Sanford School of Public Policy

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Sanford's two-year, professional MPP program prepares students for careers as analysts, managers and leaders in various levels of business, government, and nonprofit organizations in the United States and around the world. The mission of the Sanford School of Public Policy Master of Public Policy (MPP) Program is to develop ethical and inclusive leaders who are committed to using evidence-based tools and rigorous analysis to solve public policy challenges and strengthen society through public service.

The Master’s Project (MP) is a two semester, in-depth research project that results in a substantive deliverable. Students have the option to complete an Individual or Team-based MP.

Duke migrated to an electronic-only system for masters projects between 2006 and 2010. As such, projects completed between 2006 and 2010 may not be part of this system, and those completed before 2006 are not hosted here except for a small number that have been digitized.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 280
  • ItemOpen Access
    How the Building Blocks of Reading Shape a Classroom: Teachers’ Perspectives on Phonics amid Science of Reading Initiatives
    (2024-05-28) McDougal, Abigail
    After decades of failed U.S. initiatives to boost reading outcomes, North Carolina’s 2021 Excellent Public Schools Act has put forth a plan to train teachers according to the Science of Reading as a solution. Existing research shows strong evidence that instruction aligned to the Science of Reading, like a sequential phonics curriculum, can help to close achievement gaps for at-risk readers. The Central Park School for Children (CPSFC) in Durham, a charter school built on a project-based learning (PBL) model, allows individual teachers to choose whether to implement systematic phonics instruction. At CPSFC, disparities in scores based on race and socioeconomic status remain on par with Durham Public Schools, despite school efforts to increase equitable access to high-quality education. Still, leveraging PBL's benefits at CPSFC means supporting teacher independence wherever possible. This mixed-methods project examines how Grade 1 and Grade 2 teachers’ decisions on whether to adopt an explicit, systematic phonics curriculum relate to their students’ success in reading. The statistical analysis uses two-sample independent t tests to evaluate how growth in overall reading comprehension varies, comparing classes regularly receiving systematic phonics instruction with those that do not. For 2021-2023, Grade 1 students at CPSFC who scored lower in foundational decoding skills achieved significantly greater reading growth in classes with systematic phonics than those without phonics. For Grade 2, the 2022-2023 data indicates that students at CPSFC showed significantly more improvement in reading comprehension within classes with no phonics instruction, regardless of whether they had mastered grade-level decoding skills. Three of eight teachers for Grades 1–2 agreed to answer survey questions, and all three who responded use phonics regularly in the classroom. Common factors cited in their motivation to teach phonics include access to trainings and instructional resources, the need to support struggling readers, and benefits for the whole class. Based on the findings, this report recommends strongly prioritizing phonics in Grade 1 and deemphasizing its importance in Grade 2. Potential steps forward include allowing teachers to switch grades based on their preference of whether to teach phonics and directly discussing the equity implications of different modes of instruction.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Advancing Peacebuilding Through Promoting Human Rights and Inclusive Governance. North and East Syria as a Case Study
    (2024-05-01) Alhajj, Imad
    Human rights violations, corruption, and weak rule of law are major conflict-driven factors threatening peace and the possibility of democratic governance in the North and East Syria (NES) region, mainly caused by the combined effects of weak political, legal, and technical institutions capacity and accountability mechanisms of the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration in NES region, and exacerbated by instability and insecurity, economic woes, and a climate-conflict nexus impact. A big part of the problem is the knowledge gap between theory and practice. As a result, the international community is missing the opportunity to advance peace and democratic governance. This study seeks to address these problems in the post-conflict and fragile environment. The Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration in NES region as a case study. Particularly, this study asks what programming, lessons learned, and best practices are suggested by the experiences of local Syrian non-governmental organizations (LNGOs) and civil society to protect human rights and promote inclusive governance in the NES region. How can donors and major international NGOs better connect with and empower the work of the local Syrian NGOs and civil society efforts to advance peacebuilding in the NES region's fragile environment? The introduction provides a concise overview of the link between inclusive governance, human rights, and peacebuilding, as well as the research question and the client. The Problem section provides an overview of Autonomous Administration in the NES region, which faces multifaceted governance and human rights challenges due to political, legal, technical, environmental, and social problems that cause a fragile environment and relapse into violent conflict in the NES region. The methodology section is based on utilizing mixed methodology, literature review, and survey of local Syrian NGOs and civil society in the NES region, as well as conducting qualitative and quantitative methods analysis of primary data with heavy reliance on qualitative analysis. In the Search for Solution section, the study argues that human rights and inclusive governance are fundamental for peacebuilding, and international-led peacebuilding faces cultural and structural challenges and provides ‘alternative approaches’ to address the lack of ‘Political Will’ in peacebuilding and combating corruption. The survey results and discussion section provide a platform for the local Syrian voices on issues of human rights and inclusive governance priorities and strategies to address partnership challenges, lack of long-term perspective, and undemocratic practices of the International NGOs and donors that are problematic to advancing inclusive, context-sensitive approach to support peacebuilding in the NES region. The conclusion and recommendations section suggests an inclusive, holistic strategy that would bring all actors together to establish a clear path toward achieving an overarching strategic vision of preventing relapse of conflict, democratic governance, and building sustainable peace.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Parents’ Rights Movement’s Effect on School Board Functioning
    (2024-04-10) Greenberg, Joseph
    School board meetings across the country have become battlegrounds for political debate. Once civil, these forums have devolved into chaotic scenes fueled by truculent speeches against race-conscious policies, protecting LGBTQ+ students, and updates to history curricula. These are often made by parents, acting as foot soldiers for the “Parents’ Rights Movement,” who package their activism as a campaign for increased transparency. Their efforts have derailed hundreds of meetings by escalating tensions, all the while eclipsing good faith community stakeholders who want to address impediments to student achievement and school success. The rise of “parents’ rights” activism has come at a time when the American education system is plagued by numerous crises. Average test scores for reading and math are the lowest they have been in decades; in the last recorded school year, more than 2.7 million students received an out-of-school suspension at least once,¬¬ while over 100,000 were expelled; schools, experiencing the residual effects of the pandemic, are seeing record high rates of absenteeism across all demographic groups––potentially related to the sharp rise in depression and anxiety diagnoses among children nationwide; and, the looming teacher shortage has been exacerbated by a shrinking pool of substitutes, nurses, and school social workers. While districts desperately try to navigate the issues above, “parents’ rights” groups have made identity (i.e. race, gender, and sexual orientation) the focal point of their crusade. Their rhetoric against race-conscious and transgender-affirming content in schools notably omits students who are targeted based on their race, gender, and sexual orientation on school campuses. In my paper, I hypothesize that a movement to ban library materials and censor curricular content has forced school boards to spend valuable time on issues that align with “parents’ rights” values, which I deem “political,” and away from addressing the aforementioned crises, which I deem “constructive.” By measuring the number of constructive and political comments from board meetings in three districts with a large “parents’ rights” activist presence––and comparing trends before and after the rise of such activism––this paper demonstrates how the Parents’ Rights Movement has hindered school districts’ ability to properly function.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Crafting Climate Solutions in Coal Country: Lessons from the Work of the Energy Communities Interagency Working Group (IWG) in Wyoming
    (2024-05-03) Hitchcock, Ian
    Current federal efforts to support coal dependent “energy communities” will be insufficient to ensure their well-being through clean energy transition. Energy Community incentives and frameworks that treat coal communities as a monolith fail to account for distinct local needs between coal communities in different regions. The story of the coal producing state of Wyoming’s engagement with federal funding opportunities designed to support coal communities in transition demonstrates the shortcomings of current federal policy frameworks to support coal communities. While there has been alignment between Wyoming and federal policy goals around clean energy transition with support for carbon capture, utilization, and storage demonstration projects (CCUS), the state has largely failed to receive funding from competitive grant programs aimed at supporting diversified economic development within coal communities, even though Wyoming is the highest producing coal area in the country. All that said, the work of the Energy Communities Interagency Working Group and their pilot Rapid Response Team (RRT)in Wyoming offers lessons that could be applied to federal programs aiming to support a just transition for coal communities in the US. The successes of the RRT demonstrate how a focus on place-based community engagement, emphasis on relationship building and building on the ground capacity to engage with federal programs, and flexibility in program design can create the conditions that lead to policy progress on climate even in unlikely places like Wyoming communities whose economies, culture, and politics have been dominated by fossil fuels for decades.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A Hole in the Middle? The challenge of downscaling Doughnut Economics as a local development framework
    (2024) Moore, Dylan
    The extraordinary growth of the world economy has dramatically transformed the context within which all humans live. It also introduces several interrelated challenges: providing for the basic development needs of people, reducing global inequality, and avoiding further degradation of the biosphere. Numerous frameworks have been developed in recent years to address these challenges, including Doughnut Economics, a sustainable development framework that combines several development indicators of human wellbeing with the planetary boundaries to define a “safe and just space” as the goal for global development. In this study, I present a concrete quantitative approach to operationalize Doughnut Economics for use at the local level and within a high-income context, the United States, to address the question: How are U.S. cities and counties performing on the social and ecological indicators of the Doughnut? I collected social and ecological data across 27 U.S. localities and find widespread variation in levels of social shortfall and greenhouse gas emissions between them. My findings suggest that previous Doughnut Economics research at the national level obscures patterns of intra-country social shortfall and inequality, underscoring the need for ongoing local data collection and analysis. I integrate my findings with a comparative case study of Amsterdam’s local application of Doughnut Economics to identify key challenges of applying a global development framework at the local level. My discussion of the shortcomings of these different methodological approaches to downscaling Doughnut Economics underscore how methodological diversity and triangulation are needed to effectively formulate and evaluate local policies based on Doughnut Economics.
  • ItemOpen Access
    From the Graveyard of Empires to the Queen City: Exploring the Status of Resettled Afghans in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Efficacy of Volunteer Partnership
    (2024-04-30) Schwartzbauer, Nathan
    This Master's Project attempts to better illuminate the status of resettled Afghans in Charlotte, North Carolina as of 2024. The project explores the perceptions of Afghan households about their resettlement, the assistance available, and their involvement with groups of local churches and other volunteers. The author created a survey that local Charlotte Afghan interpreters administered to 31 resettled Afghan respondents. Many of the survey questions mirrored those from a 2023 national survey of resettled Afghans from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the Administration for Children and Families (part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). The Master's Project survey innovates beyond ORR questions to provide more information about the status of Charlotte Afghans specifically. The paper provides some contrast with previous resettlement experiences in the United States and North Carolina – specifically, the Vietnamese, Montagnards, and Iraqis. The author proposes areas of enhanced focus for Charlotte volunteers, nonprofits, resettlement agencies, and local policymakers working with resettled Afghans. The paper highlights the specific focus areas of immigration status adjustment, childcare access, and addressing ethnic disparities within the Afghan community itself. The project also emphasizes the importance of sustaining local volunteer partnerships at the most immediate level towards approaching problem-solving with resettled Afghan families – which is characterized as “subsidiarity” in the paper. The author suggests that larger resettlement organizations and support resources should only assist with tasks that cannot be met by local volunteer partners. The paper proposes future areas of exploration potential, especially in consideration of longer-term partnerships lasting longer than three months. The work does not claim to be definitive in providing a single set of solutions to helping resettled Afghans. Rather, the work seeks to contribute useful knowledge by creating more awareness among policymakers and community stakeholders in Charlotte, along with any other interested parties in North Carolina and beyond.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Best Practices for Modernizing Integrated Public Benefits Applications
    (2023-04-19) Holtzman, Rachel
    Many state agencies around the country are trying to modernize applications for public benefits programs in their state. This work often involves developing an integrated application for two or more public benefits, and then engineering an online portal on which to host the integrated application. Because most state agencies lack the technological expertise to do this work in-house, they hire third party vendors and consulting firms to help. This report thus seeks to answer the question: What can be learned about best practices for equitable applications, from states that have modernized their remote integrated benefits applications for Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and/or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs since the Affordable Care Act? To answer this question, the researcher conducted 24 interviews with Subject Matter Experts involved in designing, building, launching, administering, and/or researching integrated benefits applications. Findings include best practices for the processes of hiring, building, launching, and conducting outreach related to integrated benefits applications. States must also ensure that the benefits applications are human-centered, meaning that the features and capabilities of the application facilitate equitable access and successful enrollment by applicants with diverse backgrounds, identities, and needs.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Rectifying Racial Wealth Disparities through Baby Bonds
    (2023-04-26) Roberts, Xavier
    This paper proposes recommendations for the design of a Baby Bonds pilot program by the GRO Fund, with the aim of reducing racial wealth inequality and promoting economic empowerment among minoritized populations. Drawing on the history of the racial wealth gap and insights from publications and interviews, the paper proposes specific recommendations for the GRO Fund's program design. To assess various aspects of Baby Bonds’ impact, the GRO Fund should consider a program duration of 10+ years with two cohorts of different ages and interim data gathering. Eligibility requirements can be based on participation in existing programs and/or household income. This paper discusses three levels of race specificity - race-neutral, race-conscious, and race-specific - and recommends that the GRO Fund aims to be race-specific. Usage restrictions should mimic archetypal Baby Bonds but consider additional wealth-building strategies. Drawdown restrictions should block fund access until participants are 18 years of age, with limited access before 18 in emergency circumstances. Financial advising should be offered to recipients instead of financial literacy training to better support their financial well-being. Lastly, this paper recommends that the GRO Fund invests funds in an investment vehicle that minimizes risk to principal, earns 4-6 percent annual interest, and is easily liquidated. These recommendations attempt to take into consideration the unique needs and goals of the GRO Fund and its target communities, while also aligning with the core principles of Baby Bonds. The implementation of a well-designed Baby Bonds pilot program by the GRO Fund has the potential to significantly contribute to reducing racial wealth inequality and promote economic stability among minoritized populations by furthering the case for Baby Bonds.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Guaranteed Income in Durham, NC: Political Feasibility Prospective
    (2023-04-28) Stamper, Zach
    Child economic insecurity continues to be a prevalent issue in the United States, and in Durham, NC. Grown in Durham (GiD), the childcare initiative spawned from Durham County’s Early Childhood Action Plan, seeks to address this issue. GiD used a community-based approach to determine its priorities by including local parents and childcare experts in the planning process. One of the top priorities identified was a guaranteed income pilot program to provide supplemental cash assistance to Durham families facing economic insecurity. This policy solution was chosen because of the versatility of cash benefits and positive outcomes from other guaranteed income pilots across the country, including one already conducted in Durham. Given these pilot program successes, GiD anticipates their own guaranteed income pilot would have similarly positive outcomes. Thinking ahead of pilot success, this descriptive study seeks to understand the future of guaranteed income efforts in Durham. GiD asks “what is the political feasibility of a city or county-wide guaranteed income program serving families with children facing economic insecurity in Durham, NC?” Literature review of large-scale guaranteed income efforts, interviews with local elected officials and subject matter experts, and stakeholder analysis of local municipal government systems provide insights for this policy question. The multiple streams framework is employed to determine political feasibility as a function of cohesion in understanding of the problem of child economic insecurity and the policy of guaranteed income as a solution in the context of Durham politics. Review of relevant literature illuminated guaranteed income pilot program success in generating positive outcomes for participants facing economic insecurity and analyzed examples of similar policies that have been implemented at the state and national level. Regardless of overwhelmingly positive outcomes, individual support for guaranteed income and other social service provisions is ultimately dependent on one’s values, particularly the role of work in determining deservingness of support, and acknowledgment of systemic factors. These values do not exclusively fall along partisan lines, affording a more nuanced analysis of guaranteed income support. Policies closely resembling guaranteed income employed by Alaska, a traditionally conservative state, and at the national level demonstrate this nuance. Local elected officials and guaranteed income subject matter experts were interviewed to gauge the political feasibility of a scaled guaranteed income program in Durham. Elected officials included city council members and county commissioners, and subject matter experts included administrators of guaranteed income pilot (and related) policies in Durham. An interview guide was developed to gather data in the multiple streams framework and facilitate further conversation about anything that may dictate guaranteed income’s political feasibility in Durham. Interviews revealed the perception of a high amount of guaranteed income support from both Durham’s elected officials and general public. Interviews indicated a general consensus around the understanding of the problem of child economic insecurity, guaranteed income as a policy solution, and elected official and public support of such a policy. This stream alignment is encouraging for political feasibility. Funding was identified as the main logistical roadblock in implementing a city or county-wide guaranteed income for families with children experiencing economic insecurity. Municipal funding restrictions would need to be addressed to utilize this funding source at this crucial stage between pilot success and scaling beyond the municipal level by utilizing state or federal funding. A local stakeholder analysis provides political system context through which a municipally funded guaranteed income policy would have to pass. Interview respondents also corroborated the significance of personal values in dictating guaranteed income support. Interview and literature review insights prompted the following recommendations for GiD to implement to sustain guaranteed income’s political feasibility into the future: • Advocating for the resolution of municipal funding restrictions. • Developing clear and inclusive communication about what guaranteed income is, how it addresses economic insecurity, who it benefits, and destigmatizing welfare recipients. • Intentionally maintaining momentum around guaranteed income as a policy solution (e.g., strengthening a local advocate network, periodic communications, and informational programming). The future of guaranteed income in Durham is bright, and GiD can hold the light to lead the way.
  • ItemOpen Access
  • ItemOpen Access
    Smart Microgrids to Improve Reliability and Resiliency of Power Supply in the Southeast
    (2023-05-01) Pumarejo Villarreal, Jose Eduardo (Puma)
    Extreme weather events in the Southeast have frequently caused significant damage to the power grid, leaving millions without electricity for extended periods. Despite substantial investments, vulnerabilities stemming from the centralized nature of the system remain unresolved. However, the implementation of decentralized smart microgrid technology presents a potential solution to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events and enhance power supply reliability and resiliency. Microgrids, which consist of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources, can operate in coordination with the main grid or independently. Each microgrid requires a customized approach to design, installation, and management. Although smart microgrids can improve power supply reliability and resiliency by up to 60%, their high costs often render projects financially unfeasible. To accelerate the adoption of microgrids in the Southeast, clear state-level regulations, standardized guidelines for electric utilities, and economic assessments of resilient infrastructure are needed. Additionally, exploring the establishment of a Southeast ISO could facilitate the replication of successful practices from regions like California, Texas, and New York.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Supporting Women Vanilla Farmers in Madagascar: The Promise of VSLAs and Alternative Livelihoods
    (2023-05-10) Poulos, Margaret
    To examine how to strengthen the income security and overall resilience of women vanilla farmers, I ask: How can Duke Lemur Center (DLC)-SAVA Conservation better support the livelihoods of local women vanilla farmers in Ambodivoara, Madagascar, through training in alternative livelihoods? What is the economic, social, and environmental potential for the establishment of village savings and loans associations (VSLAs) for women vanilla farmers? Drawing from three months of field research in Madagascar, I offer policy recommendations to answer these questions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Economic Trends Affecting National Discourse
    (2023-04-19) Schaffernoth, Charles Adam
    Topic: How has the evolution of advertising technology, and its economic repercussions, contributed to the concentration and polarization of America’s traditional media ecosystem and national discourse? What potential policy options can most effectively address the root causes of this trend? Abstract: This analysis strove to demonstrate that the polarization currently afflicting American national discourse is partially structural in nature, and that this structural component can be primarily attributed to the major stakeholder groups’ competitive responses to disruptive technological innovation and its economic repercussions. Furthermore, the paper illustrates the tangible and material harms caused by growing polarization and offers policy solutions that apply to each of the main stakeholder groups involved in the complex system embodied by the nation’s social and political debate. Interestingly, this paper concurred with Mark Twain’s observation that “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes,” in that the dated practice of yellow journalism in news media, the recurrent strategy of emulating competitors’ tactics in business, and the contemporary rediscovery of narrowcasting as a tool for customer segmentation online, have all reemerged as themes in the internet era’s fractured information landscape.
  • ItemOpen Access
    (2023-04-20) Butler, Antonio
    The baby formula shortage was a challenging experience for everyone in the U.S., yet low-income mothers experienced the worst effects of the baby formula shortage. Through conducting virtual interviews of mothers, I built a theory that uncovered three themes and multiple sub-themes that emerged on how low-income mothers coped with the baby formula shortage. These three themes were: (1) Access to and availability of baby formula during the shortage was difficult. (2) Community support in obtaining baby formula played a prominent role in mother's lives. (3) Social services and the healthcare system, specifically doctors, played a significant role in alleviating the baby formula shortage for mothers. Alongside these interviews, a background analysis of the policy and cultural situations was reviewed to provide context on how a baby formula shortage came to be. The background information provided along with the interviews resulted in the creation of policy implications and recommendations ranging from policymakers changing requirements around WIC to social service officers partnering more with community organizations. These two pieces of information undergird this master's project (MP), which is meant to help guide policymakers and social service officers on how to best support low-income mothers and mothers writ large during their potential baby formula purchasing experience. By learning from their experiences and implementing recommendations that tackle the breadth and depth of the issues that caused the baby formula shortage, we can ensure we are effectively supporting two populations that are extremely important to the current and future success of our communities and the U.S., mothers, and infants.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reporting the Shots: Exploring Barriers and Facilitators in Pediatric Vaccine Reporting
    (2023-04-19) Israelsen-Hartley, Sara
    For 30 years, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program has ensured low-income children have access to vaccines, leading to millions of illnesses averted, hundreds of thousands of deaths avoided and billions of dollars in health savings. Yet policy, technology and personnel gaps allow many VFC vaccines to remain unreported to a jurisdiction’s immunization information system (IIS). This study identified potential barriers and facilitators to IIS reporting among VFC providers through in-depth, qualitative interviews with pediatric healthcare workers across four reporting-mandated, but historically under-reporting states: Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The study also highlighted COVID-19 influences on provider IIS reporting.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A Background and Case Study on Septic Tank Failure as it Relates to Climate Impacts, Recent Climate Policy, and Community Needs
    (2023-04-28) Oglesby, Cameron
    In the two years since President Joe Biden took office there has been an unprecedented national focus on environmental justice and climate justice in the distribution of federal funds and resources. There has also been an influx of federal funds made available to address a pervasive history of infrastructure disinvestment across the country, particularly water and wastewater infrastructure. This report attempts to converge the issues surrounding waste management infrastructure in the U.S., specifically regarding septic system failure, and the opportunity areas for improvement in federal dollars, outlining the policy history, modern context, and recommendations for taking advantage of this current moment of public salience. This report outlines a thorough national policy history for septic system infrastructure as well as recent policy opportunities and community concerns regarding federal funds. This report also attempts to outline the greatest indicators or identifiers for septic failure as well as breakdown potential policy solutions or priority areas for federal and state-level actors and advocates based on septic and sewer infrastructure investments taking placed in Miami-Dade County in Florida and the Middle Peninsula/Chesapeake Bay region of Virginia. The background and case study analysis consists of a literature review of national and regional septic failure, utilizing what little academic literature exists on the topic and more recent journalistic coverage of this issue across the U.S. The national background as well as individual case studies are further fleshed out through a series of interviews with academic and community experts in water protection and wastewater management. The final product is a comprehensive overview of septic system policy history, modern funding opportunities, and solutions/recommendations based on expert testimony.
  • ItemOpen Access
    $100 Million Dollars Later: Are School Resource Officers Making North Carolina Schools Safer?
    (2023-04-20) LeFebvre, Joanna
    Since 2016, North Carolina has spent over $100 million on School Resource Officer (SRO) salaries and training. Research consistently finds SROs have little to no effect on school safety and can contribute to over-disciplining students. A difference-in-differences study on the effect of a 170% increase in SRO funding for North Carolina elementary and middle schools in 2018 suggests SROs have no effect on criminal acts or short-term suspensions but may increase the number of school-related arrests. Estimates suggest SROs caused an increase of about 0.035 arrests (p<0.1) per 1,000 elementary and middle school students. This translates to an additional 35 school-related arrests resulting from SRO presence. Arrests of students with disabilities increased by 0.243 (p<0.1) per 1,000 students, arrests of male students increased by 0.058 (p<0.1) per 1,000 students, and arrests of economically disadvantaged students increased by 0.068 (p<0.1) per 1,000 students. Findings for these subgroups align with previous research suggesting these students are particularly vulnerable to excessive disciplining. Lawmakers should consider these results when deciding the best ways to increase student safety and well-being in elementary and middle schools. Additionally, the state should require school districts to collect SRO data at the school level to evaluate the effects of SROs across time and decide if this investment of taxpayer dollars produces the desired results.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Maximizing Impact: Attracting and Prioitizng Target Populations for the Chicago Housing Trust
    (2023-04-11) Paul, Elizabeth; Ralenkotter, Maria; Resney, Alex
    Our client, The Chicago Housing Trust (The Housing Trust or The Trust), has asked our team to develop a preference policy that will prioritize marginalized Chicagoans – particularly Chicagoans of color and those negatively impacted by past housing policies – applying as first-time homeowners for a Housing Trust- owned unit. The Trust was primarily interested in learning from other cities that have implemented preference policies, both their mistakes and best practices, and hearing from current and prospective homeowners about their experience with accessing housing in Chicago and how The Housing Trust can make units more accessible to them. This report first defines our policy research question before exploring historic, current, and Chicago-specific housing policies that impact access to homeownership. We then review our research methods, which include an analysis of Chicago housing policy, case studies, and interviews. Finally, this report lays out our findings along with four recommendations for The Housing Trust to ensure that its housing stock reaches the intended population. Definitions for housing- related concepts used in our report can be found in Appendix A. A summary of our recommendations are as follows: (1) utilize affirmative marketing, (2) implement a point-system preference policy, (3) provide case workers to applicants and homeowners, and (4) invite current homeowners to join the Housing Trust’s Board.