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Children At Risk;
The Texas Child Care Desert Map is an interactive tool to explore the local availability of child care across the state of Texas. Does the supply of child care in your area meet the demand for services among children of working parents? The map shows four different types of child care deserts, including: Child care deserts, Subsidized child care deserts, Texas Rising Star (TRS) deserts, and TRS Level 4 deserts.
Children At Risk;
Texas is beginning to fall behind when it comes to student success and job-readiness. Quality child care can improveboth outcomes, yet our state is currently lacking in access to quality child care. This can put the Texas economic miraclein peril. Building on current efforts across the state, Texas can pave the way for success in the 21st century by making strategic investments to:Increase the number of child care providers certified quality throughTexas Rising Star.Build a path toward school-readiness.Ensure that child care teachers are adequately trained andcompensated.Know the cost for quality child care and reimburse accordingly.Make child care businesses more sustainable.
Children At Risk;
In recent years, Texas advocates, researchers, child care providers, public officials, and other stakeholders have been working to improve the quality of child care and access to quality child care, especially for low-income families. While there is no silver bullet, using a Shared Sefvices framework to strengthen systems at the provider level is a promising concept. A Shared Services approach focuses on sharing skilled staff and resources to provide business and pedagogical leadership among a network of center- and/or home-based providers. In at least 28 states, and more than two dozen communities, early care and education leaders are using a Shared Services approach to help tackle long-standing challenges such as raising and sustaining program quality, increasing teacher compensation, and implementing sound business practices. This preliminary brief explores various models of Shared Services and special considerations for the state of Texas.
This brief uses Texas Department of Public Safety data to measure the conviction and arrest rates of illegal immigrants by crime. In Texas in 2015, the criminal conviction and arrest rates for immigrants were well below those of native-born Americans. Moreover, the conviction and arrest rates for illegal immigrants were lower than those for native-born Americans. This result holds for most crimes.
Heartland Alliance National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity;
Implementing the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model boosts employment outcomes for transition-age youth facing barriers to employment. LifeWorks, a non-profit organization serving transition-age youth and their families in Austin, TX, realized that workforce models popular within the youth development field may not address the significant and complex challenges faced by their participants. LifeWorks staff began to look toward behavioral health approaches to employment and discovered the Individual Placement & Support model. This case study discusses how IPS offered LifeWorks a new approach to workforce support for youth that might better address the types of challenges their participants faced.
Raising Blended Learners is a statewide initiative to seed and scale personalized learning across Texas in an effort to improve student achievement across diverse demographics, particularly among schools and districts with persistent achievement gaps.As part of this initiative, Raise Your Hand Texas commissioned FSG to conduct a 4-year evaluation of the program's impact on students and schools and the success of the initiative as a whole. Last year, FSG wrote about the 2015-2016 planning and selection year of Raising Blended Learners, how the program was designed, and how the planning process was experienced by participants.In Year 1 Evaluation Report, we share our developmental evaluation of the 5 demonstration sites to understand the early stages of how models are being implemented, how sites are defining success, and how early success and challenges are being experienced.
Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice;
In 2014, the University of Minnesota's Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice began a multi-state study that was tasked with exploring nationwide variations in the practices and policies of probation violations and revocations. A distinctive finding that grew out of the Robina Institute's work in two Texas counties was that probation supervision fees play a major role throughout the state. Probationers are required as one of 25 standard conditions to pay supervision fees, and—depending on the case— they may have to pay additional program fees, fines, and restitution. Texas probation departments depend on supervision fees for a large share of their operating budgets, and they are responsible for collecting those fees. Because payment of fees is a formal condition of probation, probationers may be sanctioned if they fall delinquent. Additionally, their probation terms may be extended to allow more time to pay, or early termination may be denied. In interviews, some probationers believed they could be revoked to jail or prison for failure to pay supervision fees. However, we heard from probation officers that probationers were not revoked solely for fees. The officers told us that nonpayment may be one reason probationers are revoked, but only when combined with other violations.The Robina Institute was encouraged by other probation chiefs in Texas to add additional counties to our study. To understand the interaction between probation and criminal justice fees in greater depth, the Robina Institute conducted a mixed methods study with 4 probation jurisdictions in Texas. Quantitative data was analyzed to examine the average amount of fees ordered, the breakdown of the fees ordered, and the percent of probationers who were current and delinquent on their fees. The quantitative analysis also examined the outcomes for those who were delinquent on their fees. Qualitative interviews were conducted with probationers to understand how fees impacted them and their experience of probation, as well as how they handled paying their fees. Probation officers were also interviewed to examine how fees were utilized and how officers collected fees.This report highlights some of the findings from qualitative interviews with over 50 probation officers and 46 probationers in 4 probation jurisdictions. A separate report highlights our quantitative findings; future Robina Institute publications will explore the quantitative and qualitative data in greater depth, as well as legal issues associated with the imposition and collection of supervision fees.The first section of this report presents findings from the focus groups with the probation officers. The second section focuses on findings from the probationer focus groups.
Rutgers Climate Institute;
For more than a decade, states and cities across the country have served a leadership role in advancing science-informed climate policy through city, state and multi-state efforts. The rapid pace by which state climate policy is emerging is evidenced by the number of new laws, directives and policies adopted in 2018 and the first half of 2019 alone. Currently, there is an active ongoing dialogue across the U.S. regarding the intersection of climate and equity objectives with efforts targeted at addressing needs of disadvantaged communities and consumers. This climate/equity intersection is due to several factors, including recognition by many cities and states that climate change is and will continue to have a disproportionate impact on certain populations and will exacerbate existing stressors faced by disadvantaged communities and consumers. Research indicates that a greater proportion of environmental burden exists in geographic areas with majority populations of people of color, low-income residents, and/or indigenous people. It is well known that certain households (including some that are low-income, African American, Latino, multi-family and rural) spend a larger portion on their income on home energy costs. States and stakeholders are realizing that a transition to a low-carbon future by mid-century will require significantly increased participation of disadvantaged communities and households in the benefits of climate and clean energy programs.
Chambers Family Fund;
The process of creating a new women's fund requires thoughtful planning and strong commitment. In this edition of Creating a Women's Fund, we expanded the guide to incorporate the creation of stand-alone women's foundations. It is designed to share the experiences and perspectives of nine women's funds – small and large, new and established – from across the country.In this guide, we provide two distinct courses of action – to set up a women's fund within a community foundation or to set up a stand-alone women's foundation. The guide takes the reader through the succession of phases for each: PLANNING, ESTABLISHING and BUILDING. However, since the decision to create a women's fund within a community foundation or a stand-alone women's foundation must be thorougly researched in the PLANNING phase, we recommend all readers begin with PLANNING.At the end of the PLANNING section, readers may choose to either read the ESTABLISHING and BUILDING sections for funds within a community foundation (designated in blue for easy reference) OR for stand-alone foundations (designated in magenta). We have done this for brevity and ease; however, we strongly encourage readers to read through the entire guide to fully determine the advantages and challenges of both formats. Since there are many common steps involved in building a fund within a community foundation and a stand-alone foundation, those who read both sections may encounter some repetition.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation;
As the country becomes more diverse, schools that successfully engage all families will transform learning and leadership. This executive summary captures "takeways" from partnerships forged by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to create environments where teachers, families and community members can effectively collaborate and share power.
Environmental Integrity Project;
The water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, threw a national spotlight on problems with drinking water systems that extend far beyond one state and that are more profound than just pipes. A central failure in Flint was that the state government had information about contamination of drinking water, but did not warn the public. In Texas, the pollutant of greatest concern in the 65 communites discussed in this report is different – arsenic, instead of lead -- and the source of the problem is different. In Texas, the arsenic is naturally occurring; while in Michigan, the catastrophe was man-made, with the state and city trying to save money by switching to a source of water, the Flint River, that corroded the plumbing, releasing high levels of lead from pipes and solder.But in both Michigan and Texas, the state governments compounded the water contamination problems – and allowed people's exposure to damaging toxins to continue -- by not communicating clearly with consumers.Deciding how best to explain health risks to the public is admittedly a challenging task. But there is enough evidence to reach the following conclusions:Texas should update the language in its public notices so consumers clearly know when to safeguard their health by avoiding contaminated drinking water. Citizens should be told to find alternative drinking water sources, especially when children may be exposed and when arsenic contamination has persisted for a long period of time.EPA is currently conducting a new review of arsenic toxicity, and it should conclude that work and revise its mandatory language for public notice of arsenic violations. This mandatory language should include a statement about the potential health risks of childhood exposure.Public notices should inform consumers of options for treating contaminated water at home, e.g., through filter systems that have proven to be effective. Conversely, the public should be told what doesn't work. For example, while Texas advisories warn that boiling water won't reduce nitrate concentrations, it includes no such warning for arsenic, which also cannot be boiled away.Both EPA and Texas should provide more financial and technical assistance to local governments and utilities to help them fix long-standing drinking water violations in rural and disadvantaged communities.The short-term costs of building municipal water treatment systems can be significant, but they are dwarfed by the long-term costs of higher cancer risks and brain damage. More broadly, our whole system pays a high price when silence or double-talk corrodes the basic faith of citizens in their government.