Xavier students are meeting with Congressmen and policy makers in Washington, D.C.

The students are learning about public policy practices and government funding in light of budget cuts | March 17, 2011

More than 20 students from the Philosophy, Politics and the Public honors program are traveling to Washington for two days of meetings with members of Congress, staffers, teachers’ unions and nonprofit organizations on Monday, March 21, and Tuesday, March 22.

The students are studying public and private funding across the continuum of education from “cradle to career.” Their discussions with high-level policy makers will help them better understand public funding, especially in light of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s newly-released budget that proposes drastic funding cuts, as much as $1.8 million, to K-12 Education in Ohio.

The trip offers students a chance to continue research begun in Cincinnati by meeting with officials from the Department of Education, interest groups such as Bellwether, and think tanks like The Brookings Institute, The Data Quality Campaign and the National Governors Association. They intend to use what they learn in meetings, research and contacts to advocate for the strategic use of public allocations across the education spectrum.

“Budget reductions at every level of government threaten the crucial public investment necessary to keep quality learning in our schools,” says Rosalynd Erney, Xavier sophomore.

After considerable research, the students believe that if more money cannot be spent on education, it is definitely possible to spend what there is more wisely. One way is through the implementation of a statewide longitudinal data system. By organizing data across the education continuum in one area, legislators and policy-makers will be able to better track effective programs and allocate existing funds more wisely.

After returning from Washington, the students intend to seek meetings with legislators deliberating over the state budget and to offer testimony on the best practices in education funding allocation and better methods of measuring the return on public and private dollars devoted to learning.

For more information on the program, visit the Philosophy, Politics and the Public website.