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Potential conflicts of interest in the formation and operation of Arizona School Tuition Organizations

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My thesis offers original research is in its direct analysis of the IRS conflict of interest regulations and their applicability to STOs, its discussion of my experience setting up an STO, and my interviews of State Legislators as a primary

My thesis offers original research is in its direct analysis of the IRS conflict of interest regulations and their applicability to STOs, its discussion of my experience setting up an STO, and my interviews of State Legislators as a primary source. The primary goals of my investigation are to 1. Determine the regulations and standards that exist to prevent conflicts of interest in the operation of Arizona STOs. 2. Examine instances of alleged conflicts of interest encountered by STO operators. 3. Discuss the ethical implications of STO operator actions in situations of conflicts of interest. And 4. Propose legislative solutions to remove any and all conflicts of interest. From my examination of financial records and from my interviews with other state legislators, I have concluded that Arizona Christina School Tuition Organization is violating IRS regulations by operating with an objective of conferring on its director a private benefit. The STO I helped form, ------------- STO will need to carefully document its expenses and contracts to justify its overhead margin or else risk running afoul of the same IRS regulations. Even if an STO like ------------- STO, is allowed by Arizona law to have an overhead margin of 10%, those expenses must be justified, particularly if they confer a private benefit to restricted persons. Ultimately, even if an STO deliberately flouts IRS regulations regarding private benefits realized by "disqualified" persons, it is highly unlikely that the STO will face IRS scrutiny. Therefore, there exist sufficient federal regulatory safeguards to prevent financial conflicts of interest among Arizona STO board members, but such regulations are not sufficiently enforced to prevent those conflicts of interest.

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2018-05

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Effect of a Local Labor Demand Shock on Postsecondary Education Enrollment

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A growing number of jobs in the US require a college degree or technical education, and the wage difference between jobs requiring a high school diploma and a college education has increased to over $17,000 per year. Enrollment levels in

A growing number of jobs in the US require a college degree or technical education, and the wage difference between jobs requiring a high school diploma and a college education has increased to over $17,000 per year. Enrollment levels in postsecondary education have been rising for at least the past decade, and this paper attempts to tease out how much of the increasing enrollment is due to changes in the demand by companies for workers. A Bartik Instrument, which is a measure of local area labor demand, for each county in the US was constructed from 2007 to 2014, and using multivariate linear regression the effect of changing labor demand on local postsecondary education enrollment rates was examined. A small positive effect was found, but the effect size in relation to the total change in enrollment levels was diminutive. From the start to the end of the recession (2007 to 2010), Bartik Instrument calculated unemployment increased from 5.3% nationally to 8.2%. This level of labor demand contraction would lead to a 0.42% increase in enrollment between 2008 and 2011. The true enrollment increase over this period was 7.6%, so the model calculated 5.5% of the enrollment increase was based on the changes in labor demand.

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2016-05

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MENDING A DETRIMENTAL CRISIS: PROPOSAL TO REDUCE RECIDIVISM THROUGH THE INCORPORATION OF COMPUTER SKILLS AND CODING IN PRISONS

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With a prison population that has grown to 1.4 million, an imprisonment rate of 419 per 100,000 U.S. residents, and a recidivism rate of 52.2% for males and 36.4% for females, the United States is facing a crisis. Currently, no

With a prison population that has grown to 1.4 million, an imprisonment rate of 419 per 100,000 U.S. residents, and a recidivism rate of 52.2% for males and 36.4% for females, the United States is facing a crisis. Currently, no sufficient measures have been taken by the United States to reduce recidivism. Attempts have been made, but they ultimately failed. Recently, however, there has been an increase in experimentation with the concept of teaching inmates basic computer skills to reduce recidivism. As labor becomes increasingly digitized, it becomes more difficult for inmates who spent a certain period away from technology to adapt and find employment. At the bare minimum, anybody entering the workforce must know how to use a computer and other technological appliances, even in the lowest-paid positions. By incorporating basic computer skills and coding educational programs within prisons, this issue can be addressed, since inmates would be better equipped to take on a more technologically advanced labor market.<br/>Additionally, thoroughly preparing inmates for employment is a necessity because it has been proven to reduce recidivism. Prisons typically have some work programs; however, these programs are typically outdated and prepare inmates for fields that may represent a difficult employment market moving forward. On the other hand, preparing inmates for tech-related fields of work is proving to be successful in the early stages of experimentation. A reason for this success is the growing demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11 percent between 2019 and 2029. This is noteworthy considering the national average for growth of all other jobs is only 4 percent. It also warrants the exploration of educating coders because software developers, in particular, have an expected growth rate of 22 percent between 2019 and 2029. <br/>Despite the security risks of giving inmates access to computers, the implementation of basic computer skills and coding in prisons should be explored further. Programs that give inmates access to a computing education already exist. The only issue with these programs is their scarcity. However, this is to no fault of their own, considering the complex nature and costs of running such a program. Accordingly, this leaves the opportunity for public universities to get involved. Public universities serve as perfect hosts because they are fully capable of leveraging the resources already available to them. Arizona State University, in particular, is a more than ideal candidate to spearhead such a program and serve as a model for other public universities to follow. Arizona State University (ASU) is already educating inmates in local Arizona prisons on subjects such as math and English through their PEP (Prison Education Programming) program.<br/>This thesis will focus on Arizona specifically and why this would benefit the state. It will also explain why Arizona State University is the perfect candidate to spearhead this kind of program. Additionally, it will also discuss why recidivism is detrimental and the reasons why formerly incarcerated individuals re-offend. Furthermore, it will also explore the current measures being taken in Arizona and their limitations. Finally, it will provide evidence for why programs like these tend to succeed and serve as a proposal to Arizona State University to create its own program using the provided framework in this thesis.

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2021-05