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TEAM

Educational outcomes for children as a function of healthcare access

Nicholas Castillo, Glenn Young, Anthony Kling, Ayomikun Adeniran, Edward Varvak, samara chamoun

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According to the CDC, around 5.8% of grade school students missed at least 15 days of school in 2022 due to health-related reasons (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db498.htm). Chronic absenteeism results in students missing milestones in reading and math, and consequently falling behind their peers, possibly putting educational success out of reach.
The goal of this project is to determine if there is a relationship between ease of access to healthcare in children and educational outcomes. We can collect Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and private insurance enrollment criteria and data by state and see if any features from that data explain educational outcomes across states. The data will likely be messy with tons of confounders to consider: educational standards differ across states, public funding for schools and healthcare varies widely, proportion of urban/suburban/rural areas might influence the proportion of residents that can easily get to a doctor's office, so on. Data collection and exploration should be fun!
Some additional thoughts:
1. To consider a problem closer related to health and educational equity, we could approach this with a finer grain and only consider children from low-income households (though this might reduce the data available to us).
2. Depending on how this project progresses, there is potentially an important health economics question in here about the cost-benefit of Medicaid expansion.

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