State flagship universities are typically prestigious, well funded and academically rigorous. Although they are positioned to promote economic and social mobility, a combination of rising tuition, lack of state investment and poor financial aid programs keep many low income students from attending. Konrad Mugglestone, Kim Dancy and Mamie Voight of the Institute of Higher Education Policy have more:
Opportunity Lost: Net Price and Equity at Public Flagship Institutions draws on data from each university’s net price calculator to assess their affordability for five prototypical college students from different socioeconomic backgrounds. While state flagships promise a high-quality, affordable path to a college degree for state residents, this analysis finds that these institutions are too expensive for most aspiring and enrolled low-income college students.
What to expect from Census data
The U.S. Census Bureau will release official state and national-level data on poverty, income and health insurance coverage next week. Arloc Sherman and Matt Broaddus of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities expect to see a decline in the federal poverty rate and a rise in median incomes thanks to the ongoing economic expansion, but also an increase in the number of people without health insurance.
A reversal of progress on health coverage in 2018 would likely reflect, at least in part, the growing impact of ongoing Trump Administration efforts to weaken health coverage under the ACA. Among these efforts, the President and Congress repealed the ACA’s individual mandate (the requirement that most people have coverage or pay a penalty).
A fair wage for city workers
Local government workers maintain the roads that Louisiana’s city-dwellers use to drive their kids to school and to get themselves to work, and the pipes that bring fresh, clean water to their homes and businesses. But, these workers too often struggle to make ends meet. New Orleans City Employee Toinette Johnson, writing in The Lens, says city workers deserve at least $15 an hour:
I drive trucks to lay asphalt. I like my job, but breathing the chemicals is bad for my health. I worry about what would happen to my kids if I couldn’t work anymore. In the years since Hurricane Katrina, the cost of living in New Orleans has risen steadily. I’m struggling to pay rent and keep the water and lights on. I don’t always have enough to afford groceries, but I make too much to qualify for food stamps. No matter how hard we work, we struggle to make ends meet. City workers need to make $15 an hour, period.
Employment after prison
Meko Lincoln spent 16 years behind bars in Providence, R.I. But now that Lincoln is free and looking for work, his record keeps him from jobs that require an occupational license, including the very jobs he trained for in a re-entry program. The Washington Post’s Tracy Jan reports on how counterproductive policies limit work options for hard-working people who have faced incarceration, extending punishment after prison:
Licensing restrictions are among the many obstacles to establishing a stable economic footing after prison. Incarceration carries a stigma, and many employers are leery of hiring people who have spent time in prison. But states with the strictest licensing barriers tend to have higher rates of recidivism, according to research by Stephen Slivinski, an economist at the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty at Arizona State University. “In many states, a criminal record is a stain that you can’t wash off,” Slivinski said. “There is no amount of studying that can take away this mark in your past if a licensing board wants to use it against you.”
Number of the Day
14.3% – The percentage of American families with children under 6 who lack consistent access to enough food for an active and healthy life, due to their economic circumstances. (Source: USDA-Economic Research Service)