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Research Roundup

In two new reports, the Urban Institute highlights data on how government can encourage low-income families to save and acquire assets for long-term economic empowerment:

In "Foreclosure Exposure 2: The Cost to our Cities and Neighborhoods", ACORN  surveys 96 metropolitan areas where property owners, local governments, lenders and investors alike stand to lose more than $25 billion due to foreclosures.

American Rights at Work and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights will be releasing a report today, FedUp with FedEx: How FedEx Ground Tramples Workers' Rights and Civil Rights, on the chronic misuse of independent contractor laws by FedEx to deny legal wages and benefits to their workers and use creative accounting to evade taxes owed.   

In the Hudson Valley Farmworker Report, researchers from Adelphi and Bard College highlight how farmworkers in New York are denied many of the legal protections other workers enjoy, particularly the freedom to form unions, resulting in desperately low wages, fears due to their immigration status, and abuse by employers.

As Georgia leaders discuss abolishing the state's property tax, two reports from Georgia State University's Fiscal Research Center (FRC) detail how repealing property taxes would create an $8.6 billion budget hole for the state -- and that a proposed increase in sales taxes to make up for the deficit would fall at least $2 billion short of filling that hole.

As part of a federally funded study, RAND found that while states are meeting requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) to ensure that every child is taught by a "highly qualified teacher," state standards on what counts as a highly qualified teacher vary dramatically. However, significantly fewer special education teachers were deemed to be highly qualified under state standards and many schools failed to communicate to teachers what their status was and what was needed to raise their training appropriately.