ISSUE 75 | August 21, 2020
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
Students of color offer solutions to make PA public universities more equitable
Students in Pennsylvania’s higher education system have offered a set of recommendations to help colleges address racism and become more equitable.

These recommendations include (but are not limited to):

  • hiring more diverse staff and faculty

  • supporting organizations that represent students of color

  • regularly analyzing discrimination complaints to identify repeat offenders.

Report: Civic engagement more important than ever for the region
Teri Ooms and Andrew Chew of The Institute recently discussed the importance of civic engagement and the nonprofit sector in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties, while sharing data from The Institute’s annual Indicators Report.

They also emphasized the need for voter registration and turnout to ensure that communities are engaged with all levels of government.  

New study says Pennsylvania’s child care industry needs millions more in aid to survive
A study found that federal aid has enabled Pennsylvania’s child care industry to continue operating throughout the pandemic, with a relatively small number of providers permanently closing.

However, Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller has explained that another thousand providers could close if they do not receive more support.

Demand for child care is likely to increase as some school districts decide not to hold in-person classes. 

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
College enrollment and degree attainment low among displaced workers
A new study (using pre-pandemic data) found that only one in 100 displaced workers enrolls at a public college after losing their job, and most do not graduate with degrees.

Most of those enrollees previously worked in manufacturing.

According to the authors, steps should be taken to improve degree attainment among displaced workers.

Why schools should care about housing voucher discrimination 
Location of home residence generally determines where children go to school, and housing vouchers can grant low-income households the opportunity to live in high-quality school districts to which they would otherwise not have access.

Property owners frequently discriminate against voucher holders and deny them housing, however – particularly in low-poverty areas with top-performing schools.

COVID-19 data failures create pressure for system overhaul
There is no current national data network to help public health systems respond to crises like the coronavirus pandemic.

Some health care professionals worry that inefficient reporting and data-sharing limit the ability of systems to track COVID-19 cases and medical resources.

In March, Congress approved funding to modernize the data infrastructure, but the amount falls short of what some public health leaders say is necessary. 

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