In the past week, reports have been released of importance to Grant Advisors subscribers on various hot topics, including K-12 education, poverty and healthcare.
Research offers fixes for skyrocketing nonteaching expenses: The Hidden Half: School Employees Who Don’t Teach, a new Fordham U. report, examines the increase in nonteaching staff expenses in public schools since 1950. The report recommends school districts should have flexibility in determining staff composition and should consider reorganizing existing staff personnel, rather than adding new staff to take on additional duties.
Agencies receive guidance on improving outcomes: Transforming Performance Measurement for the 21st Century, offered by the Urban Institute, offers ways government agencies can use performance measurement to improve outcomes. Researchers recommend the types of data to collect, how to analyze performance information, and how to use performance information to ensure more effective services.
Care management programs need to utilize health IT, in-home care: Caring for High-Need, High-Cost Patients: What Makes for a Successful Care Management Program?, a new Commonwealth Fund report, details key components of care management programs for patients with heavy health care needs and high associated costs. Care management programs are interventions that work to support patients’ ability to follow treatment guidelines, function in society and manage underlying conditions. Researchers recommend in-home care and use of health information technology to improve these kinds of programs.
States increasing minimum wage: The Nat’l Conference of State Legislatures offers a resource, State Minimum Wages-2014 Minimum Wage by State, providing complete details on state minimum wages. NCSL finds 38 states introduced minimum wage bills during the 2014 state legislative session. Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Washington, DC, enacted increases during their 2014 sessions. As of Aug. 1, 23 states and DC have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage.
Obesity statistics are alarming: The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America, a new report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, finds obesity rates remain high, especially in certain geographic regions, minorities and low-income families. Researchers find 68.5% of American adults are considered overweight or obese, while 34.9% are obese. Adult obesity rates are highest in Mississippi and West Virginia.
States fall short on school disaster preparedness: The 2014 Disaster Report Card, a new Save the Children report, finds 21 states and Washington, DC, do not meet emergency planning requirements for schools and childcare providers. Researchers find that only 29 states meet minimum standards recommended by the Nat’l Commission on Children in Disasters, which was established after Hurricane Katrina.
Video highlights state efforts: The Nat’l Conference of State Legislatures offers a video, Prescription Drug Overdose: An American Epidemic (), which explores policy options to prevent drug overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HHS), 113 people die every day as a result of a drug overdose. State legislatures have played an active role in helping to curb this epidemic, and the video offers details on how this has occurred.