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 communities. To assess state practices, researchers collected award data for the years of 2005 to 2015 from the National Center for Safe Routes to School State Project List, sent web-based surveys to individual state-level respondents (n=28), and conducted follow-up interviews with a sample of state coordinators (n=11). Researchers identified 16 states as “noteworthy” as they reported using a number of practices for equitable distribution of funds, or awarded projects to low-income schools at a rate higher than expected during more than one funding cycle. Awareness and education, provision of funding match, point priority, project administration services, and engineering services were the identified practices most frequently reported by states that were successful in funding low-income communities. This study suggests that multiple practices can help ensure that low-income schools and communities are encouraged to apply for awards, that these applications have a likelihood of success, and that implementation of projects in low-income communities receive project administrative and engineering support and services.
Examining Practices that Promote Access to Safe Routes to School Programs in Vulnerable Communities
Examining Best Practices in Promoting Access to Safe Routes to School Programs in Vulnerable Communities
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 … 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