Deanna T. Schexnayder was a senior research scientist and Associate Director at the Ray Marshall Center and is currently the assistant dean for finance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin. She has directed or co-directed research projects on Texas child care, education, workforce, and social policies and programs for over two decades, including the Central Texas Student Futures Project, a regional initiative designed to study education and employment outcomes for high school graduates in twelve Central Texas independent school districts. She and her research team completed a multi-faceted analysis of the devolution of Texas subsidized child care policy to the local level and were Texas partners in a project studying employment and TANF outcomes for low-income families receiving child care subsidies in three states.
She directed the Statewide Early Childhood Education Needs Assessment. She also served as a member of the national research team that designed a national survey of child care supply and demand for the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mrs. Schexnayder led a series of research studies and evaluations, using both random assignment and quasi-experimental research designs, to evaluate various welfare reform initiatives in the 1990s. Based on that research, she co-authored the book Life After Welfare: Reform and the Persistence of Poverty with Dr. Laura Lein.
Since 1985, she has supervised the assembly of complex statistical research data sets from confidential, individual-level administrative data files from 16 different programs in Texas and other states. She served on a National Academy of Sciences panel that advised the U.S. Census Bureau on the combined use of survey and administrative data in the re-engineering of its Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), and she regularly lectures to national research audiences on the use of administrative data for research purposes. From 1988 through 2004, Mrs. Schexnayder participated in many local initiatives devoted to improving the quality of child care and public education. She holds a BS degree in psychology and an MBA degree, both from Louisiana State University.