This study of Washington, DC’s, Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) provides the first experimental evidence on the effect of a publicly funded private school choice program on college enrollment. Comparing the college enrollment rates of students who were offered a scholarship to attend private school through the OSP lottery with those of students who applied for but did not win a scholarship, we find that students who

February 23, 2018
Research Report
 

Students enrolled in private schools in 2006 through the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP), the oldest modern private school voucher program in the nation, generally enrolled in college at higher rates and persisted in college longer than similar students at public schools. We also find, however, that as of 2017, rates of college degree attainment were not significantly different. This study adds to the substantial body

February 23, 2018
Research Report
 

This analysis produced county-level estimates of opioid use disorder (OUD) and treatment needs in California counties. We estimated the demand for treatment in each county based on several data sources, assuming 20 percent of people with OUD seek opioid agonist treatment (i.e. buprenorphine or methadone). We estimated the county’s opioid agonist treatment capacity based on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and state data

February 22, 2018
Technical Paper
 

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) aims to reduce hunger and food insecurity by supplementing the purchasing power of low-income families. This analysis explores the adequacy of SNAP benefits by comparing the maximum SNAP benefit per meal with the average cost of a low-cost meal in the U.S., adjusting for geographic variations in food prices across counties in the 48 contiguous states and Washington, DC. We

February 22, 2018
Research Report
 

This report presents the findings from Urban Institute's analysis of homelessness in Alameda County. Our methods included analysis of publicly available data and reports, surveys of city employees and local service providers, and interviews with County agency staff. The report summarizes recent trends in homelessness in Alameda County and the causes of the increase in unsheltered homelessness. The authors highlight promising

February 22, 2018
Research Report
 

A draft bill to overhaul the housing finance system that is being considered in the Senate Banking Committee could provide a meaningful improvement of the way in which we support affordable homeownership. But it needs to overcome several critical design challenges that could undermine its effectiveness if mishandled. The authors of this note discuss these challenges and the most promising ways to address them.

February 21, 2018
Brief
 

This study investigates the relationship between child care subsidy policies and the quality of centers and homes participating in the subsidy program. Child care center quality is higher in states with higher reimbursement rates and higher tiered reimbursement rates, even after controlling for other state differences. A $100 increase in the base reimbursement rate is associated with a 30 percent higher likelihood of providers

February 21, 2018
Research Report
 

In 2013, 3.6 million young parents (those ages 18 to 24) lived with their children in the United States. These young adults face particular challenges in gaining the skills, education, and experiences necessary to obtain good, family sustaining-jobs. This brief offers a short review of the literature and then uses 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) examine young parents who live with their children. The data

February 21, 2018
Research Report
 

This report evaluates the New York City-based Arches Transformative Mentoring program, finding that participation in the program reduces one-year felony reconviction by over two-thirds, and reduces two-year felony reconviction by over half, with especially profound impacts for the youngest program participants. The program's evidence-based curriculum is completed over a 6-12-month period and delivered in a group setting by "

February 20, 2018
Research Report
 

In January 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved Kentucky’s Section 1115 demonstration waiver, which allows the state to require some enrollees to participate in work or community engagement activities to retain their Medicaid coverage. We estimate the number of nonelderly adult Medicaid enrollees in Kentucky, statewide and by region, in three groups: likely exempt from the waiver’s work requirements,

February 16, 2018
Brief
 

State charity offices play an important role in regulating the nonprofit sector, working both independently and with state and federal law enforcement agencies. The Urban Institute-Columbia University Survey of State Charities Regulators (Lott et al. 2016) focused at the office level and showed that state charity offices vary in structure, authority, and tools used to facilitate and enforce regulatory compliance. In this brief,

February 16, 2018
Brief
 

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps millions of poor and low-income Americans purchase food, is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program. This analysis estimates SNAP’s effect on poverty using the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). We augment the Census Bureau’s SPM to correct for the underreporting of SNAP and other means-tested benefits in the underlying survey data. We find that SNAP

February 15, 2018
Research Report
 

Many people enroll in graduate and professional degree programs to advance their careers and increase their earnings. On average, advanced degrees are valuable in the labor market, but students pursuing a graduate or professional degree still face considerable uncertainty. This brief explores employment and earnings outcomes among advanced degree recipients. Examining these outcomes across degree, occupational, and demographic

February 15, 2018
Research Report
 

Although the US has made progress preventing and reducing children’s exposure to lead, many children are still at risk. Using the Social Genome Model, a statistical model that links individuals’ circumstances and outcomes from birth to age 40, we find that policies that target children at risk of high blood lead levels and prevent their exposure to lead can improve children’s educational outcomes and reduce their chance of

February 15, 2018
Brief
 

Most children of immigrants are US citizens, and they make up a growing share of the nation’s future workforce. Yet their enrollment in preschool—central to school readiness and success later in life—continues to lag behind that of their peers with US-born parents. Understanding how to reduce barriers to preschool access for immigrant families is key to informing preschool programs and policies in states and

February 15, 2018
Research Report
 

Children of immigrants are a growing share of the nation’s future workforce, yet their enrollment in preschool—central to school readiness and success later in life—continues to lag behind that of their peers with US-born parents. This study explores strategies in four communities with unusually high rates of enrollment among low-income immigrant families and negligible (or nonexistent) gaps in enrollment

February 15, 2018
Brief
 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 doubled the maximum child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000. But about 29 million children under age 17 with at least one working parent will miss out on the full increase because their families earn too little in income or owe too little in taxes. This factsheet explores who benefits from the child tax credit under the changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and how to improve the credit by

February 14, 2018
Highlights
 

One of the measures by which any proposed housing finance system must be judged is how well it would serve low- and moderate-income (LMI) households. In this analysis, we assess how well the multi-guarantor system proposed in the draft bill under discussion in the Senate Banking Committee (as of February 2018) would serve these households, concluding that they would do considerably better than they do under the system we have

February 13, 2018
Brief
 

White Americans are dying at higher rates from drugs, alcohol, and suicides. And the sharpest increases are happening in rural counties, often in regions with long-standing social and economic challenges. The reasons behind these increases are unclear and complex. The opioid epidemic plays a role but is just one part of a larger public health crisis. Life expectancy in the US as a whole has fallen for the second year in a row,

February 12, 2018
Research Report
 

The CCDF Policies Database Book of Tables provides tables containing key Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) policies for each state as of October 1, 2016. The tables are based on information in the CCDF Policies Database, a database tracking child care subsidy policies over time and across the States, D.C., and the Territories. The Book summarizes a subset of the information available in the database, including information

February 9, 2018
Research Report
 

Unemployment insurance (UI) helps workers to smooth their consumption after employment loss, but also diminishes their incentive to quickly find new jobs. While both of these considerations have been extensively studied, little or no attention has been paid to possible implications of UI for worker migration. In principle, UI could either reduce or increase worker interstate mobility. If recipients are sufficiently discouraged

February 8, 2018
Technical Paper
 

In this report, we highlight Colorado's Work and Gain Education and Employment Skills (WAGEES) program, which represents one of the first partnerships between a state department of corrections and local community organizations to support community-driven public safety investment. The report describes the WAGEES program and shares lessons learned for other states interested in exploring a community-based public safety investment

February 7, 2018
Research Report
 

Most people leaving prison have at least one chronic health problem, including substance use, mental illness and medical conditions. This brief describes how 30 men returning from incarceration in Connecticut with identified health care needs decide whether and how to access community-based care. The qualitative study finds that respondents perceive less need for drug and alcohol treatment services than correctional system

February 7, 2018
Brief
 

Unemployment insurance (UI) helps workers smooth their consumption after employment loss, but may also diminish their incentive to quickly find new jobs, thereby lengthening spells of unemployment and raising the aggregate unemployment rate. Less appreciated is the effect that UI has on geographic mobility and the quality of matches formed by workers and firms. UI may reduce match quality by delaying job search and prolonging

February 7, 2018
Brief
 

Sandy Baum, fellow with the Urban Institute’s Education Policy Program, testified before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee on modernizing and reforming the Higher Education Act (HEA) to address college affordability. In her testimony, she notes that college affordability depends on more than tuition, expenses, and aid. The value of the education helps determine its affordability over the long

February 6, 2018
Testimony