The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has recognized that recent improvements to school meals programs can unintentionally reduce funding for low-income school districts as the result of less accurate headcounts of low-income students. The Department has already made significant improvements to its data systems and is developing further recommendations at the direction of the Legislature. Based on MassBudget’s ongoing research on direct certification and its impact on Chapter 70 funding, MassBudget has developed six recommendations to improve the Commonwealth’s low-income student count.
Children in Massachusetts are better off as a whole than children nationally. And thanks to more than a decade’s worth of health reform in Massachusetts, children here are far more likely to have health insurance than children almost anywhere else in the U.S. Even so, close to one in seven children in Massachusetts lives in poverty, and is at risk for a wide variety of lifelong challenges.
Massachusetts is the national leader in providing health insurance coverage to its residents, thanks to health reform measures adopted a decade ago. The state’s health insurance coverage rate in 2015 was 97 percent, up about half a point from 2014. The gap between Massachusetts’ “nearly-universal” health care coverage and fully “universal” health care coverage gets smaller every year.
This brief describes a number of solutions that would improve the effectiveness of the direct certification system and its ability to accurately identify low-income students.
This report examines progress and obstacles on the path to creating a Commonwealth where all people of every race and background have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
New Census data released this week shows that ACA implementation led to the largest single-year increase in health insurance coverage nationwide in 2014. Also, incomes in Massachusetts increased and child poverty declined for the first time since 2008. But we have a long way to go. Incomes are barely growing across the country and more than one in five children nationally (and more than one in seven in Massachusetts) lived in poverty in 2014.
This report traces economic and policy changes since the launch of the Great Society, and how these changes have affected the lives of children and adults at all income levels in Massachusetts.
Over the past several years, Massachusetts has expanded its efforts to improve the emotional well-being of our youngest children. Massachusetts is way ahead of other states in developmental screenings for young low-income children, according to a newly-released report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
To help improve the lives of poor children and their families, Massachusetts provides direct cash assistance through a program known as TAFDC. Over time, the value of this cash assistance has fallen significantly. For every dollar that an eligible family received in 1998, they receive just 58 cents today (adjusted for inflation).