October 27, 2021 / Education, Mental Health, Policy

“School counselors in Georgia say they are overworked, understaffed” as demand for student mental health services increases.Insight

“Experts say the lack of counselors is impacting students now and could have implications for a proposal to raise the age when students must attend school from 16 to 17 that is under consideration by the Georgia Senate Study Committee on the Age of Mandatory Education…The mandated counselor-to-student ratio in Georgia is currently one counselor to every 450 students. The best practice ratio recommended by the American School Counselors Association is one counselor to every 250 students.” – Fresh Take Georgia

Takeaway: Focusing on retention and compensation for frontline social sector employees should be a high priority.

October 12, 2021 / Equity, Housing

As Atlanta rents rises dramatically, the uneven burden affects Black and Hispanic renters the mostImage

“Rents have risen dramatically in 2021 in metro Atlanta and Black households are spending the largest portion of their income on rent in comparison to other races. According to a new analysis by Zillow, rent affordability for all renters in metro Atlanta is 29.2%, which is almost a full percentage point over 28.4% in 2019. The average rent is $1,827 as of August, which is up 20.4% year over year and up 3% month over month. Black households in the Atlanta area are spending 31.4% of their income on rent. In comparison, Latinx are paying 30%; whites are paying 27.2%; and Asians are paying 23.1%.” (CBS46, Zillow)

Takeaway: Emergency rental assistance programs and funding should prioritize Black and Hispanic communities

April 23, 2021 / Education, Workforce


Of the 43,353 Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) credentials earned in the 2018–2019 school year, only 16% were aligned with workforce demand. (GPEE’s Top 10 Issues to Watch in 2021)

March 5, 2021 / Aging, Health, Policy


Based on the covid-19’s impact and national demographic and demand trends, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A) urges leaders to consider the following principles in policymaking:

  • People want to age safely in their homes and communities.
  • Health happens in the home and community.
  • We are only as strong as our caregivers.
  • Community infrastructure is a critical component of healthy aging.
  • We are all stakeholders in an aging nation.
February 27, 2021 / Criminal Justice, Equity, Hispanic


Despite active COVID-19 cases in secured detention facilities more than doubling between March and mid-December (among youth and staff), the number of youth being detained are on the rise. Black and Latino youth represent an increasingly larger share of the detained population. [report] (The Annie E. Casey Foundation)

February 26, 2021 / Early Childhood, Workforce


A new study finds that an additional 90-100K Georgia children could be covered by CAPS subsidies over the next three years, allowing thousands of parents to continue and advance in their work and education, if the following are enacted:

  • Under the current setup of CAPS at 50% of the state’s median income (SMI), an additional $198million would cover almost all families who can and want to take advantage of CAPS, realizing that the bar set is very restrictive in its current state.
  • Increasing the SMI to 85% (in line with federal recommendations) would cover thousands of additional families and fill a major gap in workforce development for return-to-work parents among others. This can be done for an additional $340 million.

(Metro Atlanta Chamber, GSU’s Georgia Policy Labs)

February 9, 2021 / Basic Needs, Economics, Equity, Hispanic


The racial gap in liquid assets makes Black and Hispanic families more vulnerable to income fluctuations. When faced with a job loss, Black and Hispanic families have to cut spending more dramatically than White families. Upon the arrival of a tax refund or other stimulus, Black and Hispanic families have to spend it more quickly. Listen to the MAX Workforce Solutions presentation or read the full report (JPMorgan Chase Institute)

January 22, 2021 / Refugee


“In the next week, we expect the new administration to raise the ceiling on refugee arrivals, increase capacity for refugee processing overseas and implement other immigration policies to support the world’s most vulnerable… Our mission over the next few years is to quickly increase our capacity to welcome and serve newly arrived refugees so that we can provide safety to those who need it the most. We cannot rebuild the resettlement program alone. Refugee resettlement has always been a community effort. In the coming months…we will be asking you, our partners and supporters, to help us by making financial contributions, donating furniture and basic needs items to help us build up our inventory and registering to volunteer.” (New American Pathways)

January 13, 2021 / Economics, Equity, Hispanic, Workforce


In a new fact sheet from the National Women’s Law Center, we’ve learned that:

  • Women represented 111% of the 140,000 net jobs lost in December (men gained 16,000)
  • More than 2 in 5 of the 12.1 million women’s jobs lost between February and April have not yet returned
  • The overall unemployment rate among women (6.3%) masks even higher rates for Black women (8.4%), Latinas (9.1%), 20- to 24-year-olds (9.3%), and women with disabilities (11.4%)


Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (GPEE) released its “Top 10 Issues to Watch in 2021” report, which includes:

  1. Equity – the imperative for recovery to success
  2. Funding – essential for achieving equity
  3. Early learning – the foundation for an inclusive economic recovery
  4. Delivery of instruction – new approaches to learning
  5. Teachers – professionalism, pay, and preparation
  6. Accountability and assessments – the opportunity to rethink and get it right
  7. Parent engagement– positioning families as partners
  8. Post-secondary completion – a pathway to prosperity
  9. Georgia’s workforce pipeline – creating equitable access and opportunities
  10. Reinventing education in Georgia – a call for leadership and collaboration
December 23, 2020 / Basic Needs, Food


“The food banks are responding to an unrelenting 50% increase in demand for food,” said Danah Craft, executive director of the Georgia Food Bank Association, which works with food banks around the state. “And it has grown in the last 60 days.” About 40% of the people coming for help now have never had to look for support before, she said. (WABE)

December 22, 2020 / Health, Mental Health


According to a regional tracker, the percent of telehealth diagnoses for mental health conditions is more than three times higher than the same time last year, likely due to both increased demand for MH services and increased supply/accessibility of telehealth options. (FAIR Health)

December 16, 2020 / Operations


“There has been speculation this year that more office tenants will increase their office space to promote social distancing. [Cushman & Wakefield Head of Economic Analysis & Forecasting Rebecca] Rockey said she doesn’t agree with that point of view and that Cushman & Wakefield doesn’t have any evidence that upsizing is being driven by social distancing measures.” (Bisnow)


The latest State of Education in Metro Atlanta report provides updates on key education indicators. Kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade reading, 8th grade math, and high school graduation are up.  Postsecondary enrollment and completion are down. Learn more in the report and webinar. And view school level data in the interactive dashboard. (Learn4Life)

November 30, 2020 / Operations, Workforce


Before he pandemic, Georgia commuters worked an average of 0.8 days per week from home. By April, that number reached 4.6 days, and remained at 4.4 through October. The latest survey results from Georgia Commute Options show a desired future of 3.2 remote days per week, with most executives anticipating changes in this direction. [webinars] (Georgia Commute Options)

November 18, 2020 / Basic Needs, Housing, Refugee


Under the new presidency, refugee resettlement is expected to surge—from 15,000 to as much as 125,000 globally. Resettlement agencies in Atlanta are collaborating to best serve their clients while understanding and meeting demand for employment, housing, health, and other services. [link] (WABE)

October 28, 2020 / Health, Policy


Tennessee hospitals are seeing significantly fewer covid patients from counties with mask mandates [study] (Vanderbilt School of Medicine)


A large share of low-income clients are parents — especially moms — with school-age kids having incredible difficulty finding jobs that allow working from home. Unclear return-to-school plans and timing add to job search barriers. (Family Advancement Ministries)