Posts Tagged by ARRA
|February 27, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Education, Policy||
Well into its fifth decade of operation, Head Start provides early childhood education opportunities for preschool age children from low-income families as well as early intervention for infants, toddlers and expectant mothers in communities across the nation. A recent policy brief from CLASP, Putting Children and Families First – Head Start Programs in 2010, examines program data to ascertain the impact of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) fund on the program as well as discuss program trends from the late 1990’s through 2010.
Report highlights include:
- In 2010, of the more than 1.1 million children served by Head Start, 86 percent were between the ages of 3-5; and 14 percent birth through age 2 were served through the Early Head start program.
- In 2010, 40 percent of Head Starts participants were white, 29 percent African American, 8 percent reported themselves biracial or multiracial, 4 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native, 2 percent Asian and 1 percent Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. Eleven percent reported their race as “other. ” Thirty-six percent of all participants reported being of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.
- In 2010, over half of the families involved in Head Start (57 percent) were headed by a single parent. In nearly ¾ of Head Start families (72 percent), neither parent had achieved an education level above a high school degree or general equivalency degree (GED).
- In 2010, 12 percent of Head Start children were diagnosed as having a disability.
- In 2010, 76 percent of Head Start teachers had an associate degree or higher, an increase from the 51 percent in 2002.
The brief contains additional data on program services and families, as well as comparisons of data points over the past decade. CLASP also has a new data tool to assist decision makers and policy wonks with assessing their state’s needs around early childhood education. The tool is accessible through the CLASP website resource center.
|July 15, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Budget, Policy||
A thorough postmortem of the 2011-12 budget has been released by the nonpartisan Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. A breakdown of the budget items with expert analysis is available in brief, chart and report form.
Highlights from the finalized budget that might have an impact on human and social service nonprofits:
- Reductions in funding to homeless services, shelters and housing programs.
- Funds to school districts were reduced or eliminated (such as the charter school reimbursements). Grades pre-kindergarten through twelve experienced a 586 million dollar decease in spending.
- Both job training programs (one cut by 48 percent) and child care related to welfare-to-work programs for mothers (9 percent) had their funding decreased.
- Funding for services for people with disabilities was reduced by 8.5 million dollars.
- The funding line for county-based behavioral health managed care programs was not reduced in the Governor’s 2011-12 budget.
- Although funding for law enforcement and corrections was increased, the grant for the Pennsylvania Commission of Crime and Delinquency was reduced by 6 percent.
You will find timely news and excellent analysis on the state’s policy and budget issues at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center – a valuable site to bookmark!.
|April 4, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Behavorial Health, Budget, Federal Government, Policy||
A March 2011 report,State Mental Health Cuts: A National Crisis, from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, analyzes the impact of the economic downturn on mental health services. For two years states have scrambled to reduce spending across many areas, including social service and health programs, but with stimulus monies set to expire and austerity measures guiding appropriations will people lose access to mental health care?
According to the report (based on data from state reports and documents between the fiscal years of 2008-2011) Medicaid and state general funds provide the most support for mental health services not covered by private insurance. The temporary increases in Medicaid funding – tied to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) – are set to expire in June, and with state funds being sparse, additional cuts to both will negatively impact an already strained mental health system. Yes, the need for mental health services has increased according to industry reports. The fallout from the economic crisis that continues to impact state budgets has also resulted in stress (unemployment, home foreclosure, financial loss) to individuals and families and may be related to the recent increase in demand for mental health care.
NAMI’s data indicate that between 2009 and 2011, 10 states cut their general funds for mental health, some by as much as 35 percent. States are making deep cuts, most often in workforce development programs for adults with mental illness, acute inpatient, clinic services, and long term inpatient programs (often by reducing the number of psychiatric beds). As an example of why these cuts need to be examined carefully, NAMI’s report mentions that one state reported a steep increase in the number of children with mental illnesses staying in public hospital emergency rooms due to a lack of available treatment facilities. But emergency rooms are not the only segment of the health and safety services that will feel the impact of these cuts, schools, churches, paramedics, the police, the court system and jails (all with resources curtailed by the economic climate) may find themselves dealing with an increased amount of crisis situations related to psychiatric emergencies.
There is not a quick and easy way to achieve a satisfactory balance of public safety, care for those who are ill and fiscal responsibility. Informed discussion of the benefits and consequences of major funding cuts and comprehensive plans to deal with the latter are critical. NAMI offers several policy suggestions including:
- increase the transparency of funding,
- connect funding for mental health services to performance, and
- increase programming focused on the education of families, public service professionals, peers and the public about mental illness and how to respond to persons living with a serious mental illness.
The report is available at the NAMI website.
|September 1, 2010||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Education, Federal Government||
A RAND study, What Can We Learn From the Implementation of No Child Left Behind by Brian M. Stecher, Georges Vernez and Paul Steinberg, reviews the intended and unintended consequences of NCLB nearly a decade after it was passed into law.
According to the publication, while each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have successfully implemented the system of standards and outcomes; the student proficiency goal of 100% in math and reading will not likely be met by the deadline of 2014. In addition, parental knowledge of the law, school choice options and the performance status of their children’s schools are mixed at best.
A breakdown of the use of Title I funds under NCLB and recommendations to improve the provisions are also covered in the brief which is available for download at the RAND website. Additional RAND briefs on NCLB and education may be found here.
If you are interested in looking at the state-by-state accountability data on primary and secondary educational including student achievement, schools and teachers, reports are available at the U.S. Department of Education website. Information on the ED Recovery Act is also available at the website here.