 Children & Youth  

  • Asian students in Minneapolis Public Schools are the least likely to report having a caring community adult in their lives.
    • 64% for Asian students compared to 73% for all students.
  • Today, more than half of all the American Indian, Asian, and Black children living in Minneapolis are in poverty.
    • 67% of Asian children in Minneapolis are living in poverty.
    • Among Asian children, those with one or more foreign-born parents (75%) are far more likely to be in poverty than those whose parents were both born in the U.S. (44%).

Education

  • Asian students in Minneapolis Public Schools are the most likely to exhibit strong attendance and the least likely to be suspended.
  • Among Asian students enrolled in 3rdgrade in Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), 47% are proficient in reading.
    • However, Asian students who were English Language Learners were only 26% proficient in reading.
    • The overall 3rd grader proficiency rate for reading in MPS is 54% (2009-2010 school year).
  • Asian students in MPS have a graduate rate of 58% compared to 71% for White students.
  • 67% of Minneapolis Public Schools’ Asian graduates went on to enroll in college in 2010 fall compared to 73% for Whites.
To view the full OneMinneapolis report, dashboard, and project overview, visit http://www.minneapolisfoundation.org/OneMinneapolis/Home.aspx
 
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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Community news

 

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Community Event: Town Hall on Jobs and Housing, 10-14-11

The White House Initiative and President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders invite you to attend the Town Hall on Jobs and Housing

When:             Friday, October 14, 2011 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where:           Painter’s Union Hall, 1701 Whitney Mesa Drive, Henderson, Nevada  89014
Register:        Click Here to reserve your spot (http://bit.ly/qJWlbh).

Engage directly with the White House on how President Obama and his Administration are:

1) supporting small businesses to create jobs

2) ensuring equal access to affordable housing

Keynote Speaker: Chris Lu, Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary

Senior Obama Administration officials will answer your questions and listen to your ideas on how government can more effectively serve the community.  Your participation is vital to increasing access to federal programs, as well as to inform future policy.  Please share this information widely with your networks and invite them to join this important town hall.  The event is free of charge.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in CAPM Events, CAPM news, Community news, Legislative

 

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Webinar on Fair Housing with HUD and White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Webinar on Fair Housing with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 3:00pm EDT

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) will hold a webinar on the Fair Housing Act, which ensures all persons have equal access to the housing of their choice.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, familial status, sex, and disability. The Fair Housing Act ensures that all persons have the right to receive equal housing opportunities.  It protects all residents against prohibited discrimination, regardless of their legal status in the United States.

The Asian American and Pacific Islander population grew faster than any other group in this country over the last ten years.  This growth creates an urgent need to understand everyday problems, e.g., housing discrimination, that challenge AAPIs across the country.  HUD estimates that one in five AAPIs face housing discrimination, yet only 1% of HUD’s Fair Housing complaints are from AAPI community. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2011 in Legislative, National news

 

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