This week on Off the Charts, we focused on new Census data on poverty and the safety net, housing, state budgets and taxes, food assistance, health policy, and the economy.
On the new Census data, Danilo Trisi previewed the statistics and, after their release, explained that safety net programs cut the poverty rate nearly in half in 2013. Brynne Keith-Jennings reported that SNAP (formerly food stamps) kept 4.8 million people, including 2.1 million children, out of poverty. Will Fischer noted that rental assistance kept over 3 million people out of poverty. Bryann DaSilva showed that the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit together lifted 9.4 million people out of poverty.
On housing, Barbara Sard described how improvements to federal rental assistance programs could substantially better low-income children’s long-term health and success. She also detailed how housing vouchers fall short of their potential to expand children’s access to good schools in safe neighborhoods. Douglas Rice explained that helping families move to better neighborhoods is one way to help children do better in school.
On state budgets and taxes, Michael Leachman highlighted our updated analysis showing that most states continue to spend less per K-12 student than before the recession. He also pointed out that lasting cuts endanger critical education reforms.
On food assistance, Becca Segal underscored that schools adopting community eligibility, which allows high-poverty schools to feed all students breakfast and lunch at no charge, can continue to get needed income data even without school meal applications.
On health policy, Jesse Cross-Call explained why Indiana should revise its Medicaid expansion waiver proposal.
Onthe economy, Chad Stone excerpted his latest post for U.S. News’ Economic Intelligence blog on why the projected quickening of wage growth over the next few years won’t trigger an upward spiral of wages and prices.