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Spotlight on Early Childhood Education: Participation in Pre-K before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

April 28, 2023

The earliest educational experiences of children's lives are critical for their development and lay the foundation for their future achievement and well-being. For children from families facing socioeconomic disadvantage, high-quality public preschool (typically referred to as pre-K) is particularly important because of its potential to close educational opportunity gaps. Early childhood programs like preschool are also beneficial for parents because they allow parents to work or pursue education, while ensuring that children are well cared for in an enriching environment.Families in New York City are attuned to the importance of early education in large part due to the emphasis that the city has placed on its full-day universal pre-K program, known as Pre-K for All for four-year-old children. Pre-K for All is one of the largest pre-K programs in the country, serving an average of 70,000 children annually (about 65% of all New York City four-year-olds) prior to 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic tremendously disrupted New Yorkers' lives, and early education programs (including pre-K for All programs) faced difficult challenges during the height of the pandemic and in its wake. The Poverty Tracker surveyed families and their participation in Pre-K programs before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spotlight on Early Childhood Education: Participation in New York City’s 3-K for All program

April 28, 2023

Universal pre-kindergarten programs—state-funded early childhood care and education programs that provide free preschool to children for one to two years before kindergarten—have dramatically expanded across the United States over the past two decades. This expansion follows years of research showing that high quality preschool participation can reduce income-based school readiness gaps and promote children's cognitive and language development.New York City is a leader in the national universal pre-K effort with its citywide Pre-K for All program. The program launched in 2014 and quickly grew to offer free, full-day pre-K to all four-year-old children in 2015. New York City's universal pre-K programming expanded further in 2017 with 3-K for All, which aims to provide every three-year-old child in the city with free, full-day pre-K.In this report, we examine families' experiences with the 3-K for All program search, application, and enrollment process during the three academic years that began in fall 2018, 2019, and 2020, drawing from a representative sample of New York City families with young children surveyed by the Early Childhood Poverty Tracker.

In Every County, Across All Budget Lines: White Overrepresentation in New York City’s Nonprofit Leadership

April 26, 2023

Nonprofit New York, Candid, SeaChange Capital Partners, and Thomas Economic Policy and Data Consulting, with the support of Robin Hood, conducted a comprehensive assessment in 2022 of the current leadership demographics of the nonprofit sector in New York City using demographic data from nonprofit organizations' Candid nonprofit profiles. This report seeks to establish updated baseline data to inform our understanding of racial and other demographic representation within nonprofit leadership in the New York City area. Eight New York counties are included in the analysis, including Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties.Our research questions include:What are ways for determining BIPOC-led, as defined by BIPOC communities?What are the current racial, gender, sexual orientation, and (dis)ability demographics of nonprofit sector leaders in New York City?How do the demographics of New York City's nonprofit sector compare to the total population? How do the demographics of New York City's nonprofit sector compare to low-income New Yorkers?How are leadership demographics reflected in various nonprofit subsectors, including poverty alleviating organizations, and organizational sizes?Is there a relationship between the demographic makeup of an organization's leadership and its financial position?This report used a participatory research design to inform our definitions and data analysis. The project sought the perspective, expertise, and thought partnership from Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) nonprofit associations, BIPOC-led poverty-alleviating organizations, nonprofit racial justice researchers, and BIPOC-identified nonprofit capacity builders.

Expanding Inclusion in the Social Safety Net: Impacts of New York’s Excluded Workers Fund

January 10, 2023

Response to the COVID-19 pandemic and recession spurred a wave of policy innovation around the country. Although federal efforts typically carved out undocumented immigrants, many states and localities around the country tried to bring immigrants and others who were excluded back in. New York's Excluded Worker Fund (EWF) was the largest of these efforts. The $2.1 billion program allowed 130,000 immigrants without work authorization, and some others who fell between the gaps of federal aid, to get unemployment compensation if they lost work during the pandemic recession.To better understand the successes and shortcomings of the program, the Urban Institute and Immigration Research Initiative surveyed individuals in the population targeted for aid by this fund.Findings from this survey are intended to help inform advocacy efforts and future legislation, as New York advocates urge inclusion in the 2023 budget and states and localities across the nation consider the implementation of permanent unemployment benefit programs for excluded workers.

Keeping promises while keeping score: Gauging the impacts of policy proposals on racial equity

October 11, 2022

This policy brief from the Brookings Institution and the Institute on Race, Power, and Political Economy at The New School examines the impacts of policy proposals enacted in the wake of the 2020 murder of George Floyd and the subesequent protests against systemic racism. Specifically, it looks at what progress has been made by these proposals to increase racial equity. 

"Finally, We're Being Recognized": Stories and Perspectives from Applicants to the Excluded Workers Fund

March 17, 2022

Although expanded unemployment insurance played a large role in decreasing the number of people living in poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic, millions—most notably undocumented workers—were excluded from these benefits. The New York State Excluded Workers Fund (EWF) is the most notable example of legislation to address this gap. Passed in April 2021, the EWF approved 130,000 excluded workers to receive financial support that roughly equaled the average total amount unemployed workers eligible for unemployment compensation received, approximately $15,600 per person. To understand the experiences of workers who applied for EWF and of those that did not receive the fund, we conducted 15 interviews with workers in English, Spanish, Bangla, and Korean and 9 interviews with staff from community-based organizations serving various populations in New York and providing crucial application assistance.We found that those who received the fund were able to use it to make ends meet during a period of severe job loss bypaying back rent and other bills;repaying debt incurred during the pandemic;stabilizing or improving their housing conditions;paying for basic needs like food;investing in their children and education;taking care of their health and paying for medical expenses;stabilizing and expanding employment opportunities; andcreating local economic stimulus.We also found that the EWF had a significant impact on excluded worker recognition and their sense of power and dignity that comes from being treated as a valued member of society. We found that workers who applied but did not receive the fund because of difficulties providing the required documentation faced continuing stress around unstable income, debt burden, and other dire circumstances.Overall, New York State Department of Labor quickly and effectively adopted the EWF, but ultimately the fund ran out of money more quickly than anticipated. Although the fund was a high-impact intervention for those who benefitted, it has not provided solutions to the ongoing instability that accompanies a lack of lawful permanent status in the US.

Pathways to Financial Resilience: 36-Month Impacts of the Grameen America Program

March 2, 2022

This report summarizes 36-month findings from the evaluation of the Grameen America program, a microfinance institution that provides loans to women with low incomes in the United States who are seeking to start or expand a small business. Its objective is to reduce poverty through the provision of small loans, financial training, and peer support.The Grameen America evaluation used a randomized controlled trial design to explore the mechanisms of program operations and whether the model leads to improved outcomes for borrowers. The evaluation includes an implementation analysis, which examines how the program operates and the experiences of borrowers and program staff, and an impact analysis, which assesses the program's effects on participants' outcomes, including the study's two primary outcomes: overall net income and types of material hardship. Other outcomes include wage-based work and self-employment, wage-based and self-employment earnings and other income, credit scores, savings, assets and remittances, social support, and financial well-being. The implementation analysis includes outcomes from program-tracking data, as well as findings from interviews with borrowers and Grameen America staff, focus groups, and researchers' observations of the program. The impact findings in this report are based on study participants' responses to a 36-month survey and credit report data from a major credit reporting agency. The Grameen America evaluation was funded by the Robin Hood Foundation.

Laal (2019-2020 Annual Report)

September 9, 2020

In the same spirit of striving for change within one's community, Laal conducted a thorough needs-based assessment in Norwood, from March to August of 2019, where we surveyed 200 Bangladeshi and South Asian womxn. These surveys asked qualitative and quantitative questions to determine what resources the community needed and what the most prominent problems facing the community were. These surveys were also imperative in establishing a rapport with the local community members and laying a foundation within a community that has historically been overlooked and underserved for over 30 years. Through programming and resources, Laal aims to create an active community of womxn who can empower themselves and one another through direct action and deliberative dialogue. Historically, immigrant Bangladeshi womxn in New York City have lacked the necessary space and resources to learn English, obtain a job, or vote because they have been treated as second-class citizens-- culturally, systematically, and institutionally. Laal is eradicating a stigma that has been culturally, traditionally, and religiously interwoven into this community's foundation; in following Septima Clark's legacy, we too, believe that Bangladeshi womxn will find liberation through literacy. 

Microfinance in the United States: Early Impacts of the Grameen America Program

March 12, 2019

The study, funded by Robin Hood, is the most rigorous, independent, third-party evaluation of group microfinance in the United States, assessing Grameen America's program, a microfinance model that provides small loans to low-income women entrepreneurs in the United States seeking to launch or expand small businesses.

Re-engaging Youth for High School Success. Evaluation of the Good Shepherd Services Transfer School Model

August 3, 2018

This study contributes to the knowledge base about strategies for helping disconnected youth re-engage with schooling. The study presents findings of a rigorous impact evaluation of the Good Shepherd Services (GSS) Transfer School Model that is grounded in developmental theory positing that social and emotional factors are essential to academic learning and achievement. The full-day, year-round model includes intensive support services and youth development practices with personalized, standards-based instruction. The outcome evaluation assessed the extent to which the GSS model as implemented was meeting its objectives, and estimated the intervention impacts on intended student outcomes based on treatment-comparison contrasts. Outcome study hypotheses: students in the GSS transfer schools will demonstrate better academic outcomes, better school-day attendance, and better behavioral outcomes than students in the comparison group. The outcome evaluation was conducted in New York City public schools and used a rigorous quasi-experimental design to compare outcomes for students enrolled at two GSS transfer schools to outcomes for equivalent comparison groups matched based on important baseline characteristics. The study participants were over-aged and under-credited urban high school students. GSS students in the study were primarily Hispanic and from low-income families, and with a history of truancy. Comparison students were drawn from students enrolled in 11 other Brooklyn transfer schools not affiliated with GSS. These schools have a similar core educational program but may vary in practices such as admissions criteria and partnership roles and responsibilities. The outcome evaluation was conducted from 2011 through 2015 and used archival school records. In addition, to gain insight into how social and emotional factors might influence outcomes, the Developmental Assets Profile (DAP), a validated survey developed by the Search Institute, was administered to incoming GSS students before the start and at the end of the 2012-13 school year. Results from the impact evaluation indicate that, compared to well-matched groups of over-age, under-credited students attending other transfer schools, the GSS transfer school model has a significant positive impact on graduation as well as the intermediate outcomes of credit attainment and school attendance. In addition, exploratory subgroup analyses indicate that female GSS students and students who entered the transfer schools with less than 11 credits have a significantly higher probability of graduating than the comparison students. Analysis of DAP data indicate that GSS students significantly increased their constructive use of time. Regression analyses further showed a significant association between constructive use of time and academic progress as measured by credit accumulation. Study results indicate the effectiveness of the GSS Transfer School Model in supporting students who are over-age and under-credited. Although the absence of a comparison group for the DAP analysis limited an assessment of the impact of the GSS model on social and emotional changes, the results confirmed the relationship between assets and academic performance, as well as participation in extracurricular activities and civic engagement. Data from the study are displayed in 22 figures and one table. The evaluation design and methods, comparison group and regression analyses, and DAP data are presented in technical appendices.

Emergency Preparedness Coordinator: User Guide

October 12, 2015

A disaster can strike anytime, anywhere. When it does, a poorly-managed response can put the safety and well-being of residents at risk and expose housing owners to unnecessary costs, problems and liabilities. Having the right plan in place before a disaster will help you manage an effective, coordinated response across staff, departments, partner agencies and sites.The Ready to Respond: Disaster Staffing Toolkit will help your organization prepare for and respond to a disaster. The Toolkit is based on the Incident Command System (ICS), a planning framework used by federal, state and local first responder agencies to help structure the command, control and coordination of emergency response. It includes guidance on staff roles and responsibilities and the disaster-related protocols and systems which will enable you to mount an effective emergency response.The Toolkit is designed to support three vital goals—building protection, resident engagement and business continuity. This will allow your organization to minimize building damage and ensure quick return to service; support the safety, preparedness and recovery of your residents, and maintain key business operations throughout a disaster.

Paying for College Success: An Introduction to the Performance-Based Scholarship Demonstration

October 31, 2009

This policy brief describes a demonstration launched by MDRC in four states in 2008 to evaluate whether performance-based scholarships -- paid contingent on attaining academic benchmarks -- are an effective way to improve persistence and academic success among low-income college students. The demonstration builds on positive results from an earlier MDRC study in Louisiana.