This week, we discuss what schools need to better support undocumented and asylum-seeking students; what leads Russia, Iran, and China to use their military forces abroad; renters' options as California's eviction moratorium ends; Americans' perspectives on veterans; measuring the compounding effects of racism; and the potential consequences of short-tenured leaders in Japan.
As of March 2020, there were an estimated 321,000 undocumented and asylum-seeking children from Mexico and the Northern Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador) enrolled in U.S. K–12 public schools. That's according to a new RAND report, which provides critical data as recent surges in migration highlight the challenges schools face in supporting this vulnerable population.
“Many of these children bring extra challenges to the classroom,” says author Julia Kaufman. “Some have little formal education, are English-language learners, are in impoverished households, or have symptoms of psychological distress and trauma.”
The report offers several policy recommendations, including providing additional funding for schools experiencing immigration surges and providing professional development and high-quality resources to all teachers to support English-language learners.
A new series of RAND reports explores where, how, and how often Russia, Iran, and China have intervened militarily since 1946. Overall, the authors conclude that concern over future military interventions by these adversaries should be tempered—for now. However, China represents the greatest threat to U.S. interests. Beijing has significant capabilities and growing strategic interests. And there are many scenarios that could lead to increased Chinese military interventions.
California's moratorium on evictions ended this week. This could lead to a new housing crisis, but it doesn't have to turn into a new homelessness crisis, says RAND's George Zuo. The state program can still make payments to eligible renters—but only if more people apply and their applications are processed quickly. The stakes are high: Evicted renters will struggle to secure housing for years to come. And for the broader community, the societal costs of homelessness are staggering.
New RAND survey results highlight Americans' strong support for providing benefits and services to veterans. In fact, 87 percent of respondents support the need to do more for veterans. Respondents were also more likely to support a guarantee of benefits for veterans than for all Americans. For instance, 85 percent supported guaranteed free college for veterans, while 57 percent supported free college for all.
Systemic racial bias affects people of color throughout their lives—in education, employment, housing, and the criminal justice system. But many Americans remain skeptical about how bias leads to disparities between Black and white Americans. RAND researchers are creating a tool that shows how seemingly small differences can add up to significant inequality. In the final installment of a series of conversations with our president and CEO Michael Rich, the researchers discuss their efforts to shine a light on this pervasive problem.
Japan will soon have a new prime minister. Fumio Kishida is set to replace Yoshihide Suga, who is stepping down after less than a year on the job. RAND's Jeffrey Hornung says that this could signal a return to Japan's post–Cold War trend of “revolving-door prime ministers.” If this happens, then the implications for Japan and the U.S.-Japan alliance would be significant. “Japan is a consequential power,” he says, but “only as long as its leaders have the political stability to do consequential things.”
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