No result found
Austin Community Foundation;
Having a place to call home is essential not only for the wellbeing of individual families and community members, but also to ensure Central Texas' continued economic growth and success. The effectiveness of Austin's response to its housing affordability crisis will determine its future — and there is still time to prevent it from experiencing the woes of other regions and provide the platform for vibrant, diverse, and economically healthy communities. In recognition of this, the Austin Community Foundation commissioned this report with funding from JPMorgan Chase, National Instruments, and St. David's Foundation to increase funders' understanding of housingrelated issues and present ideas for consideration.
Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA;
New legislation, corporate action, and public interest have created both an imperative and opportunities associated with rapid and profound CO2 reduction and removal. Net-zero industrial hubs present a pathway to focus investment, innovation, and public policy to create industries and infrastructure toward achieving that goal. Such a hub would require building facilities, plants, and linked infrastructure that would reduce and eventually eliminate greenhouse gas emissions through the application of advanced clean energy, emissions control technology, and possibly CO2 removal technology. This concept, while relatively new, has already gained interest from some nations and companies, most notably in the United Kingdom around net-zero hubs like the Teesside collective.This paper, part of the work from the Carbon Management Research Initiative of Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy, examines Houston as a potential net-zero hub location. Houston, a major US refining and petrochemical center, possesses a high concentration of industrial sites and fossil-fueled power plants. Regional CO2 storage capacity, low-cost energy, infrastructure like the Port of Houston, and a large skilled labor pool also suggest a possible opportunity for investment, trade, and greenhouse gas reduction in this area. The paper also makes recommendations for policy makers should they seek to pursue a net-zero hub in the Houston area.
Paso Del Norte Health Foundation;
In 2020, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation worked to promote health and prevent disease through grantmaking, collaboration, communications and advocacy in five priority areas - Healthy Eating & Active Living, Tobacco & Alcohol Prevention, Mental Health & Emotional Well-being, Healthy Kids, and Health Leadership - with the goal of ensuring that the residents of our region have the knowledge, resources, support, and environment needed to live happy, healthy, and productive lives. The Health Foundation also worked to ensure that it was flexible and responsive to the immediate needs of the community. In 2020, the Health Foundation invested $12 million in grants and charitable expenses working with more than 70 organizations across the five priority areas – including COVID-19.
Houston Education Research Consortium;
The recent wave of test-based accountability reforms has negatively impacted the provision of K-12 arts educational experiences. Advocates contend that, in addition to providing intrinsic benefits, the arts can positively influence academic and social development. However, the empirical evidence to support such claims is limited. We conducted a randomized controlled trial with 10,548 3rd8th grade students who were enrolled in 42 schools that were assigned by lottery to receive substantial influxes of arts education experiences provided through school-community partnerships with local arts organizations, cultural institutions, and teaching-artists. We find that these increases in arts educational experiences significantly reduce the proportion of students receiving disciplinary infractions by 3.6 percentage points, improve STAAR writing achievement by 0.13 of a standard deviation, and increase students' compassion for others by 0.08 of a standard deviation. For students in elementary schools, which comprise 86 percent of the sample, we find that these arts educational experiences also significantly improve school engagement, college aspirations, and arts-facilitated empathy. These findings provide strong evidence that arts educational experiences can produce significant positive impacts on student academic and social development. Policymakers should consider these multifaceted educational benefits when assessing the role and value of the arts in K-12 schools.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation launched its Family-Centered Community Change (FCCC) initiative with a goal of integrating two-generation strategies into existing place-based community initiatives. The innovative effort, which ran from 2012 to 2019, focused on supporting local partners in three neighborhoods with low economic resources: Buffalo, New York; Columbus, Ohio; and San Antonio, Texas.Over the course of the initiative, the sites worked to promote the healthy development and academic success of children while simultaneously delivering adult services focused on parenting and financial stability. In year three, the community partners also received training and technical assistance — provided by the Casey Foundation — aimed at enhancing racial and ethnic equity and inclusion.The Urban Institute conducted a formative evaluation of this effort, which included: 1) qualitative data collection from interviews and focus groups with partner staff and participants; 2) descriptive analysis of program data; and 3) a cost study.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.