The Domestic Public Policy Program supports projects that will help the public and policy makers understand and address critical challenges facing the United States. To that end, the Foundation supports research on and evaluation of existing public policies and programs, as well as projects that inject new ideas into public debates.
The Foundation believes that policy makers face a series of challenges that need to be met if the United States is going to continue to prosper and provide opportunity to all of its citizens. Even as public finances begin to recover in the wake of the financial crisis and recession, officials are confronting difficult choices that will have to be made in order to restore long-term fiscal balances while maintaining essential public services. These choices will include decisions regarding how best to raise revenues while also creating an environment conducive to economic growth. Policy makers are also looking for strategies that can deliver key public services, such as education and criminal justice, in an effective and efficient manner. There is also a need to develop strategies to improve the long-term growth rate of the U.S. economy and strengthen economic opportunity. Doing so will require a combination of more effective strategies to develop human capital and establishing an economic climate hospitable to entrepreneurship and growth.
To meet these broad objectives, the Foundation has developed a number of grant making portfolios. A group of grants is focused on the challenges of identifying mechanisms that can inform thinking on fiscal practices at the national, state, and municipal levels. In terms of human capital development, the Foundation has been supporting work to identify how schools can become more productive by, for example, increasing the quality of the teacher workforce or adopting more effective curricula. Because success in the contemporary economy requires individuals to acquire education and training beyond high school, the Foundation is building a portfolio of projects on post-secondary education. Finally, the Foundation is supporting work on the criminal justice system that will examine whether costs can be lowered while still protecting public safety.