Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama An Investment in Good Government
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In 1988 a group of Alabama civic leaders invested in the future of our state by creating an independent research organization to report objectively on issues important to improving the government of the state, cities, counties, and public schools. They realized that good state and local government is one of the keys to making Alabama a better place to live, work, and do business. To carry out this purpose they formed the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA). PARCA provides in-depth, objective analyses on topics ranging from Alabama’s public school performance to recommendations for the state’s budget process to understanding statewide ballot issues. We also work with state and local governments to help find solutions to their biggest challenges.

Operating as usual

Check out PARCA's mid-year research update. We've completed 31 projects so far, with much more to come! Find links to ma...
07/29/2020
PARCA Mid-Year Research Update and 2019 Annual Report

Check out PARCA's mid-year research update. We've completed 31 projects so far, with much more to come! Find links to many of those projects and see our 2019 Annual Report in our newsletter published this morning.

07/29/2020
ijccep.springeropen.com

Benefts of Alabama’s First Class Pre-K Program endure in elementary and middle school - Researchers from UAB, Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, ThinkData Solutions, Inc., and Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education have published a peer-reviewed article in the International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy showing the persistence of gains in math and reading for students who received First Class Pre-K.

With school expected to begin next month for public schools in Alabama, COVID-19 is in the forefront of everyone's minds...
07/21/2020
COVID-19 and Public Education: Lessons Learned Last Spring - Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

With school expected to begin next month for public schools in Alabama, COVID-19 is in the forefront of everyone's minds. This includes academic, social and mental health concerns as well as issues surrounding the resources provided to many students at school. PARCA takes a look at lessons learned during the spring, and difficulties that will most certainly emerge in the new school year.

Alabama schools are set to re-open in August, with plans for local systems to offer educational services through traditional on-campus Read the full release.  

PARCA's review of public school disciplinary records finds that Black students face harsher disciplinary measures than w...
07/08/2020
School Discipline and Race in Alabama - Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

PARCA's review of public school disciplinary records finds that Black students face harsher disciplinary measures than white students for similar offenses. What does that mean for students in Alabama?

Black students face harsher disciplinary measures than white students for similar offenses, a PARCA review of public school disciplinary records Read the full release.  

PARCA has created a new online visualization which will present daily statistics of the coronavirus outbreak, including ...
05/26/2020
Coronavirus Resource Page - Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

PARCA has created a new online visualization which will present daily statistics of the coronavirus outbreak, including new cases by county. This information will be updated every day, so please continue to monitor what is happening on a statewide and local level in Alabama.

Table of Contents Alabama Coronavirus statistics News Legal News Unemployment Benefits Education New Statewide Order in Effect Effective Friday, May Read the full release.  

High school seniors and recent graduates are preparing to enter a workforce that has been disrupted, hopefully only temp...
05/20/2020
2019 ACT WorkKeys: Preparing Students for Work in a Time of Uncertainty - Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

High school seniors and recent graduates are preparing to enter a workforce that has been disrupted, hopefully only temporarily. In a matter of weeks, the nation has gone from record low unemployment to levels not seen since the Depression. Employers are adapting to a new set of work conditions and the demand for new skills appropriate for remote work is rapidly rising.

The WorkKeys Assessment may now be more valuable than ever in helping employers assess the practical skills and adaptability of potential hires.

Find out how students in your local systems and schools performed on the 2019 WorkKeys Assessment in PARCA's latest brief.

High school seniors and recent graduates are preparing to enter a workforce that has been disrupted, hopefully only temporarily. In Read the full release.  

05/05/2020
Donate - Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating crises for families and communities across Alabama and the effects will linger long. State and local finances will suffer. Schools will likely face new and greater demands with fewer resources. Our labor force will face obstacles unimaginable only weeks ago.

Policymakers and citizens will need research and information to adjust to a new normal. Your tax-deductible contribution sustains the critical work of PARCA and ensures our public research is free for everyone in our state to use and share. Please consider supporting us this #GivingTuesdayNow.

Make an investment in Alabama. PARCA’s mission is to improve state and local government in Alabama to make it a Read the full release.  

Gov. Ivey just released the “Safer at Home” order for Alabama. See what Alabama’s congressional representatives recommen...
04/28/2020
Re-Opening Alabama: Congressional Recommendations |

Gov. Ivey just released the “Safer at Home” order for Alabama. See what Alabama’s congressional representatives recommend for re-opening the state in PARCA’s latest post.

Alabama’s seven congressional representatives issued recommendations on re-opening Alabama’s economy to Governor Ivey last week. Governor Ivey plans to announce her decision on April 28.

PARCA has just released the Alabama Public Opinion Survey 2020, which was performed before the onset of COVID-19 in the ...
04/10/2020

PARCA has just released the Alabama Public Opinion Survey 2020, which was performed before the onset of COVID-19 in the U.S. Once again, the survey finds an aversion to certain taxes, support for public education, and mistrust in state government. At the same time, the survey finds a lack of consensus in how the state should respond to other critical issues facing the state. Read more about Alabamians responses in the full report here: http://parcalabama.org/alabama-public-opinion-survey-2020/

Some counties and MSAs in Alabama are growing exponentially while others are shrinking. Find out what’s happening in you...
03/30/2020
2019 Alabama County and MSA Population Trends |

Some counties and MSAs in Alabama are growing exponentially while others are shrinking. Find out what’s happening in your area and around the state in PARCA’s latest post analyzing the 2019 Census population estimates.

The latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show a more broadly distributed pattern of population growth in 2019 with continued and accelerating strength in north Alabama counties and a surge across south and Southeast Alabama. Published last week, the figures estimate the populations of counti...

PARCA is supporting the work of public health officials and other public agencies by gathering and republishing resource...
03/18/2020
Alabama State and Local Resources for following Coronavirus COVID-19 |

PARCA is supporting the work of public health officials and other public agencies by gathering and republishing resources and data on the Coronavirus. This information will be updated on a daily basis as the situation unfolds.

Responding to the spread of Cornavirus, Alabama’s State Health Officer ordered Tuesday that in Jefferson and surrounding counties, public gatherings of 25 people or more are prohibited until further notice, and restaurants have been ordered to cease on-site dining operations.

Alabama has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, yet the percentage of Alabamians actually working is lo...
03/09/2020
Help Wanted: Alabama’s Labor Force Participation Problem |

Alabama has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, yet the percentage of Alabamians actually working is lower than almost any other state. What does that mean, and what impact does it have on our state? Read PARCA's latest brief to find out.

Don't forget to read our analysis of Amendment 1 before you vote tomorrow!
03/02/2020
Analysis of Amendment One: Proposing an Appointed State Board of Education |

Don't forget to read our analysis of Amendment 1 before you vote tomorrow!

When voters go to the polls on March 3, they’ll not only be voting in the primary race for President, Vice-President, one U.S. Senate seat, seven U.S. House of Representatives, multiple state Judicial seats, and various other state and county offices, but they will also be asked to vote on one new...

On March 3rd, Alabama voters will decide whether or not to change the State Board of Education from elected members to a...
02/18/2020
Analysis of Amendment One: Proposing an Appointed State Board of Education |

On March 3rd, Alabama voters will decide whether or not to change the State Board of Education from elected members to appointed members. Read what that entails and see how other states' governing bodies are structured in PARCA's Amendment One analysis.

When voters go to the polls on March 3, they’ll not only be voting in the primary race for President, Vice-President, one U.S. Senate seat, seven U.S. House of Representatives, multiple state Judicial seats, and various other state and county offices, but they will also be asked to vote on one new...

In 2020, Alabama is in the midst of one of the most significant workforce initiatives in the state’s history. Reports ha...
02/13/2020
Newly released “Education Matters” report assesses the progress of public education in supporting Alabama’s workforce initiative |

In 2020, Alabama is in the midst of one of the most significant workforce initiatives in the state’s history. Reports have highlighted the need for 500,000 additional highly skilled workers by 2025 who have earned a high-value, industry-recognized credential.

The BEA commissioned PARCA, with support from the A+ Education Partnership, to provide research that would bring coherence, clarity, and guidance to the state’s effort to meet these goals. That research report - Education Matters - was just released.

In 2020, Alabama is in the midst of one of the most significant workforce initiatives in the state’s history. Reports have highlighted the need for 500,000 additional highly skilled workers by 2025 who have earned a high-value, industry-recognized credential.  

Let’s get this event started!! #PARCAannualmeeting #ALThirdCentury
01/31/2020

Let’s get this event started!! #PARCAannualmeeting #ALThirdCentury

01/26/2020
parcalabama.org

Only a few more days to register for PARCA’s 2020 Annual Meeting. Join us this Friday at The Harbert Center as we discuss Alabama’s Third Century.

In 2019, Alabama celebrated two centuries of statehood. In 2020, we embark on our third century. What can we be? In the first 200 years, we moved from cotton, coal, and iron to autos, aerospace, and biotechnology. We labored, and we labored to overcome the discrimination and divisions that marked ou...

In reference to PARCA's latest report "How Alabama Taxes Compare, 2019," al.com's John Archibald laments why Alabama's t...
01/16/2020
Archibald: Why Alabama's taxes are unfair

In reference to PARCA's latest report "How Alabama Taxes Compare, 2019," al.com's John Archibald laments why Alabama's taxes are unfair.

Why pay taxes when you can pass them along to somebody less fortunate?

New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show Alabama attracting more migrants from other U.S. states, but the state li...
01/06/2020
Alabama May be Catching on but Not Enough to Catch up |

New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show Alabama attracting more migrants from other U.S. states, but the state likely doesn’t have enough population momentum to avoid losing a congressional seat after this year’s Census count.

New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show Alabama attracting more migrants from other U.S. states, but the state likely doesn’t have enough population momentum to avoid losing a congressional seat after this year’s Census count.

While Mississippi students improve on the NAEP, Alabama stalls and declines. Could there be lessons learned from our nei...
11/07/2019
Mississippi’s Progress Not a Surprise; It was Part of a Plan |

While Mississippi students improve on the NAEP, Alabama stalls and declines. Could there be lessons learned from our neighbor state's strategy?

When the 2019 results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) were released last week, the good news was that fourth-grade students in our neighbor state, Mississippi, scored at the national average in both reading and math and that eighth graders there made significant gains in re...

Revenue collections in the state's General Fund and Education Trust Fund exceeded projections. This is due in part to bu...
11/05/2019
Another Year of Strong Growth in Alabama Tax Collections |

Revenue collections in the state's General Fund and Education Trust Fund exceeded projections. This is due in part to budgeting changes made by the legislature in recent years, as well as growth in various tax collections. For a detailed analysis of Alabama's 2019 GF and ETF revenues, as well as an explanation of the taxes used in collection, please read our recent brief at the link below.

The thriving economy produced another year of surging tax collections for Alabama’s General Fund and Education Trust Fund (ETF), the two primary accounts that provide state funding for government operations. The better-than-projected results put the state in a good position to meet current obligat...

Any effort to promote cooperation between governments quickly runs into skepticism. Cities and their citizens are self-i...
10/17/2019
Cooperating for the Sake of Self-interest |

Any effort to promote cooperation between governments quickly runs into skepticism. Cities and their citizens are self-interested, the thinking goes. They’re not going to be charitable to a neighboring community, just for the sake of being nice. And the skeptics are right. See how the cities in Jefferson County used this to their advantage to take the first steps towards successful collaboration.

Cities and their citizens are self-interested, the thinking goes. They are not going to give up their advantages. They’re not going to be charitable to a neighboring community, just for the sake of being nice.

Local Government 3.0 - Read PARCA's latest post and learn how Shelby County, the City of Montevallo and the University o...
10/04/2019
Local Government 3.0 |

Local Government 3.0 - Read PARCA's latest post and learn how Shelby County, the City of Montevallo and the University of Montevallo are collaborating is positive ways.

The following feature, which describes an alliance between the City of Montevallo, The University of Montevallo (UM), and Shelby County, marks the launch of an occasional series on creative cooperation between governments and other civic partners. Through the series, we hope to identify, share, and....

08/01/2019
GRA 2019 Wrap Up

PARCA won a national award for outstanding policy achievement at the Governmental Research Association 2019 Conference. See a quick video recap of this year's conference, which gathers policy researchers from around the country to discuss important topics and innovative research.

Florida TaxWatch hosted the 2019 Governmental Research Association Conference in Saint Petersburg, FL.

Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education
07/26/2019

Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education

Research | Alabama First Class Pre-K has been ranked for 13 consecutive years as the nation’s highest quality, state-funded voluntary pre-kindergarten program. Multiple studies show that students who participate in First Class Pre-K are more likely to be proficient in math and reading through high school, and consistently outperform their peers on state assessments. First Class Pre-K students have higher attendance rates and are less likely to repeat a grade or need special education services, compared with children that didn’t participate in the pre-k program.

Behavioral factors can be equally important to student success in school and later in life. For example, prior research has indicated a strong connection between children’s behavior and later school success. Research also finds a greater likelihood of staying in high school and going to college, less need for government assistance, and a reduction in crime rates for adults who had received pre-K services as children. Now, newest research clearly shows that First Class Pre-K has a significant, positive effect on discipline rates all the way through a student’s middle and high school years.

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To read more about this in-depth Issue Brief by research and evaluation partners from Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, UAB School of Public Health, and the UAB School of Education on the effectiveness of Alabama’s First Class Pre-K Program click HERE:

http://bit.ly/2MiyWvI

Address

800 Lakeshore Dr
Birmingham, AL
35229

General information

PARCA’s fundamental goal is to improve state and local government in Alabama for the benefit of all its people. Our work is focused on analyses that inform the general public about issues and enable the state government, counties, cities, and school systems to improve their performance. Our primary products are research reports and consulting services. PARCA Reports are published as research work is completed, and The PARCA Perspective is our online e-newsletter which provides information about issues in Alabama as well as updates on research in progress. To join our mailing list go to http://parca.samford.edu/quarterlyonline.html. PARCA maintains a web site and regularly posts data and other information there. PARCA provides consulting services to state and local governmental units seeking to make improvements, and the results are published and made available to the general public.

Opening Hours

Monday 08:30 - 16:30
Tuesday 08:30 - 16:30
Wednesday 08:30 - 16:30
Thursday 08:30 - 16:30
Friday 08:30 - 16:30

Telephone

(205) 726-2482

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