Kids’ Share 2018: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children through 2017 and Future Projections

Kids’ Share 2018: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children through 2017 and Future Projections. Urban Institute. Julia B. Isaacs et al. July 18, 2018

 Public spending on children aims to support their healthy development, helping them fulfill their human potential. As such, federal spending on children is an investment in the nation’s future. To inform policymakers, children’s advocates, and the general public about how public funds are spent on children, this 12th edition of the annual Kids’ Share report provides an updated analysis of federal expenditures on children from 1960 to 2017. It also projects federal expenditures on children through 2028 to give a sense of how budget priorities may unfold absent changes to current law.  [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 68 pages].

Resources Required to Meet the U.S. Army’s Enlisted Recruiting Requirements under Alternative Recruiting Goals, Conditions, and Eligibility Policies

Resources Required to Meet the U.S. Army’s Enlisted Recruiting Requirements under Alternative Recruiting Goals, Conditions, and Eligibility Policies. RAND Corporation. David Knapp et al. July 12, 2018

 The purpose of this research is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the Army’s use of recruiting resources and policies. A theoretical model was estimated based on the Army’s recruiting experience. Using this model, a tool was created for the Army’s use in assessing alternative courses of action and optimizing resource levels and mix under alternative enlisted accession goals, labor market conditions, and recruit eligibility policies. Understanding how recruiting resources and recruit eligibility policies work together as a system under varying recruiting requirements and environments is critical for decision makers who want to use their limited resources to efficiently and effectively achieve the Army’s accession requirements. The recruiting resource model developed in this report considers the relationship among the monthly level and mix of recruiting resources, recruit eligibility policies, accumulated contracts, and training seat targets. It models how these factors combine to produce monthly accessions and the number of enlistment contracts at the fiscal year’s end that are scheduled to access in the following fiscal year. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 148 pages].

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education: An Overview

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education: An Overview.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Boris Granovskiy.  June 12, 2018

 The term STEM education refers to teaching and learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It typically includes educational activities across all grade levels— from pre-school to post-doctorate—in both formal (e.g., classrooms) and informal (e.g., afterschool programs) settings. Federal policymakers have an active and enduring interest in STEM education, and the topic is frequently raised in federal science, education, workforce, national security, and immigration policy debates. 

 [PDF format, 33 pages].

The Global Innovation Sweepstakes: A Quest to Win the Future

The Global Innovation Sweepstakes: A Quest to Win the Future. Atlantic Council. Robert A. Manning and Peter Engelke. June 26, 2018

 The Global Innovation Sweepstakes: A Quest to Win the Future examines how emerging technologies will remake the global order and explores strategies for how the United States can retain its innovative edge. Tech-based innovation—in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, green energy, and biotechnology—will reshape the future of human civilization. Those nations that can create and adapt to cutting-edge technologies will realize enormous economic and geostrategic benefits in the decades to come. It is with this realization that the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, in partnership with Qualcomm, embarked on a global tour of technology hubs to find out which ones are at the cutting edges of innovation and which are at risk of falling behind. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 108 pages].

Evaluating Tax Expenditures: Introducing Oversight into Spending through the Tax Code

Evaluating Tax Expenditures: Introducing Oversight into Spending through the Tax Code. Urban Institute. Benjamin H. Harris, C. Eugene Steuerle, Caleb Quakenbush. July 10, 2018

 Increased demand for better use of evidence in policymaking has sparked bipartisan support for better evaluation of federal spending programs. Tax expenditures, spending-like subsidies embedded in the tax code, cost taxpayers roughly as much as domestic discretionary programs, yet receive little-to-no scrutiny from government evaluators. Many large tax expenditures have existed for decades with limited reform, despite independent research often finding them to be inefficient at achieving their purported goals. After a brief overview of tax expenditures, we review the evaluative tools and offices government has at its disposal and suggest options lawmakers could use to conduct regular evaluation of tax subsidies in pursuit of leaner, more effective government. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 20 pages].

Resources for Grantseekers

Resources for Grantseekers. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Maria Kreiser, Julie Jennings.  June 13, 2018.

This report describes key sources of information on government and private funding, and outlines eligibility for federal grants. Federal grants are intended for projects benefiting states and communities. Individuals may be eligible for other kinds of benefits or assistance, or small businesses and students may be eligible for loans. Free information is readily available to grantseekers, who generally know best the details of their projects. The Assistance Listings database at beta.SAM.gov describes more than 2,200 federal programs, more than half of them grants, and can be searched by keyword, department or agency, program title, beneficiary, and applicant eligibility. Federal department and agency websites provide additional information and guidance, and they provide state agency contacts. Once a program has been identified, eligible grantseekers may apply electronically for grants at the website Grants.gov through a uniform process for all agencies. Through Grants.gov, grantseekers may identify when federal funding notices and deadlines for a program become available, sign up for email notification of funding opportunities, and track the progress of submitted applications.

 [PDF format, 10 pages].

Raising the Bar: Louisiana’s Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes

Raising the Bar: Louisiana’s Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes. RAND Corporation.  Julia H. Kaufman et al. June 28, 2018.

 Louisiana has received recent attention for some of its new education policies and promising early results. In this report, RAND researchers provide an in-depth description of Louisiana’s approach to improving student outcomes since 2012. The authors examine how the state has used various policy levers — including mandates, resource alignment, incentives, and communication and planning processes — to pursue reform strategies in four areas: early childhood education, K–12 academics, K–12 teacher preparation, and graduation pathways.

This report sets the stage for more in-depth analyses of Louisiana’s policy implementation, challenges, and student outcomes that might be linked to its reform efforts. Reports detailing these analyses will also provide recommendations on how Louisiana’s and similar efforts might be improved. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 140 pages].

The Net Neutrality Debate: Access to Broadband Networks

The Net Neutrality Debate: Access to Broadband Networks. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Angele A. Gilroy.  June 22, 2018

 As congressional policymakers continue to debate telecommunications reform, a major discussion point revolves around what approach should be taken to ensure unfettered access to the internet. The move to place restrictions on the owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the internet, to ensure equal access and nondiscriminatory treatment, is referred to as “net neutrality.” There is no single accepted definition of “net neutrality,” but most agree that any such definition should include the general principles that owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the internet should not control how consumers lawfully use that network, and they should not be able to discriminate against content provider access to that network.

 [PDF format, 29 pages].

Blending Climate Funds to Finance Low-Carbon, Climate-Resilient Infrastructure

Blending Climate Funds to Finance Low-Carbon, Climate-Resilient Infrastructure. Brookings Institution. Joshua P. Meltzer.  June 20, 2018

 The world’s core infrastructure—including our transport and energy systems, buildings, industry, and land-related activities—produce more than 60 percent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally.

By 2030 the world will need to build approximately $85 trillion in low-carbon climate-resilient (LCR) infrastructure in order to meet the Paris climate change agreement’s goal of keeping the global average temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius by 2050. Meeting this infrastructure investment need will require doubling today’s global capital stock. This paper defines LCR infrastructure as including renewable energy, more compact cities, and suitable mass transit as well as energy efficiency measures. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 53 pages].

Small Business Administration: A Primer on Programs and Funding

Small Business Administration: A Primer on Programs and Funding.  Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Robert Jay Dilger, Sean Lowry.  June 27, 2018.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers several types of programs to support small businesses, including loan guaranty and venture capital programs to enhance small business access to capital; contracting programs to increase small business opportunities in federal contracting; direct loan programs for businesses, homeowners, and renters to assist their recovery from natural disasters; and small business management and technical assistance training programs to assist business formation and expansion.

 [PDF format, 39 pages].