When college students who live off campus are removed from poverty figures, poverty rates can plummet, according to a paper recently publicized by the U.S. Census Bureau.
So just think of Bibb County, which has Wesleyan College, Middle Georgia State College and Mercer University, as well as outposts for institutions including Georgia College & State University, Virginia College and Miller-Motte College. That just has to account for a lot of ramen noodles, right?
Nope. According to the paper, Bibb Countys poverty rate of 23.5 percent plummets to all of 23.3 percent when off-campus college students are excluded. Even worse, that 0.2 percentage point decrease is accompanied by a 2.8-percentage-point margin of error, so the number is likely small but pretty much meaningless.
In other words, Bibb County is still poor.
Clarke County, home of the University of Georgia, accounts for one of the largest changes in the entire nation. The Census Bureau figures estimate that 38.3 percent of Clark County lives in poverty, but the figure drops by 11.4 percentage points when college students are ousted from the statistics. That leaves a poverty rate of 26.9 percent, meaning, yes, even without the students subsisting on macaroni and cheese, Clarke County is still poor, and in fact poorer than Bibb County, according to the paper Examining the Effect of Off-Campus College Students on Poverty Rates.
A July 20 Neighborhood Clean-up and Fire Prevention Blitz in Lynmore Estates resulted in 75 volunteers and 333 bags of trash, according to a Macon Area Habitat for Humanity account.
Sponsors of the work included Countryside Baptist, Southside Community and Northway churches; the Lynmore Estates Neighborhood Watch Association; Macon-Bibb County Fire Department; Macon Area Habitat for Humanity; Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission; Macons Public Works Department; Macons Economic & Community Development Department; Sams Club; Chick-fil-A; and CVS.
Bibb County school board members had nothing but praise and offers to help with promotion for Susanne Griffin-Ziebart, the outgoing deputy school superintendent who is taking a comparable job in Minnesota. Board members said Griffin-Ziebart should become superintendent somewhere. Shed tried it out as acting superintendent in Bibb County, hired for 30 days, then another 30 days, then for a while longer.
Susan Sipe, who had been the acting board president while Griffin-Ziebart was the acting president, put things in an odd historical context.
Youre the only superintendent this board has hired three times, she said.
Young immigrant plaintiffs include Mercer student
Dozens of young immigrants rallied in Atlanta on Wednesday and filed a lawsuit to try to force the university systems Board of Regents to grant them in-state tuition.
One of the 39 plaintiffs is Mercer University student Raymond Partolan, who gave an impassioned speech the day of the filing.
The complaint contends that being denied in-state tuition forces immigrant students to pay the higher out-of-state rate. Thats difficult for them, the suit says, and it harms their financial future.
Last year, the Obama administration gave such students temporary permission to remain in the country under a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It allows young people brought to the United States illegally as children to obtain work permits for two years. The permits are renewable. The university system requires any student seeking in-state tuition to provide evidence of lawful presence in the country. Regents have maintained that the Obama administration regulations do not meet that standard.
Partolan moved to the United States from the Philippines when he was 1. Even though hes attending Mercer, a private university, on a full-tuition scholarship, he said in an email that he sees it as his duty to fight for others who do not have the opportunity to go to college because of their immigration status.
Middle Georgians named to state boards
Gov. Nathan Deal recently appointed Middle Georgians to state boards.
Jennifer Nelson, of Macon, was appointed to the Small Business Stationary Source Technical and Environmental Compliance Advisory Panel. Nelson is director for existing industry and regional recruitment with the Georgia Department of Economic Development. She previously worked as regional project manager for the state agency, directed economic development for Metter and Candler County, and graduated from the Leadership Macon Class of 2001.
Robin Hines, of Warner Robins, was appointed to the Military Interstate Childrens Compact Commission. Hines, superintendent of Houston County schools, also serves on the Houston County Board of Health, Middle Georgia RESA Board of Control and Middle Georgia Council for Boy Scouts.
Yes, Virginia, there is an election
The soon-to-be-combined Macon-Bibb County is scheduled to have its first election Sept. 17. Voters must register by Aug. 19, with early voting starting Aug. 26. Voters can get registration forms at mvp.sos.state.ga.us or at many government offices and libraries. For election information, visit www.macon.com/elections online.
Bivins plans campaign kickoff
Macon-Bibb County commission candidate Bert Bivins plans an evening of country kickoff, featuring him singing Randy Travis songs. The event starts at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Douglass Theatre, 355 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Macon. Dress is casual or country-western, and reservations for dinner may be made by calling 745-9889.
The group working to consolidate Macon and Bibb County governments has scheduled a Finance Committee meeting for 7 a.m. Wednesday. It also expects the Laws Committee to meet at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 14. All meetings will be in the offices of the Middle Georgia Regional Commission, 175 Emery Highway.
Writers Mike Stucka and Oby Brown contributed to this report.