Education

Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III Urges the extension of Temporary Protected Status for Haitian nationals

Dr. Steve Gallon III
Dr. Steve Gallon III



At today's regular monthly meeting of the Miami-Dade School Board, District 1 School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III will advance agenda item H-18, authorizing Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho to urge Pres. Donald Trump and Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals for at least another 18-month period. 
 
TPS was granted to Haitian nationals who were in the U.S. as of January 12, 2010, the date of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. The U.S. has provided a safe haven to approximately 50,000 Haitians who have been unable to return to their home country because of insurmountable environmental obstacles, deadly diseases and violence. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) granted a six-month extension in TPS to Haitian nationals on Monday. The sad reality is Haiti will be in no better position to humanely receive and care for the more than 50,000 people affected, when the extension expires January 22, 2018.
 
The vast majority of these individuals has been in the US for at least 6 1/2 years, well before the 2010 earthquake, and has strong community ties including families with U.S.-born children. Haiti’s government is in no position to insure the safety to or assimilate these 50,000 Haitians, nor to make up for their remittances should they be curtailed by their deportation, and it remains unsafe to deport them. Their deportation would consequently tend to destabilize Haiti, which is contrary to the national security interest of the U.S.
 
DHS’s announcement extending Haiti’s TPS designation for six months, rather than the usual 18 months, sends mixed signals and omits significant facts.  The announcement stresses this is likely the last extension, that TPS holders should prepare their travel documents for return to Haiti, and that conditions have greatly improved. Further, the announcement also misleadingly states, “96 percent of people displaced by the earthquake and living in internally displaced person camps have left those camps.  Even more encouraging is that over 98 percent of these camps have closed.” This is misleading because many camps were forcibly closed due to regular, unchallenged, large-scale evictions by landowners, not because other housing had been found, which it had not been, or because residents had any place else to go.  This has been a huge problem in Haiti.  Even more significantly, several of the larger camps were reclassified by the Haitian government as "permanent housing," simply because the residents had attached so much salvaged building material to their shanties.
 
Recent leaked DHS efforts to demonize Haitians as criminals and welfare cheats as a means of justifying termination were reprehensible: inherently racist, such considerations are irrelevant since TPS is a humanitarian program, TPS recipients are ineligible for welfare, and criminals are ineligible for TPS.
 

The Miami-Dade County School Board Meeting starts 11 a.m., today, in the School Board Administration Building auditorium at 1450 Northeast Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33132. 

 

Oakwood University Crowned Champion at 28th Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

 


-Oakwood University awarded $75,000 institutional grant from Honda


-Bowie State University, Florida A&M University and Tuskegee University rounded out the top four teams


-Robert Batten, Dean of Bowie State University, named Coach of the Year

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TORRANCE, Calif., April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- After twenty rounds of intense competition, Oakwood University was crowned the 28th annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament (NCT) champion on Monday, April 10, taking home the championship trophy and earning a grant of $75,000 for their HBCU. The four-student team demonstrated its academic prowess by quickly and accurately answering questions about history, science, literature, religion, the arts and popular culture. Oakwood University was one of 48 Historically Black College and University (HBCU) teams that qualified for the NCT by competing in a series of regional competitions on campus throughout the academic year.

A packed studio audience filled with HBCU students, school presidents, alumni, volunteers, fans and Honda associates watched as Oakwood University clinched the title over runner-up Bowie State University. This is the third time Oakwood University has won the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge.

Coached by Dr. Rennae Elliott, the winning team included Caleb Briggs, Olivia Campbell, Joshua Nwaoha and team captain, Sesly Huerfano.

"I've seen firsthand how the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge changes students' lives by building their confidence and giving them a place to belong on campus," said Dr. Rennae Elliott. "We have a whole network of people back home and across campus who have supported us throughout the tournament; it truly has been a team effort." 

Runner-up Bowie State University earned a $30,000 grant, while the third and fourth-place finishers – Florida A&M University and Tuskegee University – earned $20,000 each.

"Honda congratulates Oakwood University on their exciting achievement in the National Championship Tournament, and we applaud all of the students who participated in this year's Honda Campus All-Star Challenge program," said Steve Morikawa, Vice President, Corporate Relations and Social Responsibility, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "HCASC is made possible each year through the efforts of the many volunteers and we extend our thanks and appreciation to all of the volunteers who helped make this annual tournament a success."

In addition to honoring the top four teams, Honda recognized outstanding individuals who have made an impact during this year's Honda Campus All-Star Challenge. Robert Batten, 11-year HCASC coach and Dean of Bowie State University, was named Coach of the Year. Danian Medearis of North Carolina Central University was selected by fellow HCASC players to receive this year's Ernest C. Jones Sportsperson Award. Named for one of HCASC's early volunteers who mentored students in the program, the award recognizes a student who epitomizes team spirit, camaraderie, good sportsmanship and academic focus.

Honda established the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge in 1989 as a way to highlight and recognize the academic talents of HBCU students. More than $8.5 million in grants from Honda have provided support for books and tuition, scholarships, enhancement of student programs and other investments to improve campus facilities. This year's journey to the championship began in the fall, with 89 HBCUs competing for a spot in the finals. Nearly 100 volunteers, including Honda associates, helped produce the 2017 National Championship Tournament, hosting the students, conducting registration and serving as game officials.

For photos, videos and more information about the 2017 HCASC competition, including a full list of the 48 teams that qualified, visit HCASC.com. Connect with HCASC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and follow the conversation using #HCASC.


ICARE on TONIGHT's Chief Jimmy Brown Show to discuss disparity in contracting with Black businesses in Miami

 

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Tonight at 9pm EST, Eric Pettus will guest host The Chief Jimmy Brown Show on 1490 WMBM. To listen, go to the web or download the app. 

Special invited guests are Darryl Holsendolph, Larry Williams and DC Clark who will discuss diversity issues related to government contracting particularly Miami Dade County Public Schools. You don't want to miss this one!!! 

Again, tune into www.WMBM.com or download the app. Call in to ask a question or make a comment by dialing any of the following numbers 305-953-9626 or 954-525-1490 or 888-599-WMBM. 


 HBCU ALUMNI, STUDENTS TO RALLY ON CAPTIOL HILL

 

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Call for direct-action from HBCU supporters to urge Congress for resources

WASHINGTON, DC -  Concerned alumni, students and friends of Historically Black Colleges and Universities are set to gather on Capitol Hill on April 27 for a National Day of Action to increase support for black institutions of higher learning.

The direct-action was organized to ensure accountability by the White House and members of Congress to not only maintain funding, but increase resources to HBCUs – pillar institutions to educating and supporting thousands.

The HBCU National Day of Action is organized by the HBCU Collective, a group of alumni, students and friends of HBCUs who work in politics and advocacy and are determined to preserve, support and grow HBCUs.

“Alumni and students play an integral role in preserving and growing our HBCUs,” said co-leader of the HBCU Collective Robert Stephens. “We’re here to make sure our elected officials see and feel the importance of HBCUs – and we’re here to hold them accountable for their support.”

On April 27, the HBCU Collective expects to galvanize support from more than 100 HBCUs across the nation on Capitol Hill to advocate to their members of Congress. And engage thousands through an online and social media based outreach to urge them to call, write and tweet their federal and state elected officials to make HBCUs a priority in state legislative sessions and in Congress.
 
The HBCU Collective has three asks from state and federal elected officials:
  • Increase financial support for students
  • Increase access and funding for federal research grants
  • Increase funding and assistance for facility upgrades
“We care about the existence of our institutions and we are going to make sure elected officials do exactly what they promised, and that is to support our HBCUs and their students financially,” said Dominique Warren, co-leader of the HBCU Collective.

HBCU Collective plans to host meetings with elected officials and staff members in their home districts and in the districts of HBCUs to make allocating funding and resources a priority during this Congressional session, and every session in the future.
 

A Community Conversation on Education

Opa-locka town hall on education

If you are really concerned about public education (and you should be), push away from your computer, put your cell phone done, and participate in this community conversation on education.  Opa-Locka Vice Mayor Joseph Kelley and Miami-Dade County School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III invite you to come out, 6 pm, Thursday, March 30, 2017, Sherbondy Village Auditorium, 215 Perviz Avenue, Opa-Locka, FL 33054. Get informed! Get involved! No excuses!

 

 

 


SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER DR. STEVE GALLON III TO SALUTE 5000 ROLE MODELS CLASS OF 2017 WILSON SCHOLARS AND RECOGNIZE SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKERS AND NATIONAL SOCIAL WORK MONTH

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At the upcoming School Board Meeting on March 15, District 1 School Board Member and Role Model, Dr. Steve Gallon III, will salute 62 Miami-Dade County Public School students who comprise the 2017 graduating class of the 5000 Role Models known as Wilson Scholars. He will also recognize the invaluable contributions of school social workers and March, as National Social Work Month.

The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, founded in 1993 by then-Miami-Dade County School Board Member, Dr. Frederica S. Wilson, now a member of the United States House of Representatives. A dropout prevention program, the mission of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project is to intervene in the lives of at-risk youth and provide them with alternatives to dropping out of school and self-destructive behaviors. The program pairs male students, ages 9-19, with successful professional adult mentors, who provide them with advice, guidance, and educational assistance.

This year, Wilson Scholars in Miami-Dade County include students from the following senior high schools: Booker T. Washington, Coral Gables, Coral Reef, Felix Varela, Miami Beach, Miami Carol City, Miami Coral Park, Miami Jackson, Miami Lakes Educational Center, Miami Norland, Miami Northwestern, Miami Palmetto, North Miami Beach, South Dade and William H. Turner Technical Arts. Since the inception of the program, over $10 million in scholarships have been awarded to graduating seniors.

The primary mission of the School Social Work profession is to enhance well-being and help meet the basic needs of all students, especially the most vulnerable or at-risk. School Social Workers embody the theme of this year’s National Social Work Month Theme, “Social Workers Stand Up!, and School Social Work Week on March 6-10, 2017, “Be The Change” by working with students, parents, schools, and local entities to improve and maintain a safe learning environment and empowering students to reach their academic and social/emotional potential.

For over 100 years, school social workers have provided services to students who face serious challenges to school success, including poverty, disability, discrimination, abuse, addiction, bullying, loss of a loved one, and other barriers to learning. School Social Workers also advocate ensuring equal rights for all students, including females, African-Americans, Latinos, people who are disabled, people who are LGBTQ and various ethnic, cultural and religious groups.

The next School Board Meeting is Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at 11:00 a.m., in the School Board Administration Building Auditorium at 1450 Northeast Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33132.


Gallon to Keynote North Miami Chamber Luncheon in March

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Miami-Dade County District 1 School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III, will be the guest speaker at the upcoming Greater North Miami Chamber of Commerce Business Networking Luncheon, Noon, March 22, 2017, at the Miami Shores Country Club, 10000 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami Shores, FL. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Click here to purchase tickets in advance.

 

 


Scholarship Opportunities available through Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

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Each year, the CBCF (Congressional Black Caucus Foundation) awards more than 200 scholarships to students across the United States. The CBCF has awarded scholarships to talented and deserving students for nearly three decades. Recipients demonstrate leadership ability through exemplary community service and academic talent, while other received need-based scholarships to reward their persistence in pursuing a quality education. The CBCF scholarship programs support current or upcoming college students across a variety of disciplines.

Please visit the CBCF website today for details. Some applications have an April 2017 submission deadline date. Don’t miss these scholarship opportunities.

 


Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson on direction of education under Trump and DeVos

 

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Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson released the following statement in response to President Trump’s Visit to Florida to Promote School Choice:

“I am very concerned about the direction in which President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos want to take the nation’s education system. Earlier this week, in his first address before a joint session of Congress, Mr. Trump urged lawmakers to pass legislation to fund school choice programs. Today he and his education secretary traveled to my home state to tour Orlando’s St. Andrew Catholic School and hail it as an example of how voucher programs can benefit disadvantaged and minority children.

“What both the president and Secretary DeVos failed to acknowledge is that programs like the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship do not cover the full cost of tuition and other expenses that are required when one sends a child to private school, such as books and supplies, transportation, and extracurricular activities.

“More important, vouchers drain public school systems of badly needed funding. Some of the so-called private schools that accept vouchers lack accountability and have not demonstrated the kinds of academic gains that justify siphoning taxpayer dollars out of the public school system, leaving our most disadvantaged students even further behind in underfunded schools with even fewer resources.

“Since 90 percent of American students attend public schools, children in disadvantaged communities would benefit so much more if President Trump and Secretary Devos would focus on how to provide them with high-quality schools that are equitable to those attended by children in middle- and upper-income communities, instead of superficial alternatives like voucher programs.

“I am hopeful, however, that Secretary DeVos and the president will be willing to work with Democrats on ways in which we can strengthen our nation’s public school system, without focusing exclusively on superficial alternatives like school choice programs.”


NAACP Task Force to Hold Hearing on Education Quality in Orlando

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National NAACP Leadership, Charter and Public School Advocates to Discuss Impact of Charters on Underfunded School Districts

 

ORLANDO, FL – A new NAACP task force studying education quality will hold its third of at least seven national hearings on the impact of charter schools on underfunded school districts. The task force will take input from advocates, teachers, parents, and policy experts on Friday.

The National Task Force for Quality Education, along with Florida State Conference of the NAACP, will host its latest in a series of national public hearings concerning public education quality and the impact of charter schools on underfunded school districts from 2 p.m. – 7p.m. on Friday, Jan 27.

“In our communities all around the nation, public education has always been the fountain of opportunity; we, unintentionally let it run dry,” said NAACP CEO and President Cornell William Brooks. “Ensuring that underfunded districts are not disparately impacted by the growth of charters or privatization has always been a priority for the NAACP.”

NAACP Board Chair Roslyn Brock sees these hearings as a continuation of the NAACP’s push for equal opportunity.

“The NAACP historically and today remains in the forefront of the struggle for equal opportunity and advocates for free high-quality, fully funded and equitable public education for all children,” said Chairwoman Brock, Chairman of the National NAACP Board of Directors. “We are dedicated to eliminating the severe racial inequities that continue to plague the education system.”

This event is the third hearing organized by the NAACP’s National Task Force for Quality.

The task force was created in October after board members approved a moratorium on expanding public charter school funding until safeguards are in place to provide better transparency regarding accountability, and to prevent cases of fraud and mismanagement.

The hearing for the NAACP Taskforce Florida Hearing on Quality Education and Hosted by Florida State Conference NAACP will be on Friday, January 27, 2017  at the Rosen Centre Hotel, 9780 International Drive, Orlando, FL beginning at 2 p.m.      

The first task force hearing was held in early December in New Haven, CT and the second on Jan. 10 in Memphis, TN. Future hearings are planned in Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY and New Orleans.

Educators, administrators, parents, students, elected officials, and education policy experts from throughout Florida, and NAACP officials from around the nation will participate in the hearing.

"The issue of school funding and accountability are not just Florida or Orlando issues, but issues which affect our communities around the nation. We owe it to our communities to take a deep look at the issues facing public schools as well as the pros and cons of charter schools," said Adora Obi Nweze, NAACP Task Force member and President of the NAACP’s Florida State Conference.

Invited key participants include:

  • Chancellor Herschel Lyons, Florida Department of Education
  • Randi Weingarten , President, American Federation of Teachers
  • James Hare, President and Chief Technology Officer , Wayne State University Research Park  Detroit, Michigan
  • Dr Karega Rausch, Vice President , Research and Evaluation NACSA, Chicago, IL
  • Hilary Shelton, Senior Vice President, NAACP Washington Bureau
  • Victor Goode, Interim Director, NAACP Education Department
  • Rev/Dr. Russell Meyer , Executive Director, Florida Council of Churches
  • Robert Runcie, Superintendent Broward County Schools, Broward County, FL
  • Joanne McCall, President, Florida Education Association ( Affiliate of AFT and NEA)
  • Atty. Jodi Siegel, Southern Legal Counsel
  • Dr. Rosa Castro Feinberg, Florida League of United Latin  American Citizens ( LULAC)
  • Brendien Mitchell, Member, NAACP  National Board of Directors; President , Youth and College Division  FL State Conference
  • Jianna Green , Former,  Charter and Public School Student
  • Chenoah Rucker, President , Marion County Youth Council  Ocala, FL
  • David L. Watkins, EdS, Director, Equity and Academic Attainment Broward County Schools , Broward County , FL
  • Dr. Amanda Wilkerson, Post Doctoral Associate Urban Teacher Initiatives Program Director College of Education and Human Performance University of Central Florida
     

National NAACP Leadership and other notables include:

  • Roslyn Brock, Chairman, NAACP National  Board of Directors
  • Adora Obi Nweze, Member, NAACP National Board of Directors, President, NAACP Florida State Conference, Member, NAACP Quality Education Taskforce
  • Minister Jabari Paul, Member , NAACP Florida Quality Education Hearing Planning Committee
  • Kran Riley, Area Director, NAACP FL State Conference
  • Atty. David Honig, Special Counsel, NAACP FL State Conference
  • Dr. Barbara Jenkins School Superintendent, Orange County Schools
  • Bruce Antoine, FL State Representative District 46, Orlando, FL
  • Alice Huffman , Member, NAACP National Board of Directors ; President, NAACP California-Hawaii State Conference; Chair, NAACP Quality Education Taskforce
  • Leon W. Russell, Vice Chairman, NAACP  National  Board of Directors
  • Presiding- Dr. Shirley B. Johnson, Chair, Education Committee , NAACP FL State Conference; President, NAACP Miami-Dade Branch                   

“Our goal is bringing people from our community together from both sides, so we can better understand the impact of charters on school funding and be sure that we have a clear say in the ways that decisions about public schools are made,” said Alice Huffman, chairman of the task force and president of the California State Conference of the NAACP.

Visitors who wish to speak at the hearing are asked to pre-register before the session begins. To accommodate the public, individual speakers may be asked to adhere to a time limit or to appoint a representative to speak on behalf of a group.