2007 Annual Survey of America’s Charter Schools

Source: Edited by: Alison Consoletti and Jeanne Allen, Center for Education Reform, April 2007

From press release:
Despite legal challenges, charter schools grew by 11 percent in 2006 and continue to serve a student body that is on average 53 percent minority and 54 percent low-income. Charter school popularity continues to grow among children most in need. In 2006, 42 percent of charter schools served an “at-risk” student population over 60 percent and 44 percent served a minority student population over 60 percent.
See also: Understanding Constitutions & Charter Schools

Databases: U.S. Mayors & U.S. Governors

Source: Resource Shelf, 2007

The National Governors Association offers a database of containing bio data for both current and past governors.
Many criteria makes creating lists easy. Fields include:
Keyword/ Biography, Religion, Race, Related to other Governors, Colleges attended, Higher offices served, Military Service/ Branch, Awards served, Awards/Honors, Was He or She a Physician or Dentist
As expected you can also limit to dates served in office. Finally, you can browse by state, look or a link to each state in the left rail.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors web site is home to a database that provides:
Searchable Directory of U.S. Mayors for Most Major Cities (Mayors at a Glance)
Search by:
Name, City, State, Population
Also, available is the 2007 Mayoral Elections Center that includes:
-Download Scheduled Elections for 2007 (.pdf document)
-List of November 2006 Election Results
-Search the USCM 1999-2005 Mayoral Election Results Database
-View All 1999-2005 Mayoral Election Results by city or date of election

Calendars: 2008 Presidential Primary Calendar

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, 2007

Stay tuned to this calendar from the National Conference of State Legislatures for updates.

As it stands right now, 32 states and the District of Columbia will hold presidential primaries or caucuses before the end of February. On February 5 alone, 16 states will hold primaries or caucuses. If changes currently under consideration in five states are made, that number could grow to 37 states and D.C.

Improving health system preparedness for terrorism and mass casualty events: Recommendations for action

Source: American Medical Association/American Public Health Association, A consensus report from the AMA/APHA Linkages Leadership Summit, July 2007

From the press release:
Today a coalition of 18 health organizations led by the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Public Health Association (APHA) released a consensus report with 53 strategic recommendations for legislators, government officials and organizational leaders to more effectively prepare for and respond to catastrophic emergencies. The recommendations, especially nine identified as “critical,” serve as a national call to action from medicine, dentistry, nursing, hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS), and public health. The recommendations seek to strengthen health system preparedness and response through increased funding, greater integration, continued education and training and ensured legal protections for responders.

Nine critical recommendations from the consensus report make up a call to action in four categories:

Public health systems must be appropriately funded to adequately respond to day-to-day emergencies and catastrophic mass casualty events;
Public health and disaster response systems must be fully integrated and interoperable at all government levels;
Health care and public health professionals should maintain an appropriate level of education and training; and
Health care and public health responders must be provided and assured adequate legal protections in a disaster.
+ Action Brief
+ Signed Pledge of Commitment

Rediscovering Federalism

Source: Pietro S. Nivola, The Brookings Institution, Issues in Governance Studies, no. 8, July 2007

From the summary:
This paper stipulates that federalism can offer government a helpful division of labor. The essay argues that the central government in the United States has grown inordinately preoccupied with concerns better left to local authorities. The result is an overextended government, too often distracted from higher priorities. To restore some semblance of so-called “subsidiarity”—that is, a more suitable delineation of competences among levels of government—the essay takes up basic principles that ought to guide that quest. Finally, the paper advances several suggestions for how particular policy pursuits might be devolved.

New: DisabilityInfo.Gov Introduces New State and Local Resources Map

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, 07-1089-NAT, July 18, 2007

From the press release:
The federal government’s one-stop Web site for disability-related information and resources — DisabilityInfo.gov — today unveiled a new feature, a state and local resources map, designed to assist visitors in finding disability-related information in their own states and localities…To use the new state and local resources map, simply select one of the nine subject tabs — benefits, civil rights, community life, education, employment, health, housing, technology or transportation — at the top of any DisabilityInfo.gov page. Then click the map on the right sidebar to find links in that subject area related to your state. You will be directed to easy-to-navigate information and numerous organizations and contacts.

FY 2007 Homeland Security Grant Program

Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2007

From the press release:
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today final Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) awards totaling $1.7 billion, including a total of almost $411 million to the nation’s six urban areas at highest risk of a terrorist attack: New York City/Northern New Jersey; the National Capital Region; Los Angeles/Long Beach; the California Bay Area; Houston; and Chicago.

HSGP grants enhance the ability of states, territories, and urban areas to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks and other disasters. Including this funding, by the end of FY 2007, DHS will have invested $23 billion in local planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercises for state and local governments since September 11, 2001.

Nursing Homes in Public Health Emergencies: Special Needs and Potential Roles

Source: Elisabeth D. Root, Jacqueline B. Amoozegar, Shulamit Bernard, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, AHRQ Publication No. 07-0029-1, May 2007

From the overview:
To date, most health care preparedness planning efforts have been focused on hospital and first responder preparedness. Nevertheless, the elderly are particularly vulnerable to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies due to their complex physical, medical, and psychological needs. The potential role and question of preparedness on the part of nursing homes has emerged in local and national preparedness discussions. However, little is known about the extent to which nursing homes have planned for and/or been incorporated into regional planning efforts
To address this issue, a series of focus groups was conducted to collect information about disaster- and bioterrorism-related planning activities among nursing homes in five States—North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Utah—and southern California. The aims of the focus groups were to:
• Determine if nursing home administrators have prepared and trained staff on disaster plans, including bioterrorism response.
• Assess the special needs of the elderly population in nursing home settings during a public health emergency.
• Determine if nursing homes are able to accommodate patient flows from acute care hospitals or provide other resources.
• Assess the impact of State regulations on the ability of nursing homes to offer support and/or surge capacity.
Findings from this report can provide important insight into current nursing home preparedness activities as well as the potential role of nursing homes in larger local or regional preparedness efforts and the special needs of the nursing home population.

See also: Emergency Preparedness Atlas — U.S. Nursing Home and Hospital Facilities
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) sponsored preparation of this atlas to support local/regional planning and response efforts in the event of a bioterrorism or other public health emergency. In the atlas, case studies in six areas illustrate the location of nursing homes relative to population and various emergency preparedness regions. There are also maps of the location of hospitals and nursing homes in all 50 States and the District of Columbia.
Download in sections (PDFs)

Helping Families Finance College: Improved Student Loan Disclosures and Counseling

Source: Michael Wroblewski, Consumers Union, July 2007

From the press release:
As Congress debates legislation to overhaul student loan programs, Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, released a report finding that many students and parents don’t have access to the information they need to determine the best way to pay for college. The report, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, offers policy recommendations to help families find the most affordable options for paying for college.

The Economic Effects of a Citywide Minimum Wage

Source: Arindrajit Dube, Suresh Naidu, and Michael Reich, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, July 2007
(subscription required)

This paper presents the first study of the economic effects of a citywide minimum wage—San Francisco’s adoption of an indexed minimum wage, set at $8.50 in 2004 and $9.14 by 2007. Compared to earlier benchmark studies by Card and Krueger and by Neumark and Wascher, this study surveys table-service as well as fast-food restaurants, includes more control groups, and collects data for more outcomes. The authors find that the policy increased worker pay and compressed wage inequality, but did not create any detectable employment loss among affected restaurants. The authors also find smaller amounts of measurement error than characterized the earlier studies, and so they can reject previous negative employment estimates with greater confidence. Fast-food and table-service restaurants responded differently to the policy, with a small price increase and substantial increases in job tenure and in the proportion of full-time workers among fast-food restaurants, but not among table-service restaurants.