Category: Nancy Wagman

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Direct Certification for School Meals: Feeding Students, Counting Kids, Funding Schools

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.

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Race to Equity: The State of Black Massachusetts

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.

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Large gains in health coverage, some growth in incomes, big challenges remain

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.

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Funding for the TANF Program in Massachusetts

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From Poverty to Opportunity: The Challenge of Building a Great Society

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.

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It’s a Family Affair: Leading the Way in Mental Health Screening for Moms and Kids

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.

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TAFDC: Declines in Support for Low-Income Children and Families

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).

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Quality, Cost, and Purpose: Comparisons of Government and Private Sector Payments for Similar Services

We count on government to do many important things–things we can’t do alone–like provide good schools, protect our environment, promote public safety, and offer a safety net for those facing misfortune. In fact, we frequently take these essential functions for granted. Furthermore, we hope and expect that our investments in these shared priorities will be made as efficiently as possible. But are they? Occasional gross misuses of tax dollars often make the news–as they should. We need to hold government to a high standard and demand that waste is attacked and eliminated. But how can we really know whether our government is spending money wisely in general? (Click here to read the report.) And Read the related op-ed in the Boston Globe, “Look at what the state is doing right.”

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