Data Dictionary

Evaluation of Effects of the Learnfare Program, 1993-1996

Learnfare Analysis Data Dictionary


The month the subject entered the sample. Subjects entered the sample over a 14-month period.



Total receipt of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) benefits in relative semesters 1 through 6. Total receipt of AFDC benefits by actual semester (Spring 93, etc.) are stored in variables AFDCsyy, where s is semester (S=spring, F=fall), and yy is calendar year.



Binary age categories. A value of 1 indicates membership in category. Breakdown of categories:


  • AGED0 Intercept: Age 13 at entry into study. Includes 12 year olds erroneously enrolled into Learnfare
  • AGED1 Age 14 and 15
  • AGED2 Age 16 and 17
  • AGED3 Age 18+



Total attendance days in relative semesters 1 through 6. Total attendance days by actual semester are stored in variable series ATsyy.



For benefits analysis, subjects entering sample in December 1993 and January 1994 were considered to have entered the sample in Spring 1994, due to a built-in lag in benefits reporting by a state electronic information system known as Computer Reporting Network (CRN). For attendance analyses, these December 93 and January 94 subjects are considered to have entered the sample in Fall 93. BRSM1 was used to determine relative semesters in variable AFDCn. Breakdown of values for BRSM1:


  • S93 1st benefits recorded in Spring 93
  • F93 1st benefits recorded in Fall 93
  • S94 1st benefits recorded in Spring 94



Monthly assistance group status. The CRN system was replaced by the Client Assistance for Re-employment and Economic Support (CARES) system, and Status was coded slightly differently on the two systems. Indicates whether an AFDC case was open, denied, closed or pending closed. To differentiate between CRN ‘C’ and CARES ‘C’, check values of ELIGn to determine whether data came from CRN or CARES for that month. Breakdown of values for CASEn series:


  • B CRN - Closed
  • C CRN - Pending closure (open)
  • C CARES - Closed
  • O CRN & CARES - Open
  • V CRN - pending home visit (open)
  • P CARES - pending closure verification (open)
  • D CARES - Denied



Binary county category, a 1 identifies a subject as residing in Milwaukee County at baseline.



Monthly reported county of residence. Used in determining the number of absences for confirmed dropouts by comparing average number of required days for all students in that county in that month. Values include standard Wisconsin County codes, Menominee=72 version.



Baseline reported county of residence. Used to determine CNTYR. Note: two subjects had missing values for this variable. Data cleaning procedures revealed they were Milwaukee county residents at the time they entered the sample, and were coded appropriately in CNTYR. Breakdown of values for COUNTY:

  • 05 - Brown
  • 16 - Douglas
  • 18 - Eau Claire
  • 30 - Kenosha
  • 32 - La Crosse
  • 37 - Marathon
  • 38 - Marinette
  • 40 - Milwaukee
  • 49 - Portage
  • 51 - Racine



Used exclusively for tracking purposes, it is a four-digit code for the Wisconsin School District and consists of the last known district for all sample members. Therefore, it is not applicable as an analysis variable. Contact the Legislative Audit Bureau at (608) 266-2818 for more information.



Monthly enrollment status, a 1 identifies a subject as being enrolled in that month. Used to build semester enrollment analysis variable ENROLn. A student was considered to be enrolled if valid enrollment information was reported by their school and they were not confirmed as dropouts. Dropouts were determined using the following decision rules:


  • Subject reported they were not enrolled at baseline and no school enrollment information was found
  • School positively confirmed the subject had dropped out
  • Subject had unexcused absences totaling more than twenty days in the month
  • Subject was a dropout in the immediately preceding month and the number of unexcused absences equaled total number of required days (used to detect dropouts in months with less than twenty required attendance days).



Monthly individual eligibility for AFDC. Possible values include:

0 CRN - Ineligible

9 CRN - Eligible

E CARES - Eligible

EA CARES - Eligible Adult

EC CARES - Eligible Child

X CARES - Ineligible

XA CARES - Ineligible Adult

XC CARES - Ineligible Child

AC CARES - Allocated Child

SD CARES - Sanctioned Deemer

PD CARES - Parent Deemer



Total enrollment months in relative semesters 1 through 6. Total enrollment months by actual semester are stored in variables ENROLsyy.



Binary ethnicity categories. A value of 1 indicates membership in category. Intercept: White. Breakdown of categories:


  • ETHD1 African American
  • ETHD2 Native American
  • ETHD3 Asian
  • ETHD4 Hispanic



Self-reported last completed grade at baseline.



Graduation date in format YYMM.



Self-Reported enrollment status at the time the subject entered the study. A 1 indicates the subject reported he/she was not enrolled. IDROP = "initial dropout."



Cumulative number of months subject to Learnfare requirements in relative semesters 1 through 6. For control group subjects, this value represents the number of months subject to Learnfare requirements had they participated in the program.



Monthly Learnfare status indicator, a 1 indicates the individual was subject to Learnfare requirements, or would have been had they participated in the program (control group). Used to create the cumulative LFMANDn relative semester variables. Values were determined using the following decision rules:


  • Subject was either eligible for AFDC or was ineligible for AFDC due to Learnfare attendance or dropout sanction; and
  • Subject was on a case that was open and received benefits or did not receive benefits due to a Learnfare sanction grant reduction; and
  • Subject was either the primary person in the assistance group or was living with a responsible relative; and
  • Subject had not yet graduated from a High School or High School-equivalency program; and
  • Subject had not yet turned 20 years of age.



Monthly enrollment status indicator. This variable was used to determine enrollment and dropout status for each subject on a monthly basis. It was also used to track data collection tasks for each subject. Values included:


  • A subject is twenty years old or older
  • D confirmed dropout
  • E student expelled
  • F tracking lead identified, follow-up required
  • G subject graduated
  • L data lost and unrecoverable (no further tracking)
  • R coded dropout (self-reported dropout at baseline, school reported missing)
  • S subject was suspended during this month
  • U no tracking leads
  • W student left Wisconsin
  • X no attendance required or entered sample in later month
  • Y enrolled



The number of excused absences in the month.



The number of required absences in the month.



The number of unexcused absences in the month.



The number of years overage for the reported baseline grade.



Research group status. T=Treatment, C=Control.



Binary analysis variable for research group status, a 1 indicates treatment group.



Attendance rate in relative semesters 1 through 6. Attendance rate by actual semester is stored in variable series RATsyy.



Relative semester match-up to actual semester. A subject’s first relative semester was either Spring 93, Fall 93, or Spring 94. A breakdown of which assignment months were aligned with which actual semester is presented below:


  • March 93-May 93 RSM1=S93
  • June 93-January 94 RSM1=F93
  • February 94-April 94 RSM1=S94



Unexcused absence rate in relative semesters 1 through 6. Unexcused absence rate by actual semester is stored in variable series RATsyy.



Reason for reduction in grant/sanction. Includes codes from CRN system that are for Jobs Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) sanctions, as well as CRN sanction codes used as administrative "flag" by Milwaukee county. Used to identify sanctions in months that CARES data was available; in those months in which CRN data was available, used only in conjunction with corresponding variable for individual AFDC status -STATn (e.g. STAT10=‘SA’ and SANC10=‘D’ meant subject was sanctioned on CRN as a dropout; STAT10=‘HO’ and SANC10=‘D’ meant Milwaukee county was holding the case on CRN for review as a dropout, no sanction applied.) Possible values for this variable include:


  • 1 JOBS sanction code: 1st sanction
  • 2 JOBS sanction code: 2nd sanction
  • D CRN Learnfare sanction: Dropout
  • A CRN Learnfare sanction: Attendance
  • S CARES Learnfare sanction
  • SA CARES Learnfare sanction: Excess absences in month monitored
  • SN CARES Learnfare sanction: Dropout - acknowledged not enrolled
  • SS CARES Learnfare sanction: Dropout - school/other reported not enrolled
  • SC CARES Learnfare sanction: Dropout - ceased to attend



Binary analysis variable used to control for differences between fall and spring semesters, a 1 indicates the relative semester was a fall semester.



‘M’= Male, ‘F’=Female



Binary analysis variable, a 1 indicates female.



Individual AFDC status. Used in conjunction with corresponding sanction reason variable (SANCn) to identify Learnfare sanctions in CRN data. Also used to identify subjects who were monitored on both CRN and CARES. Also used to determine good cause exemptions to sanctions. Possible values for this variable include:


CA CRN JOBS Exempt - caring for a child under 2

CH CRN Learnfare Exempt - child under 13

EM CRN JOBS Exempt - employed full-time

FU CRN JOBS Exempt - full time student

HO CRN Learnfare - Milwaukee hold pending verification (accompanied by D in SANCn)

IF CRN Learnfare Good Cause - caring for an infant under 3 months

IN CRN Learnfare - excused from attending by school

MA CRN Learnfare - mandatory participant in JOBS program

MO CRN Learnfare - monthly attendance requirement (monitored)

NL CRN Learnfare Exempt - no legally responsible relative

NO CRN Learnfare Exempt - not in the grant

PR CRN JOBS Exempt - Pregnant

SA CRN Learnfare - sanctioned (JOBS sanction indicated by 1 or 2 in SANCn)

ST CRN Learnfare - student in good standing

UV CRN Learnfare - unverified attendance, enrollment, no monitoring

VO CRN JOBS - voluntary participant

CCT CARES Good Cause - no transport to child care

CCU CARES Good Cause - no child care


EMR CARES Good Cause - emergency

EXP CARES Good Cause - expelled


GRD CARES Exempt - High School graduate

HED CARES Exempt - High School Equivalent

HPV CARES Hold - Pending enrollment/attendance verification

IFA CARES Exempt - Ineligible for AFDC

ILL CARES Good Cause - illness

INF CARES Good Cause - caring for infant

MFV CARES Monitored - no prior semester attendance verification

MPS CARES Monitored - poor prior semester attendance

MRD CARES Monitored - returned dropout

NLR CARES Exempt - not living with responsible relative

OVR CARES Exempt - under age 13 over age 20

RCG CARES Exempt - research control group

STU CARES Student in good standing

TRN CARES Good Cause - transportation breakdown



Age on entry into the study.



Total absences by actual semester, includes both excused and unexcused absences.



Binary analysis variable, a 1 indicates the subject was pregnant or a parent on entry into the study.



Total required attendance days by actual semester.



Total unexcused absences in relative semesters 1 through 6. Unexcused absences by actual semester is stored in variable series TUXsyy.