This year, GBPI.org set organizational records for pageviews and visitors as we covered everything from our annual budget overviews, immigration enforcement, debates over food assistance at the federal level and much more. In 2018, GBPI produced a total of 85 research products including reports, blogs, fact sheets and videos. As we close out the year, we’re looking back at our most-read blogs over the past 12 months.

5) All Georgians Stand to Lose from Immigrant Crackdown Measure

During the 2018 legislative session, Georgia lawmakers considered a bill that posed serious risk to the state’s immigrant community. Senate Bill 452 sought to make local police departments and jails extensions of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), requiring them to take specific steps once an unauthorized immigrant comes into their custody.

A large coalition of groups opposed the legislation on constitutional grounds or due to the measure’s likely harm to children and families. The proposal also carried potentially high costs to local governments as well as to the state’s economic health. SB 452 ultimately failed to pass out of the House.

While that proposal never came to fruition, many of Georgia’s local governments are still weighing whether to maintain, expand or limit their cooperation with voluntary aspects of federal immigration enforcement. In July, we examined these practices and outlined significant social costs for families and communities, as well as concrete budget costs on local governments.

4) Planned Federal Food Assistance Changes a Threat to Georgians, Grocers

Early in 2018, the White House proposed budget looked to make steep cuts to one of the strongest lines of defense this country uses to fight hunger: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The plan called for huge cuts to food assistance, stringent work requirements on SNAP recipients and a ration-style food box delivery program.

SNAP remained in the spotlight throughout 2018, as Congress debated the federal Farm Bill. We created a hub for SNAP updates to keep Georgians informed about the discussion in Washington and how it could affect the 1.6 million recipients across the state.

3) Overlooked Colleges Often a Springboard to Middle Class and Beyond

Which Georgia schools have the best track record of propelling students from low-income families into the middle class and beyond? A landmark study from Equality of Opportunity found seven of the top 10 Georgia schools that succeed at boosting economic mobility are historically black colleges or universities.

The top three Georgia schools that launch the most students from the lower 60 percent of household incomes to the upper 40 percent of household incomes include: Albany State University, Clark Atlanta University and Fort Valley State University. Many of Georgia’s top performers are smaller colleges and universities with contributions to the state’s success that too often are overlooked.

2) A Health Insurance Card in Every Georgian’s Pocket

Georgia is home to the fifth highest rate of uninsured people in the country. Thousands of people across the state are stuck without any affordable options for health care because they make too little to get financial help to buy insurance and do not currently qualify for Medicaid. Our health analyst Laura Harker created this map to show the number of Georgians in each county who could gain health coverage by expanding Medicaid.

You can click on your county to see more details, and you can download county-specific fact sheets here. 

1) Take Georgia’s School Rating System with a Grain of Salt

Our most read blog of 2018 focused on the Georgia Department of Education’s annual scores for individual schools and districts – known as the College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI). Designed as an accountability system that grades schools and districts on their ability to prepare students for life after graduation, CCRPI relies too much on standardized testing and overlooks major factors like poverty when handing out scores.

Let our K-12 education analyst Stephen Owens walk you through CCRPI and its flaws in the video below.

 

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