Policy Matters Blog

Narrowing the achievement gap: education in Ohio in 2017

by Admin on January 18, 2017
Ohio schools slip in national rankings as disparity between rich and poor districts grows (read more)

Freeing families from the childcare trap

by Admin on January 6, 2017
Photo from Bureau of Labor Statistics
Caught between work and childcare, families with kids under 5 more likely to be poor (read more)

Racism in our wallets

by Admin on December 20, 2016
The amazing new Race Anthology: Dispatches and artifacts from a segregated city features a comic strip, poetry, interviews and essays, including this essay by Policy Matters Executive Director Amy Hanauer. Written before the election and published by the City Club and Guide to Kulchur, the book is now more relevant than ever. Get your copy here(read more)

Dear Governor Kasich: fund transit now!

by Admin on December 14, 2016
[A slew of Ohio organizations jointly sent a statement to Governor Kasich on Wednesday, December 14, requesting that the Governor address Ohio’s staggering underfunding of mass transit. This blog excerpts most of what they requested with some minor edits for clarity.] (read more)

Don’t repeal the ACA without replacing it

by Admin on December 12, 2016
Nearly 1 million Ohioans could lose their healthcare if the Affordable Care Act is repealed (read more)

Ohio’s littlest learners make big strides

by Policy Matters Ohio on November 18, 2016
Cleveland expands its program and Cincinnati and Dayton approve preschool for all (read more)

Take A Stand Against Potential Unemployment Compensation Benefit Cuts

by Policy Matters on November 17, 2016
Policy Matters Ohio joins workers in testimony to the Joint Committee on Unemployment Compensation Reform. (read more)

The fictional unemployment “lifestyle”

by Policy Matters Ohio on October 27, 2016
When jobs are widely available, almost everyone goes to work. Many people who lose their jobs, unfortunately, aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits at all. Most of those who are eligible for unemployment nonetheless return to work well before their benefits run out. When people do have to turn to unemployment, their income is usually half or less than half of what they were earning when working. The average benefit in Ohio is about $350 a week, less than the poverty level for a family of three. All of these facts reinforce what should be intuitive – most workers want to stay employed and want to get a new job as quickly as they can. People turn to unemployment compensation when forced to because their employer laid them off; if you are at fault for losing your job because you quit or were fired, you’re not eligible for these benefits.  (read more)

Federal food aid helps Ohio kids thrive

by Policy Matters Ohio on October 24, 2016
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Food aid kept 741,000 Ohio children from being hungry in 2014 – more than a quarter of our babies and toddlers, nearly a third of our elementary school kids and about a fifth of our teens. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – also known as SNAP or food stamps – is one of American’s best anti-poverty programs, particularly because it is so well suited to help children. SNAP helps families put food on the table. Food insecurity — limited access to enough food for an active, healthy life — among children falls by roughly a third after their families receive SNAP benefits for six months. SNAP improves infant health. Mothers provided with SNAP during pregnancy as the program gradually expanded nationwide in the 1960s and early 1970s gave birth to fewer low birth-weight babies. (read more)

Here’s why Ohio should invest in all-day kindergarten

by Policy Matters Ohio on October 18, 2016
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Talk to an educator or policymaker about elementary and secondary education in the United States and before long you’ll hear it referred to as “K-12.” The United States is not alone in maintaining a public education system that runs from kindergarten through grade 12, thus making kindergarten the foundation for the rest of a student’s academic life. However, there seems to be a difference of opinion within the United States about how strong that foundation should be. Nationally, there has been a clear trend toward making the base year of education as strong as possible by offering a full day of kindergarten. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the number of students enrolled in all-day K went from 28 percent in 1977 to 77 percent in 2013. (read more)