Researching Public Law and Public Policy in the Public Interest

Publications

Too often the gentrification of working class neighborhoods is deemed “inevitable” when it is not. Just as gentrification is often promoted by upzoning and other city laws, communities can pass measures to prevent or at least slow this process.
in 2013, for the first time, a majority of public-school students in this country—51 percent, to be precise—fell below the federal government’s low-income cutoff, meaning they were eligible for a free or subsidized school lunch. It was a powerful symbolic moment—an inescapable reminder that the challenge of teaching low-income children has become the central issue in American education.
"We have to do a better job of assessing the cause of violence, the impact of violence – and this is where trauma-informed care plays a major role," community activist Jack Farrell explains in his interview with CLiME. 
Either New Jersey’s poor have greater access to the resources available in more affluent parts of the state, or the places where New Jersey’s poor live must receive more resources from the areas that have benefited from excluding them.
This memo is the second in a series of documents prepared as part of the Center on Law, Inequality, & Metropolitan Equity's (CLiME) Trauma, Schools, and Poverty project. CLiME does not assume that existing special education or antidiscrimination law in schools is the optimal means for protecting or supporting victims of childhood trauma. More specifically, the antidiscrimination framework will be analyzed through the lens of disability to determine whether children suffering from trauma belong to that protected class and are therefore entitled to certain legal rights. The scope of this memo is limited to New Jersey State law.
This legal memo is the first in a series of documents prepared as part of CLiME's Trauma, Schools, and Poverty Project. CLiME researchers identified three federal statutes that may trigger a duty for schools to identify, evaluate, and provide services or accommodations to trauma victims: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (504), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Two years have passed since the President signed a Presidential Memorandum in 2014 establishing the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Task Force (the Task Force), a coordinated Federal effort to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. In response to the President’s call to action, nearly 250 communities in all 50 states have accepted the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge; more than $600 million in private sector and philanthropic grants and in-kind resources and $1 billion in low-interest financing have been committed in alignment with MBK; and new federal policy initiatives, grant programs, and guidance are being implemented to ensure that every child has a clear pathway to success from cradle to college and career.
The poor in some cities — big ones like New York and Los Angeles, and also quite a few smaller ones like Birmingham, Ala. — live nearly as long as their middle-class neighbors or have seen rising life expectancy in the 21st century. But in some other parts of the country, adults with the lowest incomes die on average as young as people in much poorer nations like Rwanda, and their life spans are getting shorter.
CLiME Writing Specialist Erica Tom presents on Successful Public Scholarship, as part of the writing seminar series given for the Equity and Opportunity Studies Fellowship, a partnership between CLiME at the Rutgers Law School, and the Graduate School at Rutgers University-Newark.
Black third graders are half as likely as whites to be included in programs for the gifted, and the deficit is nearly as large for Hispanics, according to work by two Vanderbilt researchers, Jason Grissom and Christopher Redding. But that can change: When one large school district in Florida altered how it screened children, the number of black and Hispanic children identified as gifted doubled.

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Once a bustling industrial power and an engine of the middle class, Newark has, in recent decades, been wounded by racial strife, suburban flight, and industrial abandonment. From a high in 1948 of nearly half a million, Newark’s population today has plummeted to 277, 540, with more than a quarter of residents living in poverty, and hypersergegation based on race. The purpose of this paper is to analyze Newark’s continuing struggle—as a city plagued by urban poverty yet circumscribed by suburban wealth—to educate its youth, empower its citizens, and harbor the same opportunities for socioeconomic advancement as its more affluent municipal neighbors.
This equity audit comparing the City of Camden, NJ and the Borough of Tenafly, NJ demonstrates the strong correlation between crime, segregation, and educational deficiency, and argues that ways to improve the educational level of “failing” schools is to introduce measures that reduce crime and promote desegregation.
Although the government efforts to assist New Jersey communities recovering from Superstorm Sandy are still underway, CLiME fellow Ian Liberty examined the framework for an equitable response and found current efforts troubling. This article looks at the degree to which the federal and state recovery plans address the structural vulnerabilities that put so many low- and moderate-income renters and homeowners at risk. It also asks whether disaster relief policies should go further to address underlying disparities exposed by the hurricane.
This critical evaluation of exclusionary zoning in New Jersey by CLiME Fellow Noelle Baaren indicates that exclusionary zoning has continued in spite of the state's fair housing regulatory scheme and advocates for more extensive inclusionary zoning strategies.
In an empirical challenge to culture of poverty theories published in the journal Science, the authors find that counterproductive decision making by the poor is correlated with the conditions of poverty itself. Poverty complicates brain functioning while relief from the constraints of poverty improves decision making.
Many cities become over time economically interdependent with their surrounding areas, constituting a single economy and labor market (a metropolitan area). Such areas are usually integrated systems of local government jurisdictions. The economic links between the core and the periphery can become so close that one part cannot succeed without the other. This paper provides a typology of the main metropolitan-level governance approaches applied internationally, with their pros and cons, and related city examples. The paper focuses on areas with more than one local government, but also includes examples where the metropolitan area essentially coincides with one local government jurisdiction. It concludes with a summary of lessons learned and suggested topics for further applied research.
This article explores the ways in which district boundary lines and school desegregation policy impact metropolitan patterns of school and housing segregation. Results indicate that efforts to overcome the divisive nature of district boundary lines, in conjunction with comprehensive school desegregation policy, are related to unambiguous progress in combating school and housing segregation.
The Supreme Court ruled that a formula used to define which areas fell under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was unconstitutional. Section 5 required some places, mostly in the South, to obtain federal permission before changing voting laws. Use this interactive map to explore voting rights by municipality.
This paper will demonstrate how variations in historical development patterns in the Borough of Paramus and the City of Garfield have resulted in striking differences in terms of the economic and educational opportunities currently afforded the residents of each. Part I will consist of an Equity Audit highlighting the differences in life outcomes between the residents of these municipalities. Part II, Opportunity Factors, will discuss how disparities in wealth and the socioeconomic segregation of schoolchildren affect opportunity in each community. Part III, Remedies, will evaluate the viability of some techniques for addressing the existing disparities between Paramus and Garfield, with a particular focus on regional approaches such as tax-base sharing and inclusionary zoning.
While New Jersey is one of the United States’ most populous states, it is simultaneously one of its wealthiest. In other respects, however, New Jersey closely mirrors the overall demographic make-up of the United States, specifically in terms of race. When looking at New Jersey on a more micro and municipal level the state is equally illustrative of insidious problems plaguing the country as a whole, most notably the inequitable and disharmonious way in which wealth and race statistics are consolidated and segregated across New Jersey’s 566 municipalities, due in large part to a destructive reliance on localism; the manifestation of strong local legal power in the face of state control. Montville Township and Elizabeth help highlight the way in which localism has compounded inequity in New Jersey between for minorities and whites, and between the wealthy and the poor.

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Korean hip hop artists PSY's video "Gangam Style" has 50 million YouTube viewers and counting. While the lyrics are ostensibly about PSY proclaiming himself a classy guy while conjuring up his dream girlfriend, the video has taken on a life of its own beyond the Korean pop charts, and serves as a critique of South Korea's extreme inequality, the country ranking no. 3 in income disparity among OECD nations in 2008.

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