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 and inform the work on our priority areas, 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.
We invite you to check back often, as this list is regularly updated.
Measuring Student Poverty: Dishing Up Alternatives to Free and Reduced-Price LunchFor decades, state policymakers and researchers have used receipt of free and reduced-price lunch as a way to estimate student poverty, but changes to the program have made it a less reliable proxy. This is in large part because of the expanded use of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which provides free lunch to all students in qualifying schools and districts. An accurate count is critical for distributing funding and assessing achievement gaps, so some states use other measures, looking only at participation in safety net programs or using census estimates. This tracker from Urban Institute shows how each state estimates its share of low-income students for funding and accountability purposes and what share of students were enrolled in CEP schools.
Labor force nonparticipation: Trends, causes, and policy solutions
October 29, 2019 – FamiliesFor more than a decade, The Hamilton Project has offered evidence-based policy proposals on a variety of topics that often have important implications for labor force participation. This report discusses these proposals as they relate to the goal of increasing participation, with a special focus on the barriers to increased participation, including weak aggregate demand, low demand for non-college-educated workers, geographic gaps in participation, caregiving responsibilities, health and disability, and criminal justice.
Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit Can Support Older Working AmericansMore older adults are working now than at any point during the previous 25 years. From 1994 to 2018, the share of adults ages 65 to 69 participating in the labor force increased from about 22 percent to about 33 percent. But workforce participation is considerably lower for older adults who did not earn a college degree or high school diploma and who generally earn lower wages. These adults are particularly vulnerable to unstable retirement and may benefit from working, earning, and saving longer into their sixties. This article from the Urban Institute argues that extending the earned income tax credit (EITC) to workers over the age of 64 without custodial children and increasing benefits for these workers could raise employment among older Americans. Staying in the workforce longer can help seniors make ends meet and improve their retirement security.
Examining Civic Engagement Links to Health
October 29, 2019 – FamiliesThe authors of this report seek a closer focus on the causal relationship between civic engagement and health and well-being — that is, whether better health and well-being might promote more civic engagement, whether civic engagement might promote health or well-being, or perhaps both. In this report, authors conduct a structured review to understand what the scientific literature presents about the empirical relationship between health and civic engagement. The authors specifically examine whether health is a cause of civic engagement, a consequence of it, or both; what causal mechanisms underlie this link; and where there are gaps in knowledge for the field.
What Works for Job Training Programs for Disadvantaged Workers
Balancing Work with School and Training while Raising Young Children
Applying the Research and Evaluation Provisions of the Family First Prevention Services ActThe federal Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 (Family First Act) has changed the landscape of federal child welfare funding in significant ways to support children to remain safely in their homes and encourage family-based placement when foster care placement is necessary. With specific requirements around evidence-based programs and tools, the legislation expands opportunities to use research and data to drive decision making and direct funding to ensure that children and families receive the most effective services. This brief from Child Trends outlines these research and evaluation requirements and highlights next steps for state agencies, legislators, and researchers to achieve the Family First Act’s goals.
State-by-State Impact of Proposed Changes to "Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility" in SNAP
October 23, 2019 – FamiliesA new study from Mathematica examines the share of SNAP-receiving households that would lose benefits under the Administration’s push to eliminate broad-based categorical eligibility (the automatic enrollment of people in SNAP if they qualify for other programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). The report finds that 8 percent of Maine SNAP recipients (26,000) would lose benefits under this proposed change.
Financial Incentives Increase Purchases Of Fruit And Vegetables Among Lower-Income Households With Children
October 23, 2019 – FamiliesNew research in Health Affairs tests the effects of a 50 percent discount on produce among a sample of 600 low-income households in rural Maine, finding that spending on fruits and vegetables increased by 27 percent. The researchers conclude that this type of incentive program demonstrates desire for healthful food purchases and suggests that this scalable approach could have important effects on the social determinants of health.
Strengthening State Systems and Policies To Foster Two-generation Strategies and Practices
October 23, 2019 – FamiliesA new policy brief from the Working Poor Families Project that focuses on how to best strengthen state systems to improve economic conditions for working poor families through a two-generation approach. The brief highlights efforts in a few key states, largely centered on state systems that support local efforts for coordinating, enhancing, and strengthening family-level services. The report concludes that a two-generation lens can help spotlight ways that state systems and policies can become more equitable and effective for adults and children.
Income-Rent Gap Grew in 2018
October 23, 2019 – FamiliesNew research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explores the disparities between renters’ incomes and their housing costs. The report finds that after sharp declines in the 2001 and 2007 recessions, renters’ incomes have finally recovered to 2001 levels, adjusting for inflation. During this period, however, median rental costs have risen steadily, now at 13 percent higher than in 2001. The report notes that a parent working full time at the minimum wage cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment in any state, and calls for expanded funding for federal rental assistance and stronger state and local programs.
Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2018
October 23, 2019 – FamiliesThe Census Bureau has released its annual Income and Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage reports, with data for 2018. The key findings include that median household income remained stable ($63,179), while poverty ticked down half a percentage point to finally drop below pre-recession levels (11.8 percent in 2018). Health insurance findings were less positive, as the number of people without health insurance increased by two million between 2017 and 2018. This shift was largely driven by people losing public insurance. Maine saw no significant change in the share of people who are uninsured (poverty was not reported by state).