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.


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

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

Retaining young people in their rural home towns

September 1, 2020 – Older Youth

The Nebraska Community Foundation commissioned a survey of Nebraska high school students to better understand their preferences for adulthood living and their barriers to remaining in their rural communities of origin. The students expressed a preference to live in a small community like the one in which they were raised, but similarly expressed fear of the limited economic prospects available to them in their communities. The CEO of the Nebraska Community Foundation calls on rural community leaders to help emphasize rural opportunities to young people, including with attention to the rise in remote work options and ongoing rural revitalization efforts, to keep rural youth capital in rural spaces. #rural #workforce

Retaking the SAT associated with higher four-year college enrollment, especially for lowincome and underrepresented students

September 1, 2020 – Older Youth

A study recently published in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy found that retaking the SAT college admissions test resulted in higher test scores as well as higher four-year college enrollment. Retaking the SAT makes a student 13 percentage points more likely to enroll in a four-year college—with about half of this increase coming from students that otherwise would have enrolled in two-year colleges and the other half coming from students who otherwise would not have enrolled in any college. Importantly, low-income students who retake the SAT are about 30 percentage points more likely to enroll in a fouryear college and traditionally underrepresented students are 20 percentage points more likely to enroll in a four-year college. The researchers encourage more efforts to encourage high school students to take the SAT earlier, such as in 11th grade rather than 12th, so that there is more opportunity to retake the test. #olderyouth #racialequity #education

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