On January 20, 2018, Gary Parker, Associate Dean of External Affairs and Director of the Clark-Fox Policy Institute at the Brown School, moderated a panel discussion hosted by the Community Service Public Relations Council (CSPRC) titled Aligning Our Work with Action: Communicating During Times of Unrest and Uncertainty.
Parker led the group through a conversation addressing racial disparities in the region, how nonprofits and other organizations can address these issues and connect with their audiences, and how communications professionals might rethink their roles in light of today’s social justice challenges. Parker also advised that, “Discussions on racism should not be solely driven by our colleagues and friends of color. As white people, it is incumbent upon us to use our privilege to advance social justice and racial equity.”
At a time when some states say they will soon run out of funding for a popular children’s insurance program, Missouri says its funding is expected to last until June. However, a separate report by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families said Missouri and 20 other states were at risk of a funding shortfall in February. That means nearly 1.7 million American children are at risk of losing coverage in February, according to the report, including about 90,000 in Missouri who rely on CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
According to the state’s current timeline, it would need to start warning families about the potential end to the program in April through a formal letter, according to Tim McBride, a health economist with Washington University and chairman of a committee that oversees the Medicaid program.
Members of Missouri Medicaid panel see more cuts coming
December 13, 2017
The Missouri Medicaid Oversight Committee is facing the tall order of trying to keep ever increasing costs under control in a state with limited resources. Committee Chairman and Washington University Health Economist Timothy McBride noted state revenue gains this year of $300 million are equal to Medicaid cost increases. He told Missourinet that a cut to the federal healthcare program is most likely coming. “Healthcare costs are just going up at a faster rate than the economy is,” said McBride. “And our enrollment is growing, and our aged population is growing. These are just dynamics that our state is going to have to deal with.” Members from the Center for Health Economics and Policy presented data on the issue and discussed lessons learned following the Transforming Healthcare in Missouri event in November sponsored by CHEP and the Clark-Fox Policy Institute.
The misunderstood social safety net
December 4, 2017
Few topics are more misunderstood than the U.S. social safety net. From Ronald Reagan’s “welfare queen” to current HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s caricature of a comfortable life in public housing, the safety net and those who use it have been routinely vilified. Research conducted by Mark R. Rank, professor of social welfare at the Brown School, revealed that childhood poverty costs the U.S. approximately $1 trillion a year, or 5.4 percent of its GDP. Additionally, his researched showed that for ever dollar spent on reducing poverty, the country would save at least $7 with respect to the economic costs of poverty. Professor Rank’s research on poverty and the social safety net can be found at confrontingpoverty.org.
State Rep. Cora Faith Walker, D-Ferguson, has filed legislation that would require the Missouri Legislature to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, if the federal government fails to budget money towards the program. Congress has not reapproved CHIP funding, which provides health coverage for nearly 90,000 Missouri kids. The Show-Me State could reportedly lose such funding during the first quarter of next year if action is not taken at the federal level.
“While Congress continues to delay reauthorizing CHIP funding, health coverage for nearly 90,000 kids in Missouri is at risk as states have waited more than 60 days for Congress to act,” says Walker. “Through the advancement of House Bill 1334, we as a body have an opportunity to protect health care for kids from working families and assist them in maintaining a decent quality of life. The time of waiting is over.”
The Clark-Fox Policy Institute (CFPI) at the Brown School and the Human Trafficking Collaborative Network (HTCN), a multidisciplinary group housed in the university’s Institute for Public Health, brought to Capitol Hill a delegation of Missouri researchers, advocates, law enforcement representatives, service providers and survivors to bring attention to the dehumanizing industry of trafficking in persons.
“With this panel of dedicated experts and our bipartisan legislative partners, we will continue to inform and educate policymakers about the supports needed to aid human trafficking survivors as they rebuild their lives,” said Gary Parker, CFPI director. Parker served as co-moderator for the panel with Rumi Kato Price, HTCN founder and professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Washington People: Sheretta Butler-Barnes
October 25, 2017
Sheretta Butler Barnes, assistant professor in the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, focuses her research on structural racism and inequalities in education. In this video, she talks about her motivation and her work, including a program to encourage girls of color in STEM subjects.
An estimated 9 million children are now covered by the CHIP program across the U.S. In Missouri, more 624,000 children are covered by a combination of CHIP and Medicaid, though most children are covered by Medicaid. “CHIP has led to a substantial reduction in the uninsured rate for children, to the point where children now have only a 5 percent uninsured rate — the lowest ever,” said Tim McBride, professor at the Brown School and director of the Center for Health Economics and Policy. He also serves as chair of the oversight committee for Missouri’s Medicaid program called MOHealthNET.
Disparities in educational experiences of black youth
September 20, 2017
A more comprehensive picture of mental health that includes subjective well-being and other positive mental health characteristics could lead to more successful educational experiences among black youth, finds a recent study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. “We demonstrated the need to use a dual-factor model of mental health among adolescents generally, and black adolescents specifically,” said Sean Joe, the Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development and co-author of the study, “Mental Health and Educational Experiences Among Black Youth: A Latent Class Analysis,” published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
Sheretta Butler-Barnes: Equity in Education
September 12, 2017
In summer 2017, Assistant Professor Sheretta Butler-Barnes continued her work with the Girls Inc. Eureka! Program, which exposes high school girls of color to an intensive STEM-based curriculum. Her research addresses structural racism and inequalities in education and youth development.
Last week, Rep. Kathy Swan (R-147, Cape Girardeau) wrote an OpEd urging Congress to reauthorize and fund the Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV). You can read Rep. Swan’s OpEd here. Additionally, Dana Carroll, Springfield’s Child Advocate, had a letter to the editor published asking congress to act before CHIP funding expires on September 30. You can read her letter urging congress for CHIP reauthorization here.
School health clinics are growing in number in St. Louis region
August 23, 2017
Research has shown that poor health is a barrier to student learning, is associated with lower grades and is a common reason why students miss school or drop out. School-based health clinics such as Normandy’s are one of a number of ways educators are seeking to address not just their students’ educational needs, but needs of the whole self, such as health and emotional well-being.“The more health you have, the more ability you to have to learn,” said Jason Purnell, a Washington University associate professor and director of For the Sake of All.
Three questions on economic insecurity with Mark Rank
August 21, 2017
Rank and Hirschl are the authors of Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes Our Fortunes, which uses the Panel Study of Income Dynamics — the longest-running longitudinal household survey in the world — to paint a picture of income inequality in the United States. Using the same data, the two created a poverty risk calculator that uses five factors — race, education level, gender, marital status and age — to tell you your risk of falling into poverty in the next five, 10 or 15 years.Mark Rank’s poverty calculator was featured in the Clark-Fox Policy Institute’s policy brief on the Missouri Earned Income Tax Credit.
Senate plan is biggest cut yet to health-care safety net
June 26, 2017
Timothy McBride, professor at the Brown School and co-director of the Center for Health Economics and Policy, expects that the bill will lead to over 24 million people being uninsured and very large, perhaps devastating, cuts to the Medicaid program, which currently covers about 75 million children, disabled, aged and other adults.
Low-income people who gain health insurance are much more likely to make their rent and mortgage payments, according to a new Washington University study of families living near the poverty line. Lead researcher Emily Gallagher, with the Center for Social Development (CSD), says “the spin-off benefits to the community may offset a substantial share of the cost of the subsidy program. Not only do the banks and landlords benefit, but the entire community gains through lower rates of homelessness and abandoned property.” The study is one of the first to show the effect of the Affordable Care Act on family finances and the first to show the financial impact of the Marketplace component of the program.
June 13, 2017
City residents were invited to voice their opinions on how the city should support housing and economic development at the second public hearing before the HUDZ committee of the Board of Aldermen, chaired by Alderman Joe Roddy (17th). Brown School MSW ’17 Alum, Jessica Payne, along with Molly Metzger, PhD and chairperson of the Brown School’s social and economic development concentration, cautioned Aldermen and the St. Louis Development Corporation against overuse of Tax Abatements and TIFs with a racial equity lens.
St. Louis is on track to underfund the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund for the sixth straight year, despite a $5 million minimum annual allocation voters passed in 2002. This comes about a month after voters approved a half-cent sales tax increase for public transit and affordable housing. Washington University assistant professor Molly Metzger, chairperson of the Brown School’s social and economic development concentration, said funding for housing had implications for the city’s biggest priority, public safety, as well as student success rates in public schools.
Uninsured women with breast cancer were nearly 2.6 times more likely to have a late stage diagnosis than cancer patients who were insured, finds a new study from Kimberly Johnson, associate professor at the Brown School. The study, “Breast Cancer Stage Variation and Survival in Association with Insurance Status and Sociodemographic Factors in US Women 18 to 64 Years Old,” was published in the April issue of the journal Cancer.
“As the era of mass incarceration appears to be coming to an end, promoting smart decaraceration in the United States requires deliberate action,” said Pettus-Davis, assistant professor and director of the Institute for Advancing Justice Research and Innovation. Pettus-Davis is co-author of “Guideposts for the Era of Smart Decarceration: Smart Decarceration Strategies for Practitioners, Advocates, Reformers, and Researchers,” along with Matthew Epperson of the University of Chicago and Annie Grier, project manager at the Brown School’s Center for Social Development.
For the first time since 2005, the school foundation formula will be fully funded. This will allow state funding to be allocated to previous legislation such as the PreK law of 2014. This legislation provides that schools can receive state funding for up to four percent of their at-risk three and four year olds enrolled in early childhood programs.
Clark-Fox Policy Institute launches
April 23, 2017
The Clark-Fox Policy Institute at the Brown School officially opened with a launch event April 19 in Hillman Hall. The launch event, “Amplifying Impact: Launching a Platform for Connecting Evidence to Policy,” was held in the Clark-Fox Forum. In addition to the launch event, the institute has released its first policy brief, “Credit Where It’s Due: Establishing an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for Missouri’s Working Families in Need.”
The Earned Income Tax Credit and the white working class
April 18, 2017
In a recent blog post, the Brookings Institution outlines the broad-reaching benefits of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), particularly how it crosses race and education lines, as well as rural and urban boundaries. Since it’s creation in 1975, the EITC has gained bi-partisan support and has shown to reduce poverty, encourage work, and provide long-lasting positive effects for low- and moderate-income families and children.
Students Engage in Policy Practice on Capitol Hill
March 29, 2017
March 21, 2017
Debate over funding of a new soccer stadium in St. Louis continues with a discussion about the need for affordable housing. “The Affordable Housing Trust Fund is a tool the city has to improve neighborhoods, households and the families that reside in them,” Karl Guenther said. Advocates who oppose Proposition 1 (a 0.05% use tax increase) argue that if passed, the excess funds should go towards housing, not a stadium. Assistant professor, Molly Metzger provides valuable insight in this article.
A trio of St. Louis political and business leaders talked about economic and racial issues surrounding the April 4 St. Louis mayoral election, the first in 16 years not to feature current Mayor Francis Slay. The panel was co-hosted by the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement and the Clark-Fox Policy Institute at the Brown School Friday.
Click here to view a recording of the panel discussion.
St. Louis Mayoral Forum 2017
February 22, 2017
The City of St. Louis is preparing to elect a new mayor for the first time in 16 years. The Clark-Fox Policy Institute co-sponsored a mayoral forum that allowed concerned voters to hear directly from the candidates on issues facing the City. Held at The Sheldon before a standing room only crowd, the forum focused on youth well-being and opportunity, neighborhood improvement, racial equity, and leadership and management styles. A conglomerate of community organizations, including For the Sake of All, organized the forum using the Forward Through Ferguson report as a guide for the discussion. Click this link to watch a recording of the forum.
Brown School statement on immigration executive order
January 30, 2017
Brown School Dean Mary McKay issues statement on the impact of the immigration executive order and reiterates the School’s commitment for advancing equity and social change.
A new study, “Home Delinquency Rates Are Lower Among ACA Marketplace Households: Evidence from a Natural Experiment,” published through the Brown School’s Center for Social Development, shows that families who get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are more likely to make their rent and mortgage payments than are those who remain uninsured.