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LITERACY TRAINING BEGINS FOR HARTFORD PARENTS, SAGA CONTINUES OVER FAFSA DELAYS

LITERACY TRAINING BEGINS FOR HARTFORD PARENTS

Lots of love for this special event! On Monday night, Hartford Parent University and the Hartford Public School District hosted the first in a training series for parents about evidence-based literacy practices. Through a collaboration with Literacy How and HILL for Literacy of the Right to Read CT Coalition and coordination with the Connecticut State Department of Education—the three-part series will help district parents to understand the changes to their children's literacy programming, aligned to the 2021 legislation



In a press statement yesterday, Hartford Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez noted, “we have shifted our practice to the Structured Literacy Model, and while we know significant improvements will take time, we are confident that this model provides our teachers with the tools they need to help our students succeed.” Bravo, Hartford!



SAGA CONTINUES OVER FAFSA DELAYS

On Monday, US Rep. Bobby Scott and US Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a letter co-signed by over 100 Democrats to the US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona—urging him to address ongoing issues with the rollout of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. 


The new form is the result of a 2020 law that intended to make the FAFSA easier to complete and help more low-income students afford college. The updated form was supposed to be released at the end of 2023, but it has been beset with technical challenges and delays. As the New York Times reports—colleges are now not expected to get any FAFSA information until March. Once they do, they must make financial aid offers to admitted students, a process that itself will take several more weeks, and many colleges expect commitments from students intending to enroll by May 1st. It’s a crunch.


In their letter to Secretary Cardona, the Democratic lawmakers wrote, “Any delays in financial aid processing will most impact the students that need aid most, including many students of color, students from mixed status families, students from rural backgrounds, students experiencing homelessness or in foster care, first-generation students, and students from underserved communities. For institutions to support students’ ability to make informed decisions about their future, they need clear guidance and resources from the Department immediately on any and all next steps.”


The Washington Post reports that Secretary Cardona announced yesterday that the Department would relax some "compliance requirements" (think: reducing federal verification of students’ FAFSA info, limiting federal reviews to confirm colleges are meeting requirements, etc.). The Chronicle for Higher Education reports, however, that there is a long list of "known issues" with the FAFSA that have been reported since the beginning of the year and remain unaddressed. (For instance, American students with a parent who lacks a Social Security number are unable to fill out the form.)

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