National Academies Press: OpenBook

Measuring Poverty: A New Approach (1995)

Chapter: Vocational Education Opportunities, Disadvantaged Activities (Perkins Act)

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Suggested Citation:"Vocational Education Opportunities, Disadvantaged Activities (Perkins Act)." National Research Council. 1995. Measuring Poverty: A New Approach. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4759.
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Page 441

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APPENDIX D 441 milk. Participating schools can elect to provide free milk or to require partial payment. The Special Milk Program operates mainly in schools and institutions that do not participate in the School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs. Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Supplemental foods are provided to low-income pregnant women, new mothers, nursing mothers, infants, and children up to age 5 who are judged to be at nutritional risk by a local agency. Income limits for WIC are to be no less than those set by states or local agencies for free or reduced-price health care so long as they are no greater than 185 percent and no less than 100 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Summer Food Service Program for Children There are no individual income requirements for participation. Eligibility for benefits is tied to the location and type of sponsor operating a program. Eligible programs must operate in areas where at least 50 percent of the children are from families with incomes at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Education Programs Follow Through Children from families whose incomes are below 100 percent of the official poverty guidelines are eligible for special educational services in the early elementary grades. At least 60 percent of participants must have participated in Head Start or similar preschool programs with a focus on pupils from low-income families. Head Start Children from families with incomes below 100 percent of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible for Head Start, as are children from families receiving AFDC or other public assistance. No more than 10 percent of participating children, including handicapped children, can be from nonpoor families. Special Programs for Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds These programs (e.g., Upward Bound, Talent Search) are for college students. Eligibility criteria differ somewhat for the various programs, but generally two-thirds of participants must be low-income, first-generation college students. Low-income is defined as taxable income below 150 percent of the Census Bureau poverty thresholds. Vocational Education Opportunities, Disadvantaged Activities (Perkins Act) Vocational education services and activities are available to disadvantaged individuals, including members of economically disadvantaged families, migrants, people with limited English proficiency, and high school dropouts or potential dropouts. States are required to adopt a uniform method to determine who is economically disadvantaged by using one or more of the following

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Each year's poverty figures are anxiously awaited by policymakers, analysts, and the media. Yet questions are increasing about the 30-year-old measure as social and economic conditions change.

In Measuring Poverty a distinguished panel provides policymakers with an up-to-date evaluation of

  • Concepts and procedures for deriving the poverty threshold, including adjustments for different family circumstances.
  • Definitions of family resources.
  • Procedures for annual updates of poverty measures.

The volume explores specific issues underlying the poverty measure, analyzes the likely effects of any changes on poverty rates, and discusses the impact on eligibility for public benefits. In supporting its recommendations the panel provides insightful recognition of the political and social dimensions of this key economic indicator.

Measuring Poverty will be important to government officials, policy analysts, statisticians, economists, researchers, and others involved in virtually all poverty and social welfare issues.

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