Poverty

From Districts To Schools: The Distribution Of Resources Across Schools in Big City School Districts

From Districts To Schools: The Distribution Of Resources Across Schools in Big City School Districts
Symposium on Education Finance and Organization Structure in NYS Schools, Albany, NY, March

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Rubenstein, R.
03/01/2004

This paper explores the determinants of resource allocation across schools in large districts and examines options for improving resource distribution patterns. Previous research on intra-district allocations consistently reveals resource disparities across schools within districts, particularly in the distribution of teachers. While overall expenditures are sometimes related to the characteristics of students in schools, the ratio of teachers per pupil is consistently larger in high poverty, high-minority and low-performing schools. These teachers, though, generally have lower experience and education levels � and consequently, lower salaries � as compared to teachers in more advantaged schools. We explore these patterns in New York City, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio by estimating de facto expenditure equations relating resource measures to school and student characteristics. Consistent with previous research, we find schools that have higher percentages of poor pupils receive more money and have more teachers per pupil, but the teachers tend to be less educated and less well paid, with a particularly consistent pattern in New York City schools. The paper concludes with policy options for changing intradistrict resource distributions in order to promote more efficient, more equitable or more effective use of resources. These options include allocating dollars rather than teacher positions to schools, providing teacher pay differentials in hard-to-staff schools and subjects, and adapting current district-based funding formulas to the school (and student) level.

Confronting the Tradeoffs in Medicaid Cost Containment

Confronting the Tradeoffs in Medicaid Cost Containment
Citizens Budget Commission, February

Brecher, C. & Spiezio, S.
02/01/2004

A common pressure on the State and City budgets is the rapid growth in spending for Medicaid. For this reason, the Committee asked the CBC staff to explore ways to control Medicaid expenditures. In a series of meetings that reviewed analyses prepared by the staff, the Committee identified the important tradeoffs inherent in trying to curb Medicaid expenditures. This report reflects the Committee’s thinking on how to address these difficult tradeoffs in ways that best reflect the values most important to the future fiscal and economic health of New York City and New York State, including a deep concern for the ability of poorer New Yorkers to have access to needed medial care.

A Comparison of Ground-Level Air Quality Data with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Monitoring Stations Data in South Bronx, New York

A Comparison of Ground-Level Air Quality Data with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Monitoring Stations Data in South Bronx, New York
Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 38, pp. 5295-5304.

Restrepo, C., Zimmerman, R., Thurston, G., Clemente, J., Gorczynski, J., Zhong, M., Blaustin, M. & Chen, L.C.
01/01/2004

The South Bronx is a low-income, minority community in New York City. It has one of the highest asthma rates in
the country, which community residents feel is related to poor air quality. Community residents also feel that the air quality data provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) through its network
of monitoring stations do not reflect the poor quality of the air they breathe. This is due to the fact that these
monitoring stations are located 15m above ground. In the year 2001 this project collected air quality data at three
locations in the study area. They were collected close to ground-level at a height of 4m by a mobile laboratory placed in a van as part of the South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study. This paper compares data collected by the project with data from DEC's monitoring stations in Bronx County during the same periods. The goal of the comparison is to gain a better understanding of differences in measured air quality concentrations at these different heights. Although there is good agreement in the data among DEC stations there are some important differences between ground-level measurements and DEC data. For PM2.5 the measured concentrations by the van were similar to those recorded by DEC stations. In the case of ozone, the concentrations recorded at ground level were similar or lower than those recorded by DEC stations. For NO2, however, the concentrations recorded at ground level were over twice as high as those recorded by DEC. In the case of SO2, ground level measurements were substantially higher in August but very similar in the other two periods. CO concentrations measured at ground-level tend to be 60-90% higher than those recorded by DEC monitoring stations. Despite these differences, van measurements of SO2 and CO concentrations were well below EPA standards.

Academic Achievement Among Formerly Homeless Adolescents and Their Continuously Housed Peers

Academic Achievement Among Formerly Homeless Adolescents and Their Continuously Housed Peers
Journal of School Psychology, Vol. 42, No. 3, pp. 179-199.

Rafferty, Y., Shinn, M. & Weitzman, B.
01/01/2004

This study examined the school experiences and academic achievement of 46 adolescents in families who experienced homelessness and 87 permanently housed adolescents whose families received public assistance. Measures taken after the homeless students were rehoused showed that both groups valued school highly and were similar in cognitive abilities assessed with the similarities subtest of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children—Revised (WISC-R). Formerly homeless students had more school mobility, more grade retention, and worse school experiences by mother report and lower plans for post secondary education by self-report. Both groups scored poorly on standardized tests of academic achievement. Homelessness was associated with further declines in achievement during the period of maximal residential disruption, but did not have effects 5 years later.

Expenditure Assignment Under Indonesia's Decentralization: A Review of Progress and Issues for the Future

Expenditure Assignment Under Indonesia's Decentralization: A Review of Progress and Issues for the Future
in J. Alm and J. Martinez, Reforming Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations and the Rebuilding of Indonesia. Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar,

Smoke, P.
01/01/2004

Indonesia is currently facing some severe challenges, both in political affairs and in economic management. One of these challenges is the recently enacted decentralization program, now well underway, which promises to have some wide-ranging consequences. This edited volume presents original papers, written by a select group of widely recognized and distinguished scholars, that take a hard, objective look at the many effects of decentralization on economic and political issues in Indonesia. There are many questions about this program: how will it be implemented, is there capacity at the local level to implement its reforms, is there sufficient local political accountability to make it work, and how will the decentralization affect the broader program of economic growth and stabilization? Topics covered include: the historical and political dimensions of decentralization, its macroeconomic effects, its effects on poverty alleviation, the assignment of expenditure and revenue functions across levels of government, the design of transfers, the role of natural resource taxation and the effects of local government borrowing. An authoritative, comprehensive collection, Reforming Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations and the Rebuilding of Indonesia will be of interest to economists and policy makers as well as students of public finance, development, and Asian economics.

Measuring Vulnerability to Poverty

Measuring Vulnerability to Poverty
Stefan Dercon, ed., Insurance Against Poverty. Oxford University Press,

Morduch, J. & Kamanaou, G.
01/01/2004

This book evaluates alternatives in widening insurance and social protection provision - including sustainability and poverty effects, in thematic papers and case studies, development assessments, and policy analyses.

Microfinance: Where Do We Stand?

Microfinance: Where Do We Stand?
Chapter included in Charles Goodhart, editor, Financial Development and Economic Growth: Explaining the Links. Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan,

Morduch, J. & Armendariz de Aghion, B.
01/01/2004

The most successful economies have the best working financial markets. While causation obviously runs in both directions, current research has increasingly emphasized the role of finance in promoting growth. Here seven leading financial economists explore the links between financial development and growth. The book seeks to answer the question of the role of finance in promoting sustainable growth and in the reduction of poverty, for example via micro-financial institutions.

Promoting Early Childhood Development through Comprehensive Community Initiatives

Promoting Early Childhood Development through Comprehensive Community Initiatives
Children's Services: Social Policy, Research, and Practice, 1(4), pp. 1-24.

Aber, J.L., L. Berlin & J. Brooks-Gunn.
01/01/2004

Recent advances in developmental psychology, social services, and social policy have converged to highlight 3 issues: (a) the importance of early development; (b) the importance of the contexts, or "ecology," of early development, especially with respect to the ill effects of early childhood poverty; and (c) the promise of intervention programs for low-income children, families, and communities, including comprehensive community initiatives (CCIs). CCIs, however, generally have not focused on young children. In this article, we synthesize developmental science and current understanding of CCIs to suggest a number of ways for CCIs to increase their emphasis on early development. We begin with a review of developmental research that illustrates the effects of community characteristics on children's development. We then review the goals, strategies, and principles of CCIs. These reviews illustrate that despite overlapping emphases, developmental science and CCIs could be linked more generatively. We propose ways in which CCIs can be geared more specifically toward promoting early child development. Finally, we suggest strategies for evaluating these types of initiatives.

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