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Stagnant funding prevents Louisiana from fully investing in teachers and students

Louisiana public schools have lost out on billions of dollars over the past decade since state policymakers stopped providing annual cost-of-living increases to local school districts. That has made it harder for districts to keep up with rising costs, and widened the funding gap between rich school districts and poor ones.

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Medicaid expansion not diverting resources from traditional Medicaid

Medicaid expansion in Louisiana has been a major success story. Since eligibility for the health insurance program was expanded in July 2016, more than 480,000 low-income adults have gained access to critical health services.

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Poverty data should be wake-up call for Louisiana

While the national economy continues to gain momentum, far too many families in Louisiana continue to be left behind. Data released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau show that poverty and economic inequality remain stubbornly high across the state.

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The Daily Dime

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) helps more than 900,000 Louisianans keep food on the table and frees up resources for families to meet other basic needs, such as paying the rent and keeping the lights on. But that’s not all the program offers: SNAP Employment and Training funds support programs that help SNAP recipients connect with work.

Number of the Day

8,462 - Number of Arkansans who lost health coverage due to the state’s new work reporting requirements, as of October. While these requirements have kicked thousands off the healthcare rolls, they have connected fewer than 1 percent of those individuals with new work activities. (Source: Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families)

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Our Two Cents Blog

Louisiana’s history of institutionalized racism has created barriers to economic prosperity for many people of color in the state. Black households in Louisiana are poorer, on average, than white households. And because of that, they also pay a higher percentage of their income in state and local taxes than white households.

Earlier this month, the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) released the 6th edition of its “Who Pays” report that breaks down the effective tax rates paid by each income quintile. According to ITEP, Louisiana has the 14th most regressive tax code in the country. A Louisiana household in the bottom-fifth of income earners, with an annual income of $17,100 or less, pays nearly 12 percent of that income in state and local taxes. A household earning in the top 20 percent, with an annual income of $91,500 or more, pays less than 8 percent of their income in state and local taxes. This regressivity means that low-income Louisianans are contributing more than their fair share to their local and state governments, while residents in higher income brackets are catching a break. Read more

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