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Published September 30, 2020

Whether they’re explored on a presidential debate stage, in classrooms, or at your kitchen table, the issues we face as a society have never been more complicated. Fortunately, scores of Rutgers experts appear in the media every day, providing fresh perspective on healthcare, politics, and countless other areas of public concern.

As all-remote instruction leads more parents to home school their kids or send them to private schools with in-person classes, poorer school districts are more likely to feel a financial squeeze than wealthier districts. The latter districts generally rely more on property taxes for revenue and less on state aid per student, says Bruce Baker, a professor of education at Rutgers. He tells USA Today that, without changes to state aid formulas, “districts that stand to lose the most from enrollment declines are those that depend the most on state aid.”

USA Today | America’s missing kids: Amid COVID-19 and online school, thousands of students haven’t shown up

Women still hold fewer than a quarter of the seats in Congress and do not fare much better in other offices, says Debbie Walsh GSNB’80, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers. “The question of electability is one that haunts women and becomes this terrible Catch-22,” Walsh tells The Hill. “It really limits the potential for women of color when they’re thinking of running for other offices either in majority white districts or thinking about running statewide.”

The Hill | Women gain uneven footholds in Congress, state legislatures

Tap Into reports that New Jersey will use contact tracing software developed by an Irish company to bolster the work of contact tracers in tracking and containing the spread of the coronavirus. Joel Caplan SCJ’04, a professor at Rutgers’ School of Criminal Justice, says, “Part of the big problem with these (contact tracing apps) is buy-in. These (apps) only work if everyone uses the same one.”

Tap Into | State to Use Mobile App to Boost Contact Tracing, Try to Contain COVID

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and University Hospital have begun recruiting volunteers in the Newark area to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of mRNA-1273, one of several COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Patch explores this development through an in-depth Q&A session with two Rutgers experts: Shobha Swaminathan, principal investigator at RNJMS Clinical Research Center and medical director of infectious diseases practice at University Hospital, and Michael Gusmano, bioethicist and professor of health policy at Rutgers School of Public Health.

Patch | Rutgers Experts Explore Concerns About COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

The saliva COVID-19 test developed at Rutgers is faster, more comfortable, and easier to analyze than nasal swab tests—and yet the latter are still in wider use. Why hasn’t the saliva test been implemented among New Jersey’s most at-risk citizens, such as nursing home residents? Featuring quotes from School of Public Health dean Perry Halkitis, a Star-Ledger editorial urges the state to move faster on this front. “You put your quickest, most accurate test in your most vulnerable population,” says Halkitis. “That’s what should be happening.”

nj.com | Murphy said this test could be our ‘salvation.’ So why isn’t it in nursing homes?

As day-to-day policing practices come under increasing scrutiny, people with special needs are being brought into that conversation. The Press of Atlantic City writes about a new registry aimed at helping police interact with citizens who are intellectually and developmentally differently abled. “I am skeptical of registries, because even if you know [the developmental issue], if you don’t have the training, how will you respond?” says Kayla Preito-Hodge, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at Rutgers University–Camden. “Without the training, I’m not sure of the [registry’s] usefulness.”

The Press of Atlantic City | Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Needs Registry aims to spread awareness, reduce stigma