The Lab Report

The Lab Report is the Public Policy Lab’s annual e-magazine featuring curated essays on an important policy issue. 

Policy Briefs

The Public Policy Lab’s Policy Briefs provide concise summaries of policy-relevant academic research for policymakers and the public.

2022 – 2023 Policy Briefs

Safe Injection Sites as a Public Health Response to the Opioid Crisis: Research Evidence and Policy Recommendations

  • Gerald Stahler (Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University)

ChatGPT: Educational Friend or Foe?

  • Kathy Hirsh-Pasek (Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Temple University and The Brookings Institution)

  • Elias Blinkoff (Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Temple University)

The Hidden Housing Crisis of Eviction in Immigrant Neighborhoods

  • Rebbeca Tesfai (Department of Sociology, Temple University)

2021 – 2022 Policy Briefs

Marijuana Legalization and Automatic Criminal Record Expungement

  • Nyron N. Crawford (Political Science, Temple University)
  • Daniel Confalone (Political Science, Temple University)

The Hidden Local Costs of Hurricanes

  • Rhiannon Jerch (Department of Economics, Temple University)
  • Gary Lin, Postdoctoral Fellow (Johns Hopkins University 21st Century Cities Initiative)

Police Budgets on the Ballot before and After George Floyd’s Murder

  • Michael Sances (Temple University)

2020 – 2021 Policy Briefs

The Policy Challenges of Urban Flooding, Managed Retreat, and Social Equity

  • Kevin Loughran (Temple University)

  • James R. Elliott (Rice University)

From Struggle Space to an Inclusive and Climate-Ready Philadelphia: Policy Proposals for a More Equitable Green Future

  • Christina D. Rosan (Temple University)
  • Russell Zerbo (Clean Air Council)
  • Megan Heckert (West Chester University)

Short- and Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19 on Outdoor Public Spaces

  • Hamil Pearsall (Temple University)
  • Stephen T. Dickinson (Temple University)

The Effect of Parental Legalization on Poverty among Children in Immigrant Families

  • Cody Spence (Temple University)
  • James D. Bachmeier (Temple University)

Challenging Heteronormative Practices in the Juvenile Justice System

  • Jamie J. Fader (Temple University)
  • Megan H. Shaud (Temple University)

COVID-19, Mental Health, and Socioeconomic Status

  • Tessa Clarkson (Temple University)
  • Johanna M. Jarcho (Temple University)

COVID-19 Sparks an Overdue Discussion on Education Reform: An Optimistic Vision

  • Kathy Hirsh-Pasek (Temple University and The Brookings Institution)
  • Elias Blinkoff (Temple University)
  • Helen Shwe Hadani (The Brookings Institution)
  • Roberta Michnick Golinkoff (University of Delaware)

2019 - 2020 COVID-19 Policy Briefs

Can an Equity Index Promoting an Environmentally 'Just' City Help Us Beat Pandemics, Address Injustice, and Prepare Us for Climate Change?

  • Christina D. Rosan (Temple University)
  • Megan Heckert (West Chester University)

Unequal Impact: COVID-19 and Early Childhood Education

  • Elise Chor (Temple University)

The Hardest Hit: Post-COVID Unemployment in Immigrant-Dense Industries

  • Cody Spence (Temple University)
  • James D. Bachmeier (Temple University)

COVID-19: Challenges for Higher Education

  • Douglas Webber (Temple University)

The Convergence of the COVID-19 and Opioid Health Crises in the US

  • Jeremy Mennis (Temple University)
  • Gerald J. Stahler (Temple University)


State Policy, Local Impact: How Policy Choices Will Shape the Financial Future of Pennsylvania School Districts

A recent report from the Public Policy Lab, “State Policy, Local Impact: How Policy Choices Will Shape the Financial Future of Pennsylvania School Districts,” forecasts the fiscal future for all 500 school districts in PA for the period 2019-20 through 2025-26. The report reviews the impacts of the pandemic on school districts' finances and highlights key policy choices available to state policymakers. Across a wide range of possible policy choices, the report predicts a majority of districts will face persistent fiscal stress in the next five years; however, policy choices at the state level to balance state subsidies and mandates, including a controlled growth of charter school tuition increases, could help mitigate this outcome.