ISSUE 116 | July 21, 2021
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
Supreme Court upholds ruling regarding foster care
Philadelphia’s Catholic Social Services refuses to certify same sex couples for foster care.

The Supreme Court has ratified this decision, indicating that the action did not fall under the city’s anti-discrimination law “because it is a service not readily available to the public.”

Eleven states currently allow foster care agencies to refuse placement with same-sex couples. 

Compare PA’s receipt of ARP funds to other state allocations
The U.S. states are sharing $193.5 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Disbursement is based on each state’s number of unemployed people in 2020.

Funds can be used for a variety of purposes and may obligated through 2024, allowing for thoughtful and strategic deployment. 

Reinventing the arts opens doors to new markets
Museums and arts centers embraced virtual programming during the pandemic.

Doing so allowed for recruitment of international participants, access to people with disabilities, and engagement with young audiences.

Anticipating a need for social distancing in the future, these organizations are incorporating similarly innovative methods into their strategic plans. 

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
ARP funds will be used to boost children’s literacy in GA
One of Georgia’s largest school districts is implementing the ‘Every Child Reads’ program.

Money from the American Rescue Plan will be used to train teachers in evidence-based literary practices, purchase new textbooks, and develop career-tech programs.

The program will focus on phonics, phonemic awareness, reading, vocabulary and comprehension, and fluency.” 

BofA publishes report on workforce diversification
A study completed by BofA’s Global Research division highlights how the pandemic revealed workforce disparities.

Researchers identify compelling reasons for business leaders to implement diversity and inclusion policies in their organizations.

Their estimated price of unequal opportunity is particularly poignant. 

Enhancing and regionalizing public transit will invigorate economy
Any business stands to gain from shortened commutes for employees and customers, and COVID-19 has clearly changed the workplace and the consumer purchasing space.

The role of location in economic development efforts has become more complex and dynamic as a result, and transportation should not be an afterthought.

Convenience and accessibility promote a winning economy. 

Research Spotlight: The Institute has presented recommendations for improvement and regionalization of public transportation in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Follow the link below and click the red box titled 'Planning, Land Use, Transportation & Infrastructure.' Then scroll down to access multiple studies exploring the region's transit issues and opportunities.

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