PRRAC Update  

September 13, 2012   




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.  



Important new MTO analysis from the Urban Institute:  Many advocates and practitioners were puzzled by last year's findings from the "Moving to Opportunity" experiment that found significant health and mental health benefits for low income families moving to low poverty neighborhoods, but not higher employment or educational attainment as a group.  One popular explanation for the reported education outcomes was that many children were either not changing schools, or moving to a school in the same school district.  This week, new research from the Urban Institute suggests that the length of residence in a higher opportunity neighborhood may also be an important factor in long term outcomes.  In fact, according to the Urban Institute, "MTO families that lived for longer periods in neighborhoods with lower poverty did achieve better outcomes in work and school, as well as in health."  Read the report here, and an Urban Institute summary here.


Learning from Voucher Families:  In other housing mobility related news, we have just posted an interesting powerpoint, "Learning from Voucher Families: Close Ups of the Search and Relocation Process in Mobile & Baltimore," recently presented by Professor Stefanie DeLuca at HUD (and based on a forthcoming academic article).


Does School Diversity Appear in the Party Platforms?  The answer may not surprise you. Read more.



Other news and resources


Unequal Education: Lower Spending on Students of Color:  The Center for American Progress recently released a report based on data collected by the U.S. Department of Education, which for the first time collected information regarding school-level expenditures including real teacher salaries.  The report, "Unequal Education: Federal Loophole Enables Lower Spending on Students of Color" explores Title I's "comparability loophole", and bucks conventional wisdom in finding that approximately 40% of variation in per pupil spending occurs within districts.  The report concludes that students of color are being shortchanged across the country when compared to their white peers. 


More innovative work from King County:  The first annual report of the King County "Equity and Social Justice" initiative, released last month, highlights 14 determinants of equity and baseline markers to assess progress and areas for improvement in racial equity and social inclusion. The report includes maps and other statistics that reveal inequities across King County by place, race and income, and the factors that contribute to opportunity and quality of life. To see the report, go to


A Municipal Guidebook to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing:  A valuable new resource from the Chicago-area Oak Park Regional Housing Center --"Building Community, Building Opportunity."




Philip Tegeler

Poverty & Race Research Action Council

Washington, DC