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The 2018 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct additional cannabis research, supplemental to the ongoing benefit-cost evaluation of cannabis legalization authorized by Initiative 502 in 2012. As part of this supplemental work, WSIPP was directed to examine current data collection methods measuring the use of marijuana by youth and potential ways to improve on these methods. In this report, we focused on the Washington Healthy Youth Survey, the primary source of data on cannabis use among Washington youth. We reviewed the evidence for harmful consequences of cannabis use focusing on how cannabis use was measured, and we examined recently developed surveys that reflect the state-of-the-art in survey measurement of marijuana use. With this information, we identified a set of potential improvements to the HYS while considering the practical limitations of revisions to an existing survey.
The 2018 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct a study of single-payer and universal health coverage systems. Our interim report discussed policies to promote universal health care, outlined health care coverage and expenditures in Washington, examined potential effects of implementing single-payer health care, discussed challenges to implementing it, and summarized characteristics of national and state single-payer proposals. Our final report examines universal coverage and single-payer systems in other high-income countries, which have achieved universal coverage and substantially lower health care spending than the US. These other countries, both single- and multi-payer, have mechanisms to control the prices of medical services and pharmaceuticals. They have lower insurer administrative costs and, in the case of single-payer countries, lower provider administrative burdens. These countries also have, to varying degrees, limited the utilization of some high-margin procedures and advanced imaging and discouraged the diffusion of medical technologies and drugs that have modest or uncertain effectiveness. Individuals in these countries have fewer financial barriers to health care and more equitable access to care across income groups than in the US. Finally, the higher US health expenditures do not translate to better health outcomes and quality of care for the entire population.
Previous reports published by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy have shown a gradual decline in recidivism for adults released from prison through the 1990s and early 2000s. This report updates WSIPP’s 2011 review of recidivism trends for adults released from prison and expands the scope of our report to include youth populations and additional adult populations. Our analyses found gradual declines in overall recidivism for all four populations from FY 1995–FY 2014. However, examination of recidivism trends by type of recidivism, type of initial offense, and demographic characteristics indicate that changes in trends varied across sub-populations.
The 2018 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to examine higher education funding models in states comparable to Washington. To fulfill this assignment, we interviewed key stakeholders from 11 states with similar higher education systems including Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In this report, we discuss the differences in budget-setting, tuition-setting, and salary-setting authorities by state. We describe the funding methods used for higher education appropriations and allocations in each state. Finally, we determine the proportions of overall higher education funding and higher education salary and benefit increases that come from each state’s general fund (or equivalent accounts).
Adam Darnell, Rebecca Goodvin, Sara del Moral, Casey Hicks, Paige Wanner, Eva Westley - December 2018
Initiative 502 (I-502) legalized recreational cannabis for adults in Washington State. The law directs a portion of cannabis revenues to be spent on substance abuse prevention and treatment services that have been demonstrated to be effective. Specifically, state law requires at least 85% of programs funded by cannabis revenues to be evidence-based or research-based and up to 15% to be promising practices. In this inventory, we rate the research evidence for programs intended for the prevention or treatment of youth substance use, and we identify those specifically effective for marijuana. The 2018 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to update this inventory. This is the third update in the series.
The 2012 Legislature passed E2SHB 2536 with the intention that “prevention and intervention services delivered to children and juveniles in the areas of mental health, child welfare, and juvenile justice be primarily evidence-based and research-based, and it is anticipated that such services will be provided in a manner that is culturally competent.” The bill directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) and the University of Washington Evidence-Based Practice Institute (UW) to publish descriptive definitions and prepare an inventory of evidence-based, research-based, and promising practices and services, and to periodically update the inventory as more practices are identified. This eighth update to the September 30, 2012 publication includes recent reviews of children’s mental health interventions on the inventory. The accompanying report describes the inventory update process, as well as the ongoing technical assistance process by UW. Programs that are new to the inventory, or have a revised classification based on current evidence, are identified in the report.
The 2017 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to study several aspects of National Board Certification. Board Certification is a voluntary and nationally recognized teaching credential. Some states provide additional benefits and financial incentives to Board-certified educators. In Washington, Board-certified teachers are eligible for an incentive of about $5,000 per year. Board-certified teachers working in high-poverty schools can receive an additional $5,000 per year through the state’s Challenging Schools Bonus (CSB) program. This report describes findings from a 50-state review of incentive programs similar to Washington’s CSB program. We also describe meta-analytic findings of the effect of exposure to a National Board-certified teacher on student outcomes, results from an analysis on retention among Board-certified teachers in Washington, as well as the effect of the creation of the CSB program on Board-certified teachers working in high-poverty schools.
The 2018 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct a study of single-payer and universal health coverage systems. This interim report addresses several aspects of the study assignment. We discuss universal health care coverage and policies that promote it, define single-payer health care and examine how it differs from our current multi-payer system, examine the effects of single-payer systems on health care costs, and summarize the challenges of implementing single-payer systems. Our final report, due in June 2019, will address the remaining components of the study assignment. It will describe universal coverage and single-payer systems in other countries, and review evidence regarding differences across high-income countries in health care costs, health outcomes, access to care, and equity.
The 2015 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to evaluate the effects of the College Bound Scholarship (CBS) program on education outcomes. The CBS program is an early commitment program that provides financial assistance to low-income undergraduate students. At public institutions, CBS covers full tuition and fees, plus a book stipend. Eligible students at corresponding private institutions receive the equivalent dollar value. To receive the scholarship, students must sign a pledge in middle school promising to graduate high school with at least a 2.0 GPA and no felony convictions and apply for federal or state financial aid. Students who complete the pledge requirements and have family incomes at or below 65% of the state median family income during college can receive their full CBS award. The program started in the 2007-08 academic year with the first CBS cohort entering college in the 2012-13 academic year. This report describes our findings of the effectiveness of the College Bound Scholarship program on education outcomes for students attending Washington public schools in middle school. We analyze the effects of pledge eligibility and signing the College Bound pledge in middle school, CBS eligibility at the end of high school, and CBS receipt in the first year of college on secondary and postsecondary outcomes at public institutions in Washington. In February 2019, we updated our main findings with a supplemental report using data from the National Student Clearinghouse’s StudentTracker service. This supplemental report evaluates the effects of the CBS program on enrollment and graduation across all institutions, including outcomes at private institutions in Washington and public and private institutions outside of Washington.
The 2017 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to evaluate a new short-term foster care support program. The program allows licensed foster parents to access temporary and flexible short-term support services provided by organizations in their local communities, with the overall goal of supporting the parental efforts of the foster parents. The short-term support does not include overnight assistance. This new program is differentiated from existing services by being potentially available to any licensed foster parent, whereas existing case aide services have been almost exclusively available to foster parents for specific children with high-level needs. In this interim report, we briefly describe initial program implementation in two community-based non-profit organizations and outline WSIPP’s broad evaluation approach and potential data limitations. A final report is due to the legislature by June 30, 2020. The outcome evaluation will, to the maximum extent possible, assess the impact of the short-term support services on the retention of foster homes and the number of placements a foster child receives while in out-of-home care, as well as the return on investment to the state.