William T. Grant Foundation Announces Three New Rapid Response Research Grants to Combat Youth Inequality Exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic
The William T. Grant and Spencer Foundations today announced three new Rapid Response Research grants to support collaborations between researchers and policymakers, with the central goal of reducing inequality in youth outcomes in the United States. These grants synthesize existing research to inform smart public policy that can positively impact the lives of young people. All told, the two foundations have joined to support five such grants since June 2019, totaling nearly $600,000
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, resource shortfalls and disruptions to education and social programs will compound existing inequalities among children and youth. The first of the three grants awarded today will support UnidosUS and the Institute for Child, Youth, and Family Policy at Brandeis University as they strive to ensure that the children of immigrants are included in safety net programs and post-pandemic recovery efforts. The second grant will bring together the City University of New York Urban Food Policy Institute and Hunger-Free America to address food insecurity among children and youth as a result of the pandemic. The third grant, to be managed by Education Trust, will tackle two pressing education-related policy issues related to COVID: Education Trust and MDRC will explore strategies to bolster student learning due to the pandemic; and Education Trust will partner with Brown University to synthesize research on recession-induced teacher layoffs.
The Foundation developed the Rapid Response Research awards to foster agile uses of research to respond to the needs of young people growing up in an uncertain and turbulent social climate. In 2020, the Foundation devoted nearly the entire budget of this grant program toward work that is specifically designed to reduce inequality and improve the youth outcomes amid the changing social contexts in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cornerstone of the program is collaboration between researchers and policymakers. The researchers commit to synthesizing the relevant literature within an abbreviated timeframe of six to eight weeks, and both the policy and research partners develop an engagement plan to ensure that the research yields action. The swift, systematic review of existing research is jointly designed by both partners to ensure that the questions guiding the synthesis are responsive to real information needs of decision makers.
The newest Rapid Response Research grantees are:
Including Children of Immigrants in the Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery Efforts and Safety Net
Dolores Acevedo-Garcia and Pamela Joshi, The Institute for Child, Youth, and Family Policy, Brandeis University, and Emily Ruskin, Senior Policy Advisor, UnidosUS
UnidosUS and the Institute for Child, Youth, and Family Policy seek to leverage a unique policy window to ensure that the children of immigrants are included in safety net programs and post-pandemic recovery efforts. Since the 1996 welfare reform, children in immigrant families, the majority of which are US citizens by birth, have been increasingly excluded from social programs, extending to the 2020 CARES Act. Given ongoing policy deliberations over pandemic-related relief efforts, the impending start of the next presidential term, the recent National Academies report A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty, and the national reckoning on racial and ethnic inequality, there is an opportunity to reexamine immigrant restrictions in safety net policies. This effort will inform key federal policymakers about the effects of immigrant exclusions and promote the inclusion of children of immigrants in social policy and pandemic-related recovery measures. The research review will discuss: 1) the demographic, economic, and social importance of children of immigrants and their families; 2) the extent and effects of child poverty among children of immigrants; 3) how the exclusion of children of immigrants and their families has evolved since the 1996 welfare reform...