The purpose of this project is to determine which state Safe Routes to School (SRTS) equity funding best practice processes and procedures best facilitate applications and awards in vulnerable communities. Researchers will document SRTS equity funding best practices used in each state and use national data on awards to schools between 2006 and 2015 to estimate the impact of best practices on state-specific award rates over time, according to school-level student socio-economic status. They will use an online survey to collect data on the practices and policies and date(s) implemented in each state, based on 10 currently identified best practice recommendations. Relevant documents will also be collected and coded to create an index of best practices for equitable funding in each state (Equity Funding Index). The research team will use a repeated-measure, natural-experiment design to test whether changes in states adopting more or a greater variety of Equity Funding Index best practices over time are related to changes in the annual award rate among high-poverty schools and the relative rates of funding of high-poverty schools compared to low-poverty schools. A policy brief will present key findings to inform the development of state SRTS guidelines for best practices to promote equity.
Examining Best Practices in Promoting Access to Safe Routes to School Programs in Vulnerable Communities
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs in multiple states have adopted several approaches to reduce barriers faced by schools in low-income communities in applying for and implementing a SRTS award. This study aimed to determine which of these practices for equitable funding were successful in promoting SRTS implementation within vulnerable … More
Improving Access to Free School Meals: Addressing Intersections Between Universal Free School Meal Approaches and Educational Funding
Free and reduced price meal application data are used to allocate billions of dollars annually in education funding. However, schools serving universal free meals under the Community Eligibility Provision meal service option or USDA’s COVID-19 waivers do not typically collect school meal applications. The loss of this data has caused … More
Schools play a vital role in promoting children’s health and well-being. In the United States, schools contribute significantly to children’s overall diet quality and can provide up to half of their daily calories, especially among children from low-income families. Providing healthy school meals for all is a policy opportunity to … More