Resource Library

COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.

The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.


Effects of expanding equitable access to pre-kindergarten in Chicago carry into elementary school

June 21, 2021 – Young Children

New research from the University of Chicago continues a line of work evaluating policies implemented in the Chicago Public School System in 2013-2014 to enhance pre-kindergarten access. Specifically, the district increased the number of full-day pre-k slots available within schools and intentionally placed those newly created slots in neighborhoods with high shares of Black and low-income children—both of whom had historically low rates of pre-k enrollment. Earlier work confirmed the policies increased equitable access and enrollment, but the new research found this enhanced access also strengthened students’ academic outcomes in elementary school. #education #racialequity

Closing the Medicaid coverage gap would narrow racial disparities

June 14, 2021 – Families

Researchers at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) analyzed the potential impact of closing the Medicaid coverage gap for the 2.2 million uninsured adults living in one of the 12 states that have not adopted Medicaid expansion. Those caught in the coverage gap have incomes that, despite being below the poverty line, are both too low for subsidized coverage in Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces and yet too high to qualify for Medicaid in their state. The authors estimate that in 2019, more than half (around 60 percent) of the adults in the coverage gap were people of color and one third were parents with children at home. Creating a federal fallback to expand Medicaid coverage to those in this gap would improve financial security and the health of adults and children. Given the disproportionate share of people of color in the coverage gap, this represents an opportunity to begin to narrow long-standing racial disparities. #racialequity #health

U.S. Census Bureau describes living arrangements of young parents

June 14, 2021 – Older Youth, Families

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), about half of young parents (ages 15-22) lived with their spouse or unmarried partner. While 22.7 percent of young parents live with a spouse, 30.2 percent live with an unmarried partner and the other half report living with no spouse or partner present (47.1 percent). The author notes that this follows the larger trend among young adults to live with an unmarried partner rather than marry and/or to marry later (median age at first marriage is about 30). Two-in-five young parents live with one or both of their own parents, although this rises to three-in-five among young solo parents. Living arrangements also varied by sex, with young fathers less likely to live with any of their children than young mothers (56.5 percent compared to 85.6 percent). #housing

Analysis of multigenerational data shine further light on the widening of the Black-white poverty gap over time

June 10, 2021 – Families

Findings from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) reveal disproportionate multigenerational poverty among Black families compared to white families. When poverty is defined as the bottom fifth of earners, Black Americans make up 44 percent of poor adults in their 30s. The persistence of Black multigenerational poverty can be attributed to deeper poverty rates among Black Americans to begin with, white mobility outpacing Black mobility, and to faster rates of Black downward economic mobility. Differences in these starting points are clear: 9 percent of white adults today had a grandparent in the bottom fifth of income, compared to 59 percent of Black adults. #wealthandassets #racialequity

Study highlights connection between incarceration and racial disparities in COVID-19 cases

June 9, 2021 – Families

A study on COVID-19 data from the Cook County Jail in Chicago found cases from the facility accounted for 13 percent of the city’s COVID-19 cases and 21 percent of COVID’s racial disparities in Chicago. The authors suggest incarceration should be considered in the list of markers of disadvantage driving racial disparities in infection and death. #covid-19 #racialequity

The number of home-based early care and education providers decreased from 2012 to 2019

June 9, 2021 – Families, Young Children

The Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) recently released a chartbook with findings from the 2012 and 2019 National Survey of Early Care and Education. These data allow for a nationally representative look at listed, unlisted paid, and unlisted unpaid homebased early care and education providers in the United States. A main finding includes that the number of providers nationwide decreased from 2012 to 2019. This decline was driven in part by a 25 percent drop in the number of listed home-based providers over this period. #childcare #education

Covid infections and deaths drop to lowest rates in a year

June 8, 2021 – Seniors

New COVID-19 cases and deaths are declining in rural counties, and in all Maine counties except Somerset, cases are under 100 per 100,000 residents – the lowest they have been since the pandemic started. These numbers continue to decline with vaccination uptake and more people spending time outside, where the virus is less likely to infect others. While rural COVID-19-related death rates are declining, they still remain disproportionately higher than in urban counties. This is in part due to rural places’ greater shares of older adults and people with chronic illnesses, along with lower vaccination rates in rural counties. #covid-19 #vaccinations #rural

N.H. announces plan to combat pandemic-era learning losses, prioritizes broadband access in rural areas

June 8, 2021 – Young Children

The New Hampshire Department of Education received $350 million from the American Rescue Plan to be allocated towards local schools and education needs. The NH DOE distributed 90 percent of these funds to school districts based on population size and poverty levels. The state has discretionary power over the remaining 10 percent ($35 million). The NH DOE’s plan for these discretionary funds is to help students get back on track after any learning losses from this past year. #covid-19 #education #rural

Two policy opportunities to improve the re-entry system for returning citizens

June 8, 2021 – Families

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities notes that the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan each offer policy opportunities to support incarcerated people’s re-entry into communities. Given the substantial evidence that re-entry is complicated by insufficient supports, legal barriers, and discrimination, these policies offer a chance to improve those support systems and reduce risks of re-incarceration. #covid-19 #racialequity #foodsecurity #workforce

Vermont continues efforts to lure movers and support the unemployed

June 2, 2021 – Families

To support workforce development, Vermont Governor Phil Scott has extended 2018 legislation offering financial incentives for workers to move to Vermont; also included in the legislation was an increase to state unemployment benefits. The efforts are funded by an increase to unemployment insurance tax on businesses expected to bring $100 million in revenue over the next few years. #covid-19 #workforce

Experimental test of early tuition commitment increases low-income students’ college application and enrollment

June 1, 2021 – Older Youth

A study published in the American Economic Review used a randomized controlled trial to test whether clarifying financial aid availability to low-income, high-achieving high school seniors alters their college application decisions. Partnering with the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, researchers mailed information to about 2,000 Michigan students in 2015 and 2016. Students in half of the 500 schools selected for the study received mailers that encouraged them to apply to the University and committed to providing four years of free tuition for those admitted. Students in the other schools received no mailings. The authors found that the mailer increased the likelihood of applying to the university from 26 percent among controls to 68 percent among the treatment group, and the share enrolling from 12 percent to 27 percent. #education

Pandemic-related stress felt by moms can trickle down to their kids

May 27, 2021 – Families, Young Children

Data from the Rapid Assessment of Pandemic Impact on Development – Early Childhood revealed that widespread job loss and increased emotional strain has impacted mothers and young children. On top of job loss, mothers have experienced higher levels of anxiety, depression, stress, and loneliness that has influenced their children’s levels of emotional distress, leading to anxiety, fear, and worry among young children. All of this has been compounded by caregivers having a lower capacity to reduce their children’s stress levels or protect them from distress. Despite these findings, unemployed mothers were still able to care for children with the help of aid, such as unemployment insurance and stimulus payments. #covid-19 #workforce #racialequity #mentalhealth