ISSUE 130 | October 28, 2021
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
Geography contributes to inequities by school district across PA
It is common knowledge that student enrollment in public school depends primarily on residential address.

This disparate system means zip code determines quality of education.

Property taxes largely fund public schools in the state, so the best education is typically found in wealthier communities.  

Pittsburgh organizations give new meaning to community development 
Community organizations in one Pittsburgh neighborhood have plans to build their own grocery store.

The neighborhood does not currently have a full service grocer, so the partners will rehabilitate an abandoned building in town to house a 20,000-square foot store.

The project has attracted the interest of the city’s redevelopment authority as well as private developers. 

Erie may impose storm water management fee
Erie city council is considering collection of a stormwater management fee to support maintenance, repair, and improvement of the system.

The size of each personal or commercial property would determine cost.

Similar fees to service aging systems are either under consideration or already in place in other Pennsylvania cities. 

In the Spotlight: Regionalization offers potential to reduce inequities in education. The Institute's Executive Director recently penned an op-ed for RealClear Policy, emphasizing the value of regional collaboration over competition.
From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Innovative programs develop downtowns and grow local manufacturers 
Five cities across the U.S. have established a variety of programs targeting small manufacturers.

Education and resources provided range from rezoning and space, to shared equipment and tools, to financial and technical support.

All programs have reported successful outcomes.  

California launches strategy to develop digital equity 
The California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) covers not only availability, but affordability of service and equipment.

The initiative also includes training for equipment use, provided in appropriate languages and at appropriate grade levels.

Community-based organizations serve as conduit for delivery of messaging to vulnerable populations. 

Public banking offers another tool for municipalities to expand services
Private financial institutions are designed to maximize investor profit.

City-owned banks, on the other hand, are open to citizen oversight.

They allow municipalities to use profits from their deposits to reinvest in public benefit projects.  

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