Study Description

Evaluation of Effects of the Learnfare Program, 1993-1996

Evaluation of effects of the learnfare program, 1993-1996.

Study Number:
QN-020-001-1-1-United States-DPLS-1993

Principal Investigators:
Caspar, Emma; Frye, Judith; McKim, Karen; McKinley, Sandra; Neumann, John; Varana, David

Originating Organization:
State of Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau.

The Learnfare data set contains baseline demographic data and Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) receipt information for 3,205 individuals who were age 13 to 19 and subject to Learnfare requirements at the time the entered the study. The sample is comprised of all individuals in ten counties who first became subject to Learnfare between March 1993 and April 1994. Individuals from Milwaukee County accounted for 63 percent of the research sample. Because only those new to Learnfare were included, over half of the sample members were 13 years old when they entered the sample. Half of the sample members were assigned to a control group, with the other half subject to Learnfare requirements. The data set also contains school enrollment, attendance, and completion information for most individuals. The length of follow-up varies according to when individuals entered the study, and ranges from four to six semesters.

Demographic data include:

  • Age at entry into the study
  • Date of study entry
  • Sex
  • Whether or not the teenager was a parent, or pregnant, when they entered the study
  • County in which the teenager entered the study
  • Whether or not the teenager was enrolled in school when they entered the study
  • Ethnicity
  • Grade in school at sample entry

Data from the state Computer Reporting Network (CRN) and Client Assistance for Re-employment and Economic Support (CARES) systems was collected on a monthly basis. Note that sample members on AFDC could be either dependent children or teenage parents receiving AFDC for their own children. The data include:

  • Dollar amounts of AFDC payments
  • Individual AFDC eligibility
  • Case status (open, closed)
  • Whether individuals were subject to Learnfare requirements, or would have been subject had they not been in the control group
  • Learnfare status data, such as whether the individual was subject to monthly monitoring, or was being sanctioned
  • County of residence, for open AFDC cases
  • Food Stamps data was also collected, but because of data problems affecting data collected from CRN, this data was never used for analysis.

School data was collected directly from school districts. Some individuals are missing some or all of this data. The data are available by month and by semester. The data include:

  • The number of required school days
  • The number of months of enrollment
  • The number of days of total attendance
  • The number of days of excused absence
  • The number of days of unexcused absence
  • For students who graduated or completed a General Education Development certificate (GED) or High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED), the date of completion

The data set has been stripped of identifying variables such as name and social security number, in order to preserve client confidentiality.

The Legislative Audit Bureau takes no responsibility for any new analyses produced using this data set. In particular, we are not responsible for any uses of this data which are not in accordance with the definitions and constraints of the variables, as described in the attending documentation, or which modify the data in any way which is inconsistent with the definitions and constraints of the variables.