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 www.jtgfoundation.org/resources/covid-19 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.

 

Childhood exposure to the EITC associated with better health in young adulthood

October 20, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

A new study in the Journal of Public Economics evaluates the long-term impact of exposure to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from ages 0-18 on health outcomes of young adults ages 22-27. Researchers used data from the 1968- 2017 Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a nationally representative household survey that has followed a group of households and their descendants since 1968. The authors measure EITC exposure as the maximum federal and state credit a family could receive based on their state, family size, and the year. They choose to model the effects of being “exposed to” the EITC (rather than actual amount received) so as to preserve the models’ ability to separate the EITC’s effects from family income (since the two measures would be too closely related to be included in a single model). Findings suggest the availability of the EITC during childhood was associated with higher self-reported health and lower obesity among young adults.

Mathematica study models risks in back to school strategies for use by school decisionmakers

September 16, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

Mathematica worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Education to conduct simulations of a model predicting the spread of COVID-19 in schools under different local circumstances (including local community infection rate) and operating procedures. A substantial finding from these simulations is that the strategies of wearing masks and reducing student contact outside of class do help meaningfully reduce the spread of COVID-19. Researchers found that these precautions combined with a part-time hybrid school operation strategy were very effective. The report outlines different scenarios and operating procedures that school decisionmakers can use to inform their approaches. #covid-19 #education

Broadband providers create new program to connect low-income students to internet

September 15, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

In the wake of inaction from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the broadband industry commits to support low-income students with their new K-12 Bridge to Broadband program. The program will identify households that have chosen to not subscribe to broadband, which is often for cost-related reasons. Then the broadband industry will offer a special rate to school districts and local entities to cover discounted broadband service for these households. #covid-19 #education

Northern New England faces challenges as school-age population decreases and education costs increase

September 15, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

A new regional brief from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s New England Public Policy Center explores the declining school-age population in northern New England. The research finds that all 40 New England counties saw shrinking numbers of children between 2000 and 2017, a trend that is expected to continue for nearly all counties into 2030. Decreasing K-12 enrollment has been coupled with lower shares of state and local spending, and higher per-pupil expenditures than in other parts of the country. The report finds that 14% of Northern New England public schools open in 2000 were closed by 2017, as districts consolidate and close schools to save on overhead costs. The authors suggest options include increasing revenues, readjusting allocations to education versus other municipal costs, reducing the cost of delivering K-12 education, or increasing the school-aged population with policies and incentives. #education

Drop in school meals raises concern about food insecure children, hurts school budgets

September 11, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

Texas school districts note that they are distributing far fewer school meals during remote learning than they did before the pandemic. Houston Independent School District now serves around 30,000 meals per day, compared to their usual 250,000. Not only are fewer students receiving the meals they need, but school districts are also losing money that they would otherwise be reimbursed by the federal government for their school nutrition programs. At the beginning of September, the USDA approved extensions allowing the flexible summer meal programs to continue this fall. While this means districts can serve more children, under more flexible guidelines, many districts already had a fall plan in place that assumed the extension wouldn’t be granted. In addition, the approved extension is slated to end December 31, making meal service strategies unclear for the second half of the school year. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

New report estimates pandemic effects on child care costs by state

September 3, 2020 – Young Children, Families

A new report from the Center for American Progress estimates the “true cost” of providing child care in the pandemic and compares it to pre-pandemic levels in each state. The report finds that the cost of center-based child care has increased by an average of 47% in the pandemic, largely due to high staff costs and increased sanitization requirements. Staff costs have remained level despite fewer children enrolled because most centers now require dedicated staff in each classroom, along with new health checks and drop-off procedures that require more staff time. Increases in Maine are relatively low compared to the national average, at just 19%. #covid-19 #childcare

Dover New Hampshire schools to feed all Dover children this fall

September 1, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

The Dover school district has announced that under the USDA’s Seamless Summer Option program (with a new waiver just extended through December 31), the district will provide all children age 18 and under free breakfast and lunch. Children need not be enrolled in Dover schools, nor sign up in advance, to receive five breakfast/lunch combinations each week. Meals will be distributed by bus in eight locations around the city and reimbursed by USDA. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #education

New research finds that teacher responses vary by student race and ethnicity

September 1, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

A sociologist working at Google and UC Berkeley describes results from his new book (pre-dating the pandemic) on the racialized nature of the digital divide—in particular, how teachers interpret students’ pre-existing technological skills in the classroom. The author finds that teachers in predominately white schools encouraged student creativity, initiative, and leveraged student experience with social media, digital content creation, and video games to create educational capital. In minority-serving schools, teachers treated technologically skilled students as troublemakers, and focused on engaging students through noncreative activities, like typing, that would support their later employment in low-wage jobs. The author concludes that the digital divide cannot be solved by improving access to laptops and broadband alone but must also address how teachers’ beliefs about students’ race and class shape whether students’ technological skills are seen as valuable. #education #racialequity

Chicago Public Schools aim to support families with free child care

August 31, 2020 – Young Children, Families

The Chicago Sun Times reports that the Chicago Public School System is surveying families to identify specific family needs as they plan supervised dropoff sites for online learning. The city notes that it will prioritize care for younger children, children from low-income communities, and families in transitional housing situations, and will provide meals and internet access to participants. #covid-19 #childcare

Cultural responsiveness and equity in remote learning

August 31, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

The Regional Educational Laboratory Program (Mid-Atlantic) has published a new blog post on achieving educational equity in remote education. The lab suggests developing an actionable vision for equity, identifying specific culturally responsive practices for vulnerable students, and using data to track these efforts. For example, for students in poverty, who are more likely to have essential-worker parents, setting up a plan early on to provide more intentional and frequent contact with these students can help circumvent later struggles. The lab suggests although implementation can be difficult, these practices can be carried back into the classroom longer term. #covid-19 #education

Research shows dads play unique role in early brain development of children

August 20, 2020 – Young Children, Families

A new Brookings article summarizes prominent research on the impact fathers have in early childhood development. While families without a father are just as able to foster healthy development, research suggests that an involved dad has unique benefits. For example, infants whose dads read to them later scored higher on language assessments as toddlers. A similar study found that toddlers whose dads read to them were more likely to have improved vocabulary and cognitive skills a year later. Active, positive involvement from fathers has also been found to support cognitive and executive function skills in young children. #education

Schools can opt into community eligibility provision and offset hardships for low-income families

August 19, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities draws attention to opportunities available to low-income school districts through the community eligibility provision. Districts that opt in by August 31 can provide free breakfast and lunch to all students—without having to process individual students’ applications—if at least 40 percent of students have been identified as eligible through SNAP or foster care. The provision is especially relevant now as the pandemic has increased SNAP caseloads. Further, because a new program flexibility allows districts to assess eligibility using data through June (when many families newly enrolled in SNAP), rather than April, as in usual years, these newly eligible families would be captured in community eligibility data. The provision not only expands access for in-person settings, but for students in districts doing some or all remote instruction, can also ease delivery of grab-and-go meals, and if extended, Pandemic EBT benefits. #covid-19 #foodsecurity