Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama An Investment in Good Government 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

PARCA has worked with the AL Dept of Early Childhood Education for many years evaluating the effects of the First Class ...
05/20/2021
Alabama adds 135 First Class Pre-K classrooms

PARCA has worked with the AL Dept of Early Childhood Education for many years evaluating the effects of the First Class Pre-K. Our research, performed in partnership with UAB, found that students who participate in a First Class Pre-K classroom — regardless of demographics, ZIP code, or school — are more likely to be proficient in math and reading than their peers. https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/education/2021/05/19/alabama-adds-135-new-first-class-pre-k-classrooms/5153384001/

Nearly 2,500 more four-year-olds will have access to the state's First Class Pre-K program, thanks to a near $25 million increase in funding from the legislature.

For the first time, the 2020 Census reported that more people died in Alabama than were born. Domestic migration helped ...
05/18/2021
Deaths Exceed Births but Surge in Domestic Migration Powers Alabama Population Growth - Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

For the first time, the 2020 Census reported that more people died in Alabama than were born. Domestic migration helped offset this decline to give the state a population increase. Read more in PARCA's full analysis below.

Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate a growing number of people moving to Alabama prior to the Covid Read the full release.  

PARCA is proud to share that late last month the Biden administration nominated Huntsville business leader and PARCA Boa...
05/11/2021
Biden nominates Alabama’s Kimberly Lewis to TVA board of directors

PARCA is proud to share that late last month the Biden administration nominated Huntsville business leader and PARCA Board Member Kimberly Lewis to serve on the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors. Congratulations Kim!

Huntsville businesswoman Kimberly Lewis has been nominated for a seat on the Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors by President Biden

PARCA Roundtable member Peter Jones won the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at UAB and is the first faculty memb...
05/11/2021
A Celebration of CAS Faculty Authors and Awards - 2021

PARCA Roundtable member Peter Jones won the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at UAB and is the first faculty member to win a Platinum award from the Center for Teaching and Learning. Congratulations Pete! See the announcement of the awards below.
https://youtu.be/ZfxdwYtnRUk

Watch the virtual presentation of the 2021 Celebration of College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Authors and Awards. Congratulations to all our book authors, edi...

The number and percentage of Alabama public high school graduates assigned to remedial courses upon entering college con...
04/24/2021
Fewer Alabama Students Assigned to Remedial Education - Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

The number and percentage of Alabama public high school graduates assigned to remedial courses upon entering college continued to decline in 2019, one measure of academic progress for K-12 schools and Alabama’s public higher education system. See how your local system and school performed in PARCA's latest analysis.

The number and percentage of Alabama public high school graduates assigned to remedial courses upon entering college continued to decline Read the full release.  

To meet the daunting challenges brought by COVID-19, state and federal governments are making an unprecedented amount of...
04/07/2021

To meet the daunting challenges brought by COVID-19, state and federal governments are making an unprecedented amount of money available to schools. For that investment to pay off, the funds must be spent with care and forethought. Simultaneously, schools are also working to meet the demands of the Alabama Literacy Act. Schools face significant challenges in meeting these mandates and spending well the influx of new money. Stop the Slide, Start the Climb, the newest report from the Business Education Alliance of Alabama, based on PARCA research, explores these challenges and offers strategies for schools to consider.http://parcalabama.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Stop-the-Slide-Start-the-Climb.pdf

To meet the daunting challenges brought by COVID-19, state and federal governments are making an unprecedented amount of money available to schools. For that investment to pay off, the funds must be spent with care and forethought. Simultaneously, schools are also working to meet the demands of the Alabama Literacy Act. Schools face significant challenges in meeting these mandates and spending well the influx of new money. Stop the Slide, Start the Climb, the newest report from the Business Education Alliance of Alabama, based on PARCA research, explores these challenges and offers strategies for schools to consider.http://parcalabama.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Stop-the-Slide-Start-the-Climb.pdf

Even before the arrival of the Coronavirus, the number and percentage of Alabama high school graduates entering higher e...
03/09/2021
Alabama's College-Going Rate Declines With the Class of 2019 - Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

Even before the arrival of the Coronavirus, the number and percentage of Alabama high school graduates entering higher education after graduation was falling. According to new data from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, the college-going rate for the Class of 2019 declined to 58%. Read our latest post to see the college-going rate for your local high school or school system.

Even before the arrival of the Coronavirus, the number and percentage of Alabama high school graduates entering higher education after Read the full release.  

03/04/2021

The 2021 PARCA Annual Forum is almost over, but if you haven't been able to join the event yet, it's not too late. Join us for our last session tomorrow - Alabama Broadband Pursuits - followed by the Albert Brewer Legacy Keynote Address with Governor Kay Ivey. The forum is free, but registration is required. www.parcalabama.org/2021-parca-annual-forum.

Alabama's use of corporal punishment is declining, but still ranks 3rd highest in the nation. Read more on why that matt...
02/26/2021
Corporal Punishment in Alabama and the US - Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

Alabama's use of corporal punishment is declining, but still ranks 3rd highest in the nation. Read more on why that matters and what other states are doing in PARCA's latest analysis.

Significantly fewer students are receiving corporal punishment in Alabama, according to a new dataset released by the U.S. Department of Read the full release.  

02/23/2021

Less than 1 week until the PARCA Annual Forum - Alabama Online: Failure to Connect. Registration is FREE, but required to participate. For all the details, visit our website. www.parcalabama.org/2021-parca-annual-forum

01/29/2021
2021 PARCA Annual Forum

Save the Date for the 2021 PARCA Annual Forum March 1-5. Registration coming soon!!

The big count with major consequences for Alabama continues, and it looks like it will come down to a very tight margin....
01/12/2021
A Congressional Seat in Danger - Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

The big count with major consequences for Alabama continues, and it looks like it will come down to a very tight margin. Judging by the estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Alabama and New York are the two states closest to the line for losing or gaining a seat.

The big count with major consequences for Alabama continues, and it looks like it will come down to a very Read the full release.  

Jefferson County may have more jails per capita than any other major county in the U.S. As part of ongoing regional coop...
01/05/2021
Jefferson County Mayors Study Municipal Cooperation on Jails - Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

Jefferson County may have more jails per capita than any other major county in the U.S. As part of ongoing regional cooperation efforts, the Jefferson County Mayors Association commissioned a new study jointly funded by the Association and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. The report, authored by the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, examines the capacity, occupancy, and age of Jefferson County’s 18 jails and identifies short-term and long-term options for decreasing the number of jails through cooperation between cities and the county.

Taking population into consideration, Jefferson County may have more jails than any other major county in the U.S., and the Read the full release.  

Alabama’s high school seniors of 2019 graduated at the highest rate the state has ever reported, 92%. And, a greater pro...
12/15/2020
2019 Likely a High Point for High School Graduation and Readiness - Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

Alabama’s high school seniors of 2019 graduated at the highest rate the state has ever reported, 92%. And, a greater proportion of those students, 80%, were rated college and career ready than ever before. See your local system and school's results in PARCA's latest post.

Alabama’s high school seniors of 2019 graduated at the highest rate the state has ever reported, 92%. And, a greater Read the full release.  

Folks in the Wiregrass have turned the pandemic into an opportunity for reinventing a regional approach to economic deve...
12/08/2020
Mayor Mark Saliba

Folks in the Wiregrass have turned the pandemic into an opportunity for reinventing a regional approach to economic development.

Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, economic developers in Southeast Alabama recognized the advantages of pulling together as a region rather than each city and county trying to recruit new industry to our area independently. Wanting to take cooperation to a new level, they hired Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama to complete thorough research on how other regional economic development organizations across the state and country work.

When the pandemic struck, cooperation shifted into overdrive, and more counties rallied together for the cause. Take a look at PARCA's newly released report on the growing cooperation in our region at http://parcalabama.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Growing-Cooperation-in-Southeast-Alabama.pdf. Together, eleven counties make up Grow Southeast Alabama. Learn more about our efforts to bring new industry to our region at https://growsealabama.com.

12/01/2020

What a year 2020 has been! Regardless of what the coming months hold, PARCA will continue to provide state and local policymakers with the data and research they need to make the best possible choices for better outcomes for our state. 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. On #GivingTuesday, please consider investing in PARCA as we work to make Alabama better. http://parcalabama.org/support-parca/donate/

WBHM is reporting on all things election in an effort to inform and prepare Alabama voters. PARCA Senior Researcher Tom ...
10/21/2020
Your Guide To Alabama’s 2020 Constitutional Amendments

WBHM is reporting on all things election in an effort to inform and prepare Alabama voters. PARCA Senior Researcher Tom Spencer explains this year's amendments in an interview with Andrew Yeager earlier this week.

Changes to voting, the judicial system and the Alabama Constitution itself are on the ballot.

Tax revenue flowing into Alabama’s General Fund and Education Trust Fund held up surprisingly well in 2020 fiscal year i...
10/16/2020
Alabama Tax Revenues Remarkably Resilient in 2020 - Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

Tax revenue flowing into Alabama’s General Fund and Education Trust Fund held up surprisingly well in 2020 fiscal year in spite of the Coronavirus pandemic, thanks to an extremely strong state economy preceding the pandemic and a flood of federal aid that followed the pandemic’s arrival. How does the state's tax revenue look going forward?

Tax revenue flowing into Alabama’s General Fund and Education Trust Fund held up surprisingly well in 2020 fiscal year in Read the full release.  

Only about half the students who earn four-year degrees from Alabama colleges are found to be working in the state five ...
10/01/2020
Raising Educational Attainment by Keeping College Graduates - Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

Only about half the students who earn four-year degrees from Alabama colleges are found to be working in the state five years after graduation. PARCA's latest brief explains where they are going, why they may be leaving and how the state can retain more graduates.

Only about half the students who earn four-year degrees from Alabama colleges are found to be working in the state Read the full release.  

PARCA Senior Researcher Tom Spencer has been recognized as Valedictorian of the 2020 Birmingham Leaders Challenge for th...
09/14/2020
A mission with history. Tom Spencer leads the way in the fight against MS | Bham Now

PARCA Senior Researcher Tom Spencer has been recognized as Valedictorian of the 2020 Birmingham Leaders Challenge for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We are proud to have Tom as a part of our team!

These Birmingham professionals have joined something bigger than themselves. Photo via NMSS Tom Spencer is a prominent Birmingham community member and

Alabama continues to gain on other states in the percentage of adults with a high school diploma, but it is falling furt...
09/08/2020
Agenda for Alabama's Third Century: Raising Educational Attainment for All - Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama

Alabama continues to gain on other states in the percentage of adults with a high school diploma, but it is falling further behind the national average when it comes to the percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree or better. Read more in PARCA's latest brief - Raising Educational Attainment for All.

While Alabama continues to gain on other states in the percentage of adults with a high school diploma, it is Read the full release.  

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.  

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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