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Virginia Funders Network;
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, enacting one of the largest economic relief programs in U.S. history. Of the bill's $1.9 trillion, nearly $7 billion is designated for Virginia to help alleviate the pandemic's financial burden on residents and families; expand access to affordable health coverage; address students' learning loss and mental health challenges; provide assistance to small businesses and local governments, and more. About half of this historic investment – $4.3 billion – has been allocated directly to Virginia's counties and municipalities – those local communities where Virginia's philanthropic organizations focus the majority of their work. The other half of the funding will be allocated by the General Assembly at its special session scheduled to start August 2, 2021. In addition to funds specifically designated for states and local governments, there are expected to be funds allocated programmatically through federal agencies for which many community-based programs may be eligible.ARPA's investment in the Commonwealth has the potential to reduce pandemic-related hardships experienced by many Virginians and begin to set the stage for a strong recovery that benefits all. At the Virginia Funders Network, we believe that philanthropy has an opportunity to work in partnership with local and state government officials, as well as with business and nonprofit leaders, to support the equitable and strategic allocation of these public dollars and to improve and expand the quality of community resources available to help Virginians thrive.The purpose of this document is to help philanthropic leaders:ensure the allocation, distribution, and use of funds in the Commonwealth addresses top community needsadvocate for accountability and help to track and document the use of these public resourcesleverage these public funds with foundation and corporate support and other private fundsbuild stronger relationships with government at all levels across the Commonwealth, andenhance opportunities for all Virginians to thrive.
Center for Nonprofit Excellence;
Presentation from a webinar sharing data from a survey conducted by the Center for Nonprofit Excellence. Data were collected from March 19, 2020 to May 12, 2020 from 102 respondents.
This report chronicles the genesis and evolution of the Greater Washington Community Foundation's efforts to raise and coordinate funding from a wide range of individual and institutional donors to address the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a particular focus on The Community Foundation's COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, the largest of its kind in the region, this account highlights the balance of various grantmaking imperatives that characterized Greater Washington's philanthropic response to the pandemic more generally.
In this report, we examine how seven states use state policy levers to advance policy change to improve the quality of school principals. These states are all actively engaging in a collaborative initiative focused on principal preparation program redesign. We consider the following questions, drawing on data about the use of various policy levers in the states:How does a state's context shape its use of policy levers to improve principal quality? What policy levers are states using, how are the levers used, and what policy changes have states made that affect the way levers are used? What supports the effective use of policy levers?What are the barriers to and facilitators of policy change?All seven states in the study were part of The Wallace Foundation's University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI). Launched in 2016, UPPI is supporting seven university-based principal preparation programs to work in collaboration with their district and state partners to redesign and improve the programs to better support the development of effective principals. The programs were chosen for the initiative, in part, because they were located in states that had favorable conditions for supporting principal quality. In addition, the programs had expressed interest in and already conducted some initial work toward redesigning their principal preparation programs. The UPPI programs and their respective states are Albany State University (Georgia), Florida Atlantic University (Florida), North Carolina State University (North Carolina), San Diego State University (California), the University of Connecticut (Connecticut), Virginia State University (Virginia), and Western Kentucky University (Kentucky).We drew on three data sources for this analysis: (1) biannual interviews with UPPI participants, (2) interviews with state-level stakeholders across the seven UPPI states, and (3) relevant secondary data, such as state plans, state licensure requirements, state legislation, reports from state departments of education, and research literature on school leadership. In this report, we focus on seven policy levers that states can use to improve school leadership. The first six of these were drawn from research as described by Manna (2015), and the seventh was derived from Grissom, Mitani, and Woo (2019): setting principal standardsrecruiting aspiring principals into the professionlicensing new and veteran principals approving and overseeing principal preparation programssupporting principals' growth with professional development evaluating principalsusing leader tracking systems to support analysis of aspiring and established school leaders' experiences and outcomes.
Southeast Virginia has long been home to numerous early care and education programs. However, operating traditionally in siloes, these programs were not seeing the results they desired.In 2016, Hampton Roads Community Foundation initiated a region-wide process involving nearly 100 stakeholders to scope and plan Minus 9 to 5, an initiative designed to unite previously disparate programs and people together for greater impact through systems change. This case study details the opportunities, highlights, and lessons learned in the first two years of the initiative.
Measures for Justice;
Despite accounting for a substantial portion of local, state, and federal budgets, our criminal justice institutions are among the least measured systems in our country. In an effort to bring transparency to this sector, MFJ has collected, standardized, and made public 20 states' worth of criminal justice data.The purpose of this report is to share what we have learned through this effort, including: (a) what we cannot see when data are missing, and (b) the value that data can provide when they are available and comparable. In particular, we identify patterns around the following:There is a substantial lack of data around pretrial detention and release decision-making, as well as individual demographics (particularly indigence).New data privacy laws are also making it needlessly difficult to obtain certain data. This poses challenges to understanding how individuals experience the system in cases that do not result in conviction.There is great variation in how counties dispose of and sentence nonviolent cases; how financial obligations are imposed on individuals; and the collateral consequences that individuals face when convicted.Across many of these findings, where demographics are available, we have an opportunity to identify and respond to significant disparities in group outcomes.This report challenges stakeholders and policymakers to dig deeper into these patterns and missing data. It also implores policymakers and legislators to improve criminal justice data infrastructure to ensure a more transparent, fair, and equitable implementation of justice.
Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health;
There is a major flaw in federal firearm laws in the U.S. and in most states' laws; prohibited purchasers can acquire firearms from unlicensed private sellers without subjecting themselves to background checks and record-keeping requirements. Violent criminals and traffickers exploit this weakness with fatal consequences. This report discusses the need to improve background checks and handgun purchaser licensing laws which would result in reduced gun deaths.
Institute for Transportation and Development Policy;
While momentum in recent decades has elevated bus rapid transit (BRT) as more than an emerging mode in the U.S., this high-capacity, high-quality bus-based mass transit system remains largely unfamiliar to most Americans. In the U.S., lack of clarity and confusion around what constitutes BRT stems both from its relatively low profile (most Americans have never experienced BRT) and its vague and often conflicting sets of definitions across cities, sectors, and levels of government. As a result, many projects that would otherwise be labeled as bus improvements or bus priority under international standards have become branded in American cities as BRT. This leads to misperceptions among U.S. decisionmakers and the public about what to expect from BRT. Since its inception in Curitiba, Brazil, BRT has become a fixture of urban transport systems in more than 70 cities on six continents throughout the globe. Just twelve BRT corridors exist in the United States so far.This guide offers proven strategies and insights for successfully implementing BRT within the political, regulatory, and social context that is unique to the United States. This guide seeks to illuminate the upward trends and innovations of BRT in U.S. cities. Through three in-depth case studies and other examples, the guide shares the critical lessons learned by several cities that have successfully implemented, or are in the midst of completing, their own BRT corridors. Distinct from previous BRT planning and implementation guides, this is a practical resource to help planners, and policy makers specifically working within the U.S. push beyond the parameters of bus priority and realize the comprehensive benefits of true BRT.
Center for American Progress;
This report examines how the pernicious problem of partisan gerrymandering stymies efforts toward sensible reforms in several states—including North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia—despite strong public support for gun safety measures. These states provide some of the most extreme examples of gerrymandering: Even though Democrats won a majority of the statewide votes, control of the state legislatures remained with Republicans who, for the most part, have refused to allow meaningful debate on any commonsense gun safety measures. In each of these states, it is likely that, in the absence of partisan gerrymandering, the legislature would have enacted measures to strengthen gun laws—measures that could have saved lives.The report also puts forward a policy solution: States should require independent commissions to draw voter-determined districts based on statewide voter preferences. Implementing this policy would end partisan gerrymandering and increase representation for communities that have too often been shut out of the political system and also suffer the most from the lack of sensible gun safety legislation
Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest);
This report presents information on the clients and agencies served by The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc. The information is drawn from a national study, Hunger in America 2010, conducted in 2009 for Feeding America (FA) (formerly America's Second Harvest), the nation's largest organization of emergency food providers. The national study is based on completed inperson interviews with more than 62,000 clients served by the FA national network, as well as on completed questionnaires from more than 37,000 FA agencies. The study summarized below focuses on emergency food providers and their clients who are supplied with food by food banks in the FA network. Key Findings: The FA system served by The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc provides emergency food for an estimated 145,600 different people annually.43% of the members of households served by The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc are children under 18 years old (Table 5.3.2).43% of households include at least one employed adult (Table 5.7.1).Among households with children, 76% are food insecure and 33% are food insecure with very low food security (Table 22.214.171.124).51% of clients served by The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel (Table 6.5.1).31% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care (Table 6.5.1).25% of households served by The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc report having at least one household member in poor health (Table 8.1.1)The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc included approximately 432 agencies at the administration of this survey, of which 428 have responded to the agency survey. Of the responding agencies, 250 had at least one food pantry, soup kitchen, or shelter.78% of pantries, 54% of kitchens, and 43% of shelters are run by faith-based agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues, and other religious organizations (Table 10.6.1).Among programs that existed in 2006, 73% of pantries, 72% of kitchens, and 70% of shelters of The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc reported that there had been an increase since 2006 in the number of clients who come to their emergency food program sites (Table 10.8.1).Food banks are by far the single most important source of food for agencies with emergency food providers, accounting for 78% of the food distributed by pantries, 49% of the food distributed by kitchens, and 32% of the food distributed by shelters (Table 13.1.1).As many as 88% of pantries, 90% of kitchens, and 89% of shelters in The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc use volunteers (Table 13.2.1).
Northern and southeastern Virginians will vote in referenda this November to approve or reject increases in the retail sales tax to fund transportation projects. Northern Virginians will decide whether to increase the sales tax from 4.5 percent to 5.0 percent, an 11 percent increase. Virginians in the Hampton Roads area will decide whether to increase the sales tax from 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent, a 22 percent increase. Proponents of tax increases point to unmet transportation needs to support their cause. Yet state spending increased 13 percent in 1999, 7 percent in 2000, and 9 percent in 2001. If key transportation needs have not been met, the problem is not a lack of funds but legislators who have not properly prioritized the budget. If the sales tax referenda are passed, the state government will have a strong incentive to reduce what it would otherwise spend on transportation in northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. By some measures, northern Virginia already gets the short end of the stick with regard to the state budget. Tax increases are not just bad budget policy; they are also bad economic policy. Since higher taxes reduce economic growth, an added cost of higher sales taxes would be lower incomes for Virginians. During the 1990s Virginia taxes grew faster than incomes, and local property taxes have soared recently. Even modest restraint in nontransportation spending could save enough money to fund priority highway projects without tax increases. Further, the state could adopt a spending growth cap that channels excess future tax revenues to transportation needs and tax cuts.