POLICY AREAS
Our priorities are motivated by three interrelated concerns:
Improving policy responses. We focus on topics related to major areas of California’s general fund spending—specifically, K-12 and higher education, health and human services, and corrections.

Planning for the future. We raise awareness about California’s long-term challenges. Our activities inform critical decisions about water and energy policy, climate change, and fiscal and governance reform.

Understanding the drivers of change. We provide timely, web-based data and analysis of societal trends—economic, demographic, political—that shape various policy issues, today and tomorrow.
Specifically, we examine:

CLIMATE CHANGE/ENERGY

We monitor the state’s leadership in climate change and energy policy through analysis of public opinion, local government actions, and industry trends.

CORRECTIONS

We analyze the effects of California’s realigned criminal justice system, focusing on effectiveness, outcomes, and public safety.

ECONOMY

Our work tracks trends shaping policy decisions in economic development, employment, housing, income, and industry.

FISCAL/GOVERNANCE REFORM

We examine the impact of current and proposed reforms. Areas of interest include the state budget, state-local realignment, and tax policy.

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

We monitor the implementation of federal health care reform and evaluate service delivery and program operations in child welfare and other safety net programs.

HIGHER EDUCATION

We explore affordability, graduation rates, the effects of budget cuts, and the ability to meet workforce needs.

K-12 EDUCATION

Studies focus on achievement gaps, early education, funding, and student performance.

POLITICAL LANDSCAPE

Our work follows elections, voter behavior, the effects of partisanship, and shifts in public opinion.

POPULATION

We analyze the immediate and long-term policy implications of key issues such as aging, race/ethnicity, and immigration.

WATER

We examine the governance, management, and funding of the state’s water system, with a particular focus on the Delta.

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