More Details About the Victims of PASSHE Gentrification
Last time we estimated that between 2002 and 2011, some 11,270 of PASSHE’s less-affluent (Q1 & Q2) students (who in 2011 accounted for two-thirds of all PASSHE students) were displaced by 11,270 of PASSHE’s more-affluent (Q3 & Q4) students (who then accounted for one-third of all PASSHE students).
The PASSHE universities include Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.
During the nine year period, the percentage of less-affluent students in PASSHE’s total student body fell from 80% to 67%, as the percentage of more-affluent students grew from 20% to 33%.
These figures reveal what the rapid gentrification of PASSHE universities looks like in terms of numbers.
The four Quartiles of annual family incomes of PASSHE students have the following ranges and averages:
Quartile 1 has a family income range from $0 to $40,000, with an average of $17,863.
Quartile 2 has a family income range from $40,000 to $69,999, with an average of $54,817.
Quartile 3 has a family income range from $70,000 to $99,999, with an average of $83,816.
Quartile 4 has a family income range from $100,000 or higher, with an average of $135,677.
Having already estimated the number of victims of PASSHE gentrification between 2002 and 2011, we will now estimate the racial and ethnic breakdown of those 11,270 less-affluent PASSHE students who were displaced by an equal number of more-affluent PASSHE students.
A Definition of “Poverty”
While the terms “less-affluent” and “more-affluent” are very relative, the income ranges and averages for the four quartiles listed above allow one to connect PASSHE family income statistics with public data on National and State poverty rates by race and ethnicity.
For example, according to an interactive U.S. Census Bureau website¹ entitled “Poverty thresholds by Size of Family and Number of Children,” the Federal “poverty level” in 2011 was defined by the Census Bureau in terms of a sliding scale of annual family incomes ranging from $17,916 to $43,487, depending on the number of adults and the number of children under age 18 living there.
Note that this poverty range overlaps the “above average” portion of PASSHE’s Q1 range! This means that the “below average” portion of PASSHE’s Q1 range falls far below Federal “Poverty Threshold,” and yet in Pennsylvania, those students can’t go to college because of the PASSHE Gentrification Policy.
Recall that this policy is a direct consequence of the PASSHE Board of Governors’ Act 188-defying focus on the “lowest possible tuition” (i.e., sticker price), rather than on the Act 188-mandated “lowest possible cost to the students” (i.e., bottom line).
PASSHE’s Gentrification Policy is a cruel consequence of a lawless decision. And because the Board of Governors refuses to follow the law, there is too little tuition discounting to save those students.
Poverty Rate by Race/Ethnicity in America
According to a 2014 study² by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the United States had 47 million people (or 15% of the total U.S. population that year) in poverty.
Of those 47 million: 20 million (10%) are White: 10 million (26%) are Black; 13 million (29%) are Hispanic; and 4 million (15%) are Other.
The above poverty numbers add up to 47 million total people in poverty in the U.S., as they must. But the percentages do not add to 100%. The reason is that the individual percentages refer not to the size of the U.S. population, but rather to the size of the population of each racial/ethnic subgroup.
20 million Whites (10% of the White population in the U.S.) were in poverty in 2014;
10 million Blacks (26% of the Black population in the U.S.) were in poverty in 2014;
13 million Hispanics (29% of the Hispanic population in the U.S. were in poverty in 2014; and
4 million Other (15% of the Other population in the U.S. were in poverty in 2014.
To see a more detailed racial/ethnic breakdown, click the attached link to a helpful pie-chart.³
Poverty Rate by Race/Ethnicity in Pennsylvania
The same Kaiser Family Foundation report cited earlier also lists the poverty rate data for all fifty states, including Pennsylvania.² That is:
1.6 million Pennsylvania citizens (13 percent of Pennsylvania’s total population) were in poverty in 2014;
900,000 Whites (9% of the White population of Pennsylvania) were in poverty in 2014;
327,000 Blacks (25% of the Black population of Pennsylvania) were in poverty in 2014;
267,000 Hispanics (29% of the Hispanic population of Pennsylvania) were in poverty in 2014;
99,600 Other (13% of the Other population of Pennsylvania) were in poverty in 2014.³
Racial/Ethnic Breakdown of PASSHE Gentrification Victims
Note from the previous discussion that of the 1.6 million Pennsylvania citizens in poverty in 2014:
900,000 (56.3%) were White;
327,000 (20.6%) were Black;
267,000 (16.9% were Hispanic; and
99,600 (6.3%) were Other.
The above percentages reflect the relative shares of Pennsylvania’s racial/ethnic minorities who are in poverty. Those same percentages—applied to the total number (11,270) of less-affluent students displaced by PASSHE Gentrification between 2002 and 2011—should provide a good estimate of the impact of PASSHE gentrification on the various segments of the less-affluent PASSHE population:
Accordingly, of the 11,270 students displaced (a euphemism for students denied a PASSHE education):
6,334 of those displaced students were White;
2,320 of those displaced students were Black;
1,899 of those displaced students were Hispanic;
707 of those displaced students were Other.
Despite their racial and ethnic differences, all of those students had two important things in common: 1) They were college ready; and 2) They couldn’t afford a PASSHE education due to cruel, conscious and law-defying policy decisions made by the PASSHE Board of Governors.
To be continued.