Weekly Round-Up: Adult Education Funding Cuts, Subsidized Jobs, and Early Childhood Systems

Mar 16, 2012

Select CLASP blog posts and other highlights

To the detriment of low-income, low-skill workers and their families, the national trend to reduce funding for adult education continues unabated. Most recently, the Los Angeles Unified School District board approved a preliminary budget this week that would decimate one of the nation's largest programs serving adult students. Unless the city can raise revenue before the budget is finalized in June, all adult schools in the city could be closed and at least 1,800 faculty and staff could lose their jobs.

Read the post, Advocates Fight to Save Adult Education in Los Angeles, to learn more about grassroots efforts to stop the cuts and why adult education services are essential to reducing unemployment among low-skill workers. To amplify the case for policies that help low-skill and low-income workers, CLASP participated in a week-long blog series on the Department of Labor's Workforce Innovation Forum. CLASP senior policy analyst Elizabeth Lower-Basch examined one such policy, subsidized jobs, by looking at the successful TANF Emergency Fund and its size and scope, lessons learned from the Fund, and how states have built on the TANF EF since its end.

CLASP senior policy analyst Christine Johnson-Staub examined how the employment constraints many low-income working parents face—such as unpredictable work schedules, unreliable transportation, and absence of paid time off—impact parents' decisions regarding child care for their kids. In this blog post, she outlined policies states can implement to help families maintain consistent child care while they navigate the waters of low-wage employment.

In another post, Ms. Johnson-Staub laid out recommendations for ways states can create a seamless early childhood system by partnering Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) to state licensing requirements, procedures and policies. Developing strong state QRIS is a strategy to improve parents' access to high-quality child care, which helps parents maintain consistent employment and support their families.

And more...

  • Young Invincibles launched an 18-state bus tour to hear the stories, issues, and solutions of young Americans. Their Campaign for Young America aims to take the voices of young Americans, both in and out of school, to policymakers and the media.

  • The White House is recruiting employers to join the SummerJobs+ online job bank to help youth find summer employment. Read more in Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis' post, Are You Hiring This Summer?

  • Barbara Ehrenreich writes about "the culture of poverty" in the Huffington Post, arguing "a new discovery of poverty is long overdue."

  • A new report, An Uneven Road: U.S. Labor Markets in the Past 30 Years, answers questions like which groups of workers benefited from economic growth, and which did not? And does the current severe downturn, from which our recovery will likely be painfully slow, change our long-term perceptions?


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