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.


College enrollment declines, especially among disadvantaged students

September 16, 2020 – Older Youth

The Washington Post describes early signs of disproportionate college enrollment declines and higher dropouts among low-income students, students of color, and rural students. Declines in enrollment are greatest at community colleges. College enrollment increased during the Great Recession and tends to increase in any economic downturn, although the opposite is happening in the current pandemic-related recession. Some key reasons for this include concerns about exposure to the virus, lost income prohibiting enrollment, and challenges with virtual classes such as insufficient access to broadband and other technology at home. As enrollment declines unevenly, concerns about perpetuating inequality abound. #covid-19 #education #racialequity #rural

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

Older youth need targeted messaging that presents safe ways to interact with peers

September 16, 2020 – Older Youth

In a new article in The Conversation, researchers from the University of Michigan share their findings from a survey of youth ages 14-24 and their experiences during the pandemic. Although this survey was not designed to be nationally representative, its qualitative nature allows researchers a deeper view into youth perspectives. Researchers found that, although youth are taking COVID-19 seriously, misunderstandings about best practices in social distancing have contributed to more risky behaviors. Over half of survey respondents learned about COVID-19 from media geared towards adults and authors suggest that more targeted messaging for this age group could help spread accurate information. As socialization is important for youth mental health, it is crucial to present young people with safe opportunities to interact, and the information necessary to do so safely. #covid-19

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

Many young adults live with their parents

September 15, 2020 – Older Youth

The U.S. Census Bureau used new Current Population Survey data to examine the living situations of people aged 25 to 34 and to document how these living arrangements intersect with poverty status. The analysis found that 17.8 percent of those 25-34 lived with their parent(s) in 2019. These young adults ages had a lower poverty rate (at 5.3 percent) than the poverty rate for their age group overall (at 10 percent). If these same young adults did not share a household, their poverty rate would be more than six times higher, at 36.3 percent. Household sharing reduces poverty among parents though too: among families living with related children age 25-34, poverty would be more than twice as high without those young adults’ income in the family. Rates of household sharing among young adults have increased substantially in the pandemic, as evidenced by earlier work from the Pew Research Center.

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

Young workers face high unemployment during the pandemic

September 10, 2020 – Older Youth

Brookings authors explore unemployment among young workers during the COVID-19-related recession. Authors find that while young workers are always disproportionately affected in recessions, the present recession is hitting them harder than usual. Young workers were more likely to be laid off and were more likely to be working in service industries that faced pandemic-induced shut downs. While overall unemployment rates increased by 11.2 percentage points from February to April 2020, unemployment rates for young workers ages 16- 19 increased by 20.9 percentage points over this same period. Black and Hispanic young workers and young workers with less education (in particular, those with a high school degree or less) had even higher unemployment rates. #covid-19 #workforce #racialequity

College communities experience rise in COVID-19 cases as the fall semester begins

September 6, 2020 – Older Youth

As feared, a New York Times review finds that many college towns have seen a spike in COVID-19 infections as students return. Specifically, the 203 U.S. counties where students make up at least 10 percent of the population have seen a steady rise in cases since early August. Further, about half of those counties have experienced their highest caseloads of the pandemic since August 1. The positive news is that the surge in cases has not been accompanied by an increase in deaths in these counties. #covid-19

Juvenile justice system research evaluates racial and ethnic equity and inclusion strategies

September 3, 2020 – Older Youth

The Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center recently published a brief summarizing their evaluation of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s expansion of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative® and efforts to improve racial and ethnic equity and inclusion (REEI) in the juvenile justice system. Twelve different sites around the country were evaluated as a part of a larger study and REEI activities were examined through interviews and surveys. Key takeaways included that REEI strategies must be appropriate for their particular context, leadership and staff buy-in are important to advancing REEI, and collaborating with youth, their families, community members, and organizations operating outside the juvenile justice system are crucial. #covid-19 #racialequity

Incarceration at an earlier age is associated with earlier and longer experiences of homelessness

September 2, 2020 – Older Youth

Housing Matters, an Urban Institute Initiative, featured new research exploring the homelessness experiences of people who were incarcerated before age 25. The focus of the study was whether there is an association between age at first incarceration and age at first experience of homelessness and lifetime duration of homelessness. Researchers found that incarceration as a juvenile or transitional youth is significantly associated with first experiencing homelessness at an earlier age. People incarcerated before age 18 were found to experience homelessness an average of 9.8 years earlier than those incarcerated after age 24. Women who were incarcerated as an older youth were more likely than their male counterparts to experience homelessness earlier in life. The work also identified an association between age of incarceration and lifetime duration of homelessness: those incarcerated at age 15 spent significantly more time homeless in their lifetime, even compared to those incarcerated at age 16 or 17. Though the study is not generalizable, it highlights the importance of reentry programs and targeted supports to reduce homelessness among this vulnerable population. #covid-19

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