public policy:People Chapter 13
Learning Objectives • Define the meaning of public policy. • Understand the issue of federal mandates. • Identify and discuss the major social welfare and health care policies of the state. • Understand the redistributive nature of those programs. • Be introduced to the major issues of public education for the state. • Understand a number of issues facing higher education in state institutions.
Public Policy • Things government does, chooses not to do, about issues facing the public • Starts with problem identification • Elected officials, public, interest groups, mandates
Public Policy • Over time, state responsibilities have grown • Public expectations • Technologies • Discussion: How does our political culture influence policy?
Poverty, Welfare, and Health Care • Conservative agenda dominates Texas politics • Redistributive public policy designed to help poor • Changes in national policies, funding have led to changes in welfare system
Poverty in Texas • Poverty threshold: ~ $18,500, family of 3 • Texas rankings • 1st in % of population not covered by health insurance • 71% Medicaid recipients children • 17% of all children receive Medicaid
Poverty in Texas • 3rd in % of population living in poverty • 24% of all children • 48% of population in poverty or low income • 23rd in per capita median income • ~ 80,000 homeless each day
Players and Programs • Health and Human Services Commission created in 2003 • Departments of • State Health Services • Aging and Disability Services • Family and Protective Services • Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
Health and Human Services Commission • Commission also oversees • Accreditation • Welfare (TANF) • Medicaid / CHIP • Nutrition
Programs • Medicaid • 2/3 funding from federal government • CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) • TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) • Food stamps
Programs • Day care, foster care • Child protective services • Energy assistance • Job training, workers’ compensation • Discussion: Why is it that Texas does not do a good job helping its poor?
Recent Policy Developments • Welfare reform passed, 1990s • States took welfare lead • Time limits • Emphasis on work • Discussion: What are the unintended consequences of reform?
Program Funding • Boom / bust economy affects funding levels • 2003 legislature cut back • 2005, 2007: some program restoration • 2011: CHIP not expanded • 1+ million kids without health care • 6 months left unfunded
Analysis • Not spending all allotted funds (~69%) • Many recipients difficult to place in jobs • Discussion: Why will social services be a perennial issue in Texas?
Education Policy • More than “reading, writing, arithmetic” • State and local responsibilities • Recent federal involvement • Discussion: What have been the unintended consequences of NCLB?
Education Policy • Nearly 5 million students today • Continued growth expected • Increased diversity, Latino growth • Texas last in educational attainment
Educational Reform • A Nation At Risk • “No Pass No Play” • TAKS • Discussion: What are the criticisms and unintended consequences of TAKS?
Nontraditional Education Proposals • School vouchers • Discussion: Should Texas institute school vouchers? • Charter Schools • Home Schooling
Textbooks and Curriculum • Role of TEA, SBOE • Social studies standards, 2011 • Discussion: Should political ideology play a role in curriculum and textbook selection?
Texas Higher Education • 1+ million students • Funding • Discussion: Should PUF funds be more fairly distributed? • Cost • Causes of increase • Minority Access
Analysis • Challenges • Dropout rates, funding levels, SAT scores • Discussion: What should be done given the interrelatedness of education, crime, health, and the economy?