“Yet as is so often the case, the reality is much different from what the political rhetoric says. The United States has the weakest safety net among the Western industrialized nations, devoting far fewer resources as a percentage of gross domestic product to welfare programs than do other wealthy countries.
Partly as a result, a majority of Americans will experience poverty during their lives, and America’s rate of poverty consistently ranks at or near the top in international comparisons. Rather than slashing anti-poverty programs, the fiscally prudent question to ask is: How much does this high rate of poverty cost our nation in dollars and cents?”
Marc Tucker on David Driscoll’s new book about the Massachusetts experience and on 9 Building Blocks of World Class Education Systems. Fully agree that David Driscoll “is such a decent, caring human being, overflowing with that most uncommon quality: common sense as well as a vast horde of carefully considered experience.”
See the 9 Building Blocks, including numbers 1 and 2.
Another example of the potential for bi-partisan support of early childhood programs (in line with A Purple Agenda for (Early) Education).
From Education Week’s Early Years blog:
“Proving that leaving Congress sometimes makes it easier to find bipartisan accord, former Democratic Rep. George Miller, of California, and former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, of Pennsylvania, have come together to back a dozen child-related policies they say can be supported on both sides of the aisle.
Among the policy recommendations:
- Increase the value of, and access to, the federal Child Care Tax Credit.
- Reauthorize the federally-funded home-visiting program. (Funding for that program expired at the end of September.)
- Create a competitive-grant program to encourage states to design state-level tax programs that increase access to high-quality early-childhood programs.
- Encourage states to establish minimum levels of training and competencies for their child-care workforce and to improve professional development systems for the child-care workforce in ways that have been shown to impact child outcomes.
The full report offers more recommendations and rationales on why these particular recommendations should be adopted quickly.”
“The US is one of the only developed countries in the world without a child allowance — a government program giving every family a set amount of money per child, no strings attached.
A new proposal by Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet (CO) and Sherrod Brown (OH) would change that. The American Family Act of 2017 would dramatically expand the child tax credit, which currently offers up to $1,000 a year for families with significant earnings but little or nothing for many poor people, to pay:
- $3,000 per year, or $250 per month, per child ages 6 to 18
- $3,600 per year, or $300 per month, per child ages 0 to 5
The benefits would be distributed monthly, in advance, so that families can pace out their spending and smooth their incomes. Because the CTC, like the earned income tax credit, is currently paid out through tax refunds, it sometimes leads to a perverse situation in which families use it to pay down debt they never would’ve had to incur if they’d gotten the money earlier.”
From Vox: https://go.edc.org/2rwq
“When you compare the U.S. social welfare system with those of other wealthy countries, what really stands out now is our neglect of children. Other countries provide new parents with extensive paid leave, provide high-quality, subsidized day care for children with working parents and make pre-K available to everyone or almost everyone; we do none of these things. Our spending on families is a third of the advanced-country average, putting us down there with Mexico and Turkey.”
Paul Krugman, NYT: What’s Next for Progressives
My colleague Diane Schilder and I briefed Massachusetts lawmakers last Thursday on the latest research and thinking regarding QRIS and P-3 partnerships. I was pleased to see how much interest there is in improving quality and supporting community P-3 initiatives. See this short write-up of the event.
In case you had trouble accessing my recent commentary in Education Week, Preschool Matters Today has now re-published it: A Purple Agenda for (Early) Education.