PRRAC Update  

October 27, 2011  




Welcome to the PRRAC Update!  Every other Thursday, PRRAC sends out a brief digest of news, recent publications, and other points of interest related to our work in housing, education, and health. We welcome feedback and encourage you to forward to others. To join the PRRAC email list, click here.



PRRAC joins diverse coalition of groups in opposing ESEA Bill


Last week, PRRAC joined several organizations, representing a wide range of policy positions and constituents, to oppose the new bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), does include some benefits for students, including a greater focus on improving high schools, the use of magnets as a turnaround strategy, and funding equity within districts. But the current bill frees states from setting any measurable achievement or progress targets or even graduation rate goals for schools. While certain federal interventions are required for a small number of low-performing schools in each state, schools that aren't among the states' very worst performing won't be required to do anything specific under federal law to improve academic achievement, decrease achievement gaps, or increase graduation rates. Furthermore, the bill does little to hold schools and districts accountable for other important factors such as racial and socio-economic isolation and disproportionate discipline rates.  Despite opposition from groups as varied as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and ACLU, the bill passed the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee last week.


Finding Common Ground:  Coordinating Housing and Education Policy to Promote Integration 


A new report from PRRAC and the National Coalition on School Diversity reviews research on the relationship between government housing programs and school segregation, and calls for stronger coordination between HUD and the US Department of Education to promote racial and economically diverse public schools.  Contributors include Roslyn Arlin Mickelson, Ingrid Gould Ellen, Keren Horn, Heather Schwartz, David Rusk, Robert C. Embry Jr., Stefanie DeLuca, Peter Rosenblatt, Elizabeth DeBray, Erica Frankenberg, Deborah McKoy, Jeffrey Vincent, Philip Tegeler, and Susan Eaton.


Expanding the Safe and Healthy Homes Partnership 


Drawing from insights in our 2010 policy brief, "Prescription for a New Neighborhood," we recently submitted comments urging HUD to expand the scope of a proposed program for targeting HUD investments to communities that have made progress in reducing health impacts on low income households. 



Other News and resources


Suburbanization of Housing Choice Voucher RecipientsThis new study from Brookings  helps to explain the participation of Section 8 voucher recipients in the increasing economic diversity of American suburbs, particularly already diverse, inner-ring suburbs. It also tracks the continued exclusion of African American voucher holders from higher opportunity suburbs, and recommends policies that would "facilitate the use of housing vouchers in higher-income suburban neighborhoods," including Source of Income discrimination legislation, which would "go a long way toward increasing the geography of opportunity for voucher residents."


Canadian study on cost savings of poverty prevention: A new study from the National Council of Welfare "The Dollars and Sense of Solving Poverty" itemizes the public cost of poverty in emergency health care, prisons, shelters and other social services, and concludes that an "investment approach" to reducing poverty could save $25 billion a year.   The Canadian report echoes a 2007 report from the Center for American Progress by Harry Holzer et al, "The Economic Costs of Poverty in the United States".


American and Pacific Islanders Health Forum: November 17-18, Washington DC - see conference agenda.


To Federal Employees: Please Support PRRAC in the Combined Federal Campaign:   PRRAC participates in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) for the National Capitol Area, which allows federal employees to donate to nonprofit organizations through automatic payroll contributions.  If you support our work, please designate PRRAC, identification number 11710 in your donation to the CFC this year. Thanks!




Philip Tegeler

Saba Bireda

Poverty & Race Research Action Council

Washington, DC  



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