Resource Library

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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.

 

Expiration of enhanced Child Tax Credit looms, including for 229,000 Maine kids

December 3, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Food Security, Maine, Racial Equity

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports on the status of the Child Tax Credit in December. The credit enhancements, including making the credit fully refundable, increasing the credit’s maximum value, and allowing families to claim 17-year-olds, have infused more than 39 million households with monthly income since July 2021. As the credit expansions were only slated through 2021, those enhancements will be rolled back if the Build Back Better legislation calling for their extension does not pass. CBPP notes that nearly three-fifths of households use their credit in part to offset food costs, and that the loss of this credit would trigger a widening of racial-ethnic gaps in child poverty. About 90 percent of Maine children have been eligible for the expanded credit in 2021, translating to 229,000 Mainers under 18 who would lose out in its absence.

College enrollment down in Maine, but especially in community colleges

November 7, 2021 – Older Youth, FamiliesCOVID-19, Education, Maine, Workforce

The Portland Press Herald reports substantial declines in Maine’s Community College System enrollment levels since pre-pandemic, with declines happening in both fall 2020 and 2021. Enrollment has also declined, albeit by less than half as much, in the University of Maine System. The article suggests that the greater declines among the community college system are attributable to the demographics of its student body, which tends to enroll more lower-income and non-traditional students who may have been harder hit by the workforce shifts and parenting strains than students in the University setting. In addition, the tight labor market is attracting current and potential students to choose work over enrollment. Within the college systems, administrators also note greater interest in in-person versus virtual, and short-term training or credentialing programs, preferences which may be indicative of trends that predated the pandemic.

Substantial potential demand for nontraditional-hour child care in Maine

July 21, 2021 – Families, Young ChildrenChildcare, Maine

To estimate the potential demand for child care at nontraditional times—early morning, nights, and weekends—researchers at the Urban Institute compare the share of young children with parents working nontraditional schedules across states by using both the 2015-2019 American Community Survey (ACS) and the 2016 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Authors also compared each state’s Child Care and Development Fund Plan for 2019-2021 and noted the actions each state planned to take to support nontraditional-hour child care. In Maine, more than one-third of children under age 6 in working families having parents who work nontraditional schedules (35 percent). Two-thirds of young children in working, single-parent families have a parent working nontraditional hours (68 percent). Among young children in low-income working families in Maine, 41 percent have parents who work nontraditional hours. In terms of supportive policies in the Child Care and Development Fund Plan, Maine does have a differential reimbursement rate for nontraditional-hour care but is not planning to use grants or contracts to increase the supply or quality of nontraditional-hour programs. Policies and planned actions varied across states, with some taking less action than Maine and others taking more.

92 percent of children living in rural Maine will benefit from Child Tax Credit expansion in American Rescue Plan

April 22, 2021 – Older Youth, FamiliesCOVID-19, Maine, Rural

Included in the American Rescue Plan Act is a temporary expansion of both the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). For the tax year 2021, these expansions raise the minimum EITC for childless workers from about $540 to about $1,500 and expanded the eligible age range to include both young adults ages 19-24 and adults 65 and over. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that EITC expansion will benefit 21 percent of workers without children living in rural Maine (a total of 38,000 workers). Some key changes to the CTC include expanding it to reach families with low or no earnings, to count 17-year-olds as dependents, and to increase maximum credits to $3,600 for children under six (and $3,000 for those over 6). In rural Maine, an estimated 92 percent of children under 18 years old will benefit from CTC expansion. #covid-19 #rural #Maine

American Rescue Plan Act enhances food assistance in response to high food hardship

March 29, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Food Security, Maine

A new report authored by prominent food scholars details the investments and expansions to food assistance programs included in the American Rescue Plan Act. Some of the major components include allowing states to continue the Pandemic-EBT program over the summer, extending the SNAP benefit increase, increased funding to states for the administrative costs of higher SNAP demand, investment in improving the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and targeted support for Puerto Rico and select U.S. territories. The temporary 15 percent SNAP maximum benefit increase, which was set to end June 30, has been extended through September 2021. This extension will impact an estimated 154,000 SNAP participants in Maine, and Maine will receive an additional $3.9 million for addressing increased SNAP state administrative expenses for fiscal years 2021-2023. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #Maine

Child Care Center Incubator In Maine Adapts And Expands During The Pandemic

March 26, 2021 – General – Childcare, Maine, Workforce

Shortly before the pandemic hit, Coastal Enterprises Inc. (CEI), a non-profit community development organization in Brunswick, launched the Child Care Business Lab. THe purpose of the program is to boost the local economy by creating jobs for child care workers and helping parents unable to find employment without someone to look after their children. The latter situation is a big problem in Maine, where the number of family-based child care businesses dropped 28% from 2010 to 2016, according to CEI. Half of the first cohort’s 10 entrepreneurs opened for business in time for the school year. More recently, CEI launched a second program, this one focused on Lewiston, a former mill town with a large population of refugees from Somalia and other African countries. That cohort has the same objective as the first one: helping Maine residents who love children, but lack the business experience needed to start an enterprise in an industry with complex state requirements. The program has $1.7 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. #childcare #workforce #Maine

$9.7 million awarded to support mental health and substance use programs in Maine

March 18, 2021 – General – COVID-19, Maine, Mental Health

U.S. Senators Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Health Committee, and Angus King announced Wednesday the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has been awarded a total of $9,772,660 to support mental health and substance use programs throughout the state. This funding, awarded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), was allocated through the December COVID-19 relief package. #covid-19 #mentalhealth #Maine

Still in its infancy, USM program ‘makes a world of difference’ to 1st-generation students

February 10, 2021 – General – Education, Maine

Daniel Barton,the program coordinator for Promise Scholars and a USM graduate, said Promise Scholars is more than just a regular scholarship or grant. The program is specifically designed to help low-income Maine residents who will be the first in their families to attend college. But Barton said it’s important that this program be more than just waiving tuition because there are so many added challenges facing the first person in a family to go to college. “It will help them, once they come through those doors, by offering them a full circle of support and networking, and will connect them with peers,” he said. He said it’s not uncommon for a first-generation student to get derailed by circumstances beyond their control. A family member might get sick or laid off, or another emergency requires the student to take on a bigger financial role in their family by getting a job. It is currently in its third year and will eventuallyprovide 100 percent tuition and fee coverage to 100 students at any given time. #education #Maine