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In this paper, the 21st Century School Fund and the Center for Cities and Schools at the University of California Berkeley provide a conceptual frame for the joint use of PK-12 public schools. There is a growing conversation about and demand for joint use as a way to provide services to children and families in convenient locations, improve opportunities for physical activity by increasing use of school recreational and outdoor spaces, leverage capital investments, and more. However, engaging in joint use, particularly intensive sharing of space or use by multiple parties, presents ongoing challenges to school and community leaders. In this paper, we frame the basic challenges and opportunities for joint use to facilitate better conversations and planning for these type of collaborations.
Houston is one of the most inequitable cities in the United States. Households with incomes in the top 5% earn nearly 10 times more than households in the bottom 20th percentile. Thus, it is not surprising that while Houston ranks as the second-most prosperous city in the United States and the fifth fastest-growing, it only ranks 64th on a list of most economically inclusive cities. This staggering contrast between general wealth and individual welfare in our city creates both an enormous challenge and a great opportunity to improve lives through effective public policy. Mayor Turner is the best-situated elected leader in the South to embrace equity as a driving principle of his administration. He has an opportunity to demonstrate a model for the region that advances transformative policy shifts, which could impact millions of lives. Mayor Turner launched the Complete Communities initiative earlier this year, a program focused on transforming historically under-resourced communities by developing solutions in partnership with residents and leaders that are tailored to each neighborhood. The goal is to expand access to quality affordable homes, jobs, parks, improved streets and sidewalks, grocery and retail stores, good schools, and transit options. To build on this effort, Mayor Turner created the Mayoral Task Force on Equity, charging it with developing actionable policy recommendations to make Houston a more equitable city.
Researchers and policymakers alike want to better understand the long-run effects of investments in children's well-being. Yet, only a few studies have examined how participants in early childhood interventions fare as adults. These studies suggest that early investments may have sizable payoffs for children's later success. Such studies are valuable, but also rare and costly. In the absence of long-run data on children's outcomes, how can we determine the long-run monetary value of improvements in young children's well-being? In this report we describe a way to estimate the connections between improvements in aspects of children's early health, achievement, and behavior, as well as early parenting, to improved labor market outcomes when they become adults. Our results suggest that investments in early childhood that improve these aspects of development will likely have important payoffs. However, the magnitude of these payoffs is strongly dependent on the extent to which early program effects are maintained over time.
Early child development and education programming have proven to be effective investments in both young children and the communities in which they live. An international body of research points to strong evidence that high-quality early child development and early education policies, with appropriate standards and accountability, yield many more benefits than costs through the use of finite community resource dollars. Not only do young children acquire important social-emotional skills that yield long term benefits to both society and individual families, but the early years are the greatest opportunity to develop cognitive skills for optimal brain development, healthy habits, and lay a foundation for years of future academic success. Employers also capture short and long-term benefits for their local firms when early care and education is supported. Yet many communities, including Nashville-Davidson County have not made concentrated, comprehensive efforts to support robust and aligned early care and education efforts to ensure the sustained healthy development and success of their youngest citizens.
Those seeking to reduce deficits and strengthen the economy should make significant investments in early childhood education. Professor Heckman's ground-breaking work with a consortium of economists, psychologists, statisticians and neuroscientists shows that early childhood development directly influences economic, health and social outcomes for individuals and society. Adverse early environments create deficits in skills and abilities that drive down productivity and increase social costs - thereby adding to financial deficits borne by the public.
Designed to promote savings and economic mobility, Children's Savings Accounts (CSAs) are universal, longterm, asset-building accounts established for children with public seed money and that grow over time with additional deposits and earnings. San Francisco's Kindergarten to College (K2C) initiative opens a CSA for all children entering kindergarten in the City's public schools, putting San Francisco at the forefront of efforts to model how a national CSA policy could be implemented in the United States.
The nation's current economic model is broken. The problem is not just the recent economic downturn, as pressing and important as that has been. Over the past several decades, economic growth has slowed, racial and income inequality has spiked, and the middle class has withered. America needs a new strategy to bring about robust growth that is widely shared by all who live within its borders. The new growth model must embrace the nation's changing demographics, and make the investments needed to allow the next generation to reach its full potential. The United States is undergoing a major demographic transformation in which the racial and ethnic groups that have been most excluded are now becoming a larger portion of the population. By 2042, the majority of the population will be people of color.
The bipartisan research team of Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research recently completed a survey of 800 voters throughout the United States. It revealed overwhelming support for ensuring that children gain the knowledge and skills necessary to start kindergarten off on the right foot, with a majority of voters saying that we should do more to achieve this goal. When presented with the broad outlines of a federal plan that helps states provide better early childhood education programs to low- and middle-income families without increasing the debt, fully seven-in-ten voice their support-with strong majorities of support among Republicans (60%), Independents (64%) and Democrats (84%).
Economic recovery is not returning to all communities equally: the unemployment rate for White workers is down to nearly 4 percent nationally, while the unemployment rate for Black workers is more than double that. This disparity in employment is not an anomaly of our current economy, but has been the persistent reality for people of color for decades. Repeated studies show that job seekers of color are far less likely to be hired than their White counterparts, even when equally qualified.
The Neighborhood Jobs Trust (NJT) was created in 1987 to ensure that Boston's low- and moderate-income residents benefit, in the form of job training, from the development in their city. In other words, the Trust translates commercial development in the physical landscape into economic empowerment in the human one. Given that Boston is in the midst of the largest 4-year building boom in its history, the Trust has only grown in significance as a mechanism to make Boston a more equitable and prosperous city for all its residents. Over 2016-2017, NJT allocated $2.2 million to support over 2,300 residents in a variety of programs - from occupational skills training to adult literacy to tuition support - to develop their economic potential. This investment has yielded results. Placed graduates of NJT grantee programs earned an average hourly wage of $15.23 - a figure well above the city's living wage.