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Voices Speaking

February 5, 2018

Press Conference: Using Data to Promote Health Equity in Connecticut

Connecticut Voices for Children and Health Equity Solutions hosted a joint press conference February 5, 2018, to present our new report "Data to Promote Health Equity for Children and Families in Connecticut" and a legislative proposal to address the current data gaps. 

Although Connecticut achieves high ratings on many healthcare indicators, wide disparities by race and ethnicity dominate the state´s health care system, with White residents having better access to care and health outcomes compared to people of color. In our report, we analyze how closing these disparities has proven difficult in part because state agencies lack consistent, reliable data to identify community needs and evaluate innovations, with serious consequences both for the impacted communities and the state as a whole.The report finds that despite widespread agreement on the importance of addressing racial and ethnic disparities in Connecticut, little actionable data on racial/ethnic health disparities is available, as data is dispersed among several agencies.

In this press conference, Health Equity Solutions presented legislation to fill these gaps. They proposed establishing a set of shared reporting guidelines for state agencies, as well as shared practices to improve data collection. You can watch the video of the press conference below:

Issue Area:
Health
Tags:
Data, disparities, health
May 25, 2018

Introducing our new Education Disparities Dashboard

Today we are pleased to announce a new online data tool to help community leaders, policymakers, advocates and parents better understand the vast disparities in educational opportunity that exist across our state and come together to create solutions to redress them.

Connecticut Voices for Children believes that the future economic and social well-being of our state depends in part upon opening pathways to opportunity so that all of our children and youth can reach their full potential and leave high school prepared for success in college and career.  Much of our work involves research, data analysis and policy recommendations which we share in briefs, like this one, discussing differences in educational access and outcomes between White and Black students statewide.

After discussions with many thoughtful advocates, community members and educators we have learned that many seek access to data as a tool they can use to better understand and work to improve opportunity within their communities.  

To meet this need, today we are proud to release the Educational Disparities Data Dashboard, an interactive data repository for the whole state with district-by-district education data, disaggregated by race/ethnicity.

The dashboard covers enrollment, chronic absenteeism, per-pupil funding, teacher diversity, exclusionary discipline, and academic achievement, all broken down by race and ethnicity. The purpose of this tool is to provide a "one-stop" resource for advocates, community leaders, policymakers, and reporters where they can find up-to-date data on their communities clearly and accessibly: data which they can then use to help drive systemic change.

The Dashboard is ready and online our Tableau site, available here. Please feel free to look around the dashboard and explore what it has to offer! 

Want to learn more?

We will be hosting a Webinar, Wednesday, June 6th at 11 A.M, where we will explain how to use the dashboard and some of its features.

Please sign up for the webinar by following this link.

If you have any questions prior to the webinar about either the webinar or the dashboard itself, please feel free to reach out to Associate Policy Fellow, Camara Stokes Hudson (chudson@ctvoices.org) or Communications Director, Roger Senserrich (rsenserrich@ctvoices.org). 

 

 

Issue Area:
Education
Tags:
Data, disparities, Education dashboard, Webinar
November 28, 2018

How State and Local Fiscal Policies Impact Racial Equity

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has released a new report about how state and local fiscal policies impact racial equity and makes recommendations to overcome longstanding inequities. Michael Leachman, Senior Director of State Fiscal Research, in a blog post, explains:

“States and localities can do more to help undo the harmful legacies of racism and the damage of continuing racial bias and discrimination, a major new Center report finds. If state policymakers can design their budget and tax policies to better address these harms and create more opportunities for people of color, state economies would be more equitable and likely stronger, which in turn could benefit many state residents of all backgrounds.

States and local governments account for nearly half of all domestic public-sector spending, and most of the funding for education and certain other investments important for economic growth. As such, how states and localities raise and spend revenue, including what services they finance, has major implications for racial and ethnic equity. Yet, while people of color have made progress in many areas in recent decades, state and local fiscal policies too often haven’t contributed to that progress and, instead, have extended or cemented racial disparities in power and wealth.”

(Continue reading here).

The report highlights a number of ways that states, including Connecticut, can mitigate racial inequities, such as expanding tax credits for low-income families, ensuring sufficient funding for public schools, and improving the budget rules that artificially restrict the ability of policymakers to fund critical services for children and families.   

Connecticut took an important step in improving racial equity with the passage of  S.B. 256 this year.  Under this new law, legislators may request a racial and ethnic impact statement of any proposed legislation, recognizing the need to evaluate bills through a racial equity lens. 

Issue Area:
Budget and Tax
Tags:
budget, disparities, income tax, property tax, taxes

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