Apr 18, 2014
Covering Former Foster Youths
A new report co-authored by experts at CLASP and Urban Institute highlights the influence of states in determining whether former foster youths will be able to access health care.
- Apr 09, 2014 | Associated Press Department of Labor hosting income equality forum Jodie Levin-Epstein, deputy director of CLASP, will keynote the Atlanta Working Families Forum about income equality and challenges that working families face.
Mar 26, 2014
Another Round of Food Stamp Cuts in States
A fresh round of food stamp cuts at the state level are underway, on top of federal food stamp reductions that hit millions of Americans twice since November. In some states, policymakers have imposed additional cuts that jeopardize benefits for hundreds of thousands
“What happens to an able-bodied adult without dependents that is actively looking and trying to get into the workforce but is unable to?” asked Helly Lee of the Center for Law and Social Policy, an advocacy group for low-income people. “It’s a downward spiral if you’re unable to find jobs. It’s hard to climb out of it if there are constantly barriers along the way.”
Mar 25, 2014
Can the U.S. House of Representatives Pass a Bipartisan Child-Care Bill?
Olivia Golden, the executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy, or CLASP, echoed that sentiment. "CCDBG would be strengthened by increasing its focus on health and safety and quality and allowing parents easier and more-sustained access to assistance," she said. The Senate bill would also allow parents to remain eligible for the child-care grants for a full year to ensure continuity of care. Right now, parents must reapply every three to seven months, on average.
Mar 24, 2014
The Leonard Lopate Show: Poverty and the Social Safety Net
For this week’s installment of our series Strapped: A Look at Poverty in America, we discuss the social safety net—welfare, food stamps, unemployment, Medicaid, and other federal programs designed to help people living in poverty. Olivia Golden, Executive Director of the Center for Law and Social Policy, and Michael Katz, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History and Research Associate in the Population Studies Center at the History Department of the University of Pennsylvania and author of The Undeserving Poor: America’s Enduring Confrontation with Poverty, discuss the impact these programs have on poverty and the debates over funding and support for them.
Mar 19, 2014
| Washington Monthly
Pre-K's Wave of the Future
A new approach to financing early education could mean taxpayers lose out if pre-K programs don’t meet specific targets. The plans, called social impact bonds, offer the government a less risky way to fund early intervention services, by collecting upfront costs from private investors and returning their dollars (plus some) if the programs are successful. A new report from the Center on Law and Social Policy (CLASP) lays out how social impact bonds generally work and why they’re used—and describes some of the potential downsides to the plan.
Mar 19, 2014
| The Nation
The Tyranny of the On-Call Schedule: Hourly Injustice in Retail Labor
This anxiety of living not just paycheck to paycheck, but hour to hour, is the focus of a new policy brief on the impact of unfair schedules on wage workers. The report, published by the progressive think tank Center for Law and Social Policy, and the worker-advocacy groups Retail Action Project (RAP) and Women Employed, reveals the flipside of the “flexibility” and “dynamism” of 21st century retail: the tyranny of the daily schedule.
Mar 13, 2014
U.S. Senate Approves Bipartisan Child-Care Grant Bill
States would have to pay closer attention to the quality and safety of federally-financed child-care and after-school programs under a bill to make over the multibillion-dollar Child Care and Development Block Grant program, approved Thursday by the U.S. Senate.
Early-childhood education advocates generally support the direction of the bill, but wish that more resources accompanied the new requirements. State spending on child-care assistance, including the CCDBG program and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, was at a 10-year low in 2012, and the number of children receiving CCDBG-funded assistance at a 14-year low, according to CLASP.
Mar 13, 2014
| Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report
Low-Wage Workers’ Advocates Recommend Policies That Curb Erratic Work Schedules
Liz Ben-Ishai, a policy analyst at CLASP, told Bloomberg BNA March 11 that although employees have faced such scheduling challenges for some time, ‘‘[w]ith the recovery from the recession, we’re seeing more low-quality jobs that have workers facing these kinds of issues.’’
Mar 11, 2014
Should employees get guaranteed minimum work hours?
While that benefits employers by saving on labor costs during slow periods, the impact on employees can be corrosive, leading to unpredictable earnings and hours, according to a new report from the Center for Law and Social Policy, the Retail Action Project and Women Employed. With the rise in part-time workers, more Americans are now finding themselves subject to seemingly whimsical work patterns.
Mar 09, 2014
| The Sacramento Bee
Higher-income students get more public money for their education
"We might be sympathetic to those upper-income folks who are struggling with what are - yes - extremely expensive private colleges," said Julie Strawn, a former senior fellow at the Center for Law and Social Policy, which advocates for greater access to college for the poor. "But do the tax credits really need to go to the wealthiest fifth of American households, which is what's happening now?"
Mar 05, 2014
The Massive Policy Failure That Paul Ryan Wants To Emulate
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Monday released a sweeping audit of the country’s anti-poverty programs, seeking to put his stamp on a second round of welfare reform.
“Fundamentally, a block grant means if states let caseloads rise, they need to cut somewhere else, which is really politically hard for a state legislature,” Elizabeth Lower-Basch, policy coordinator and senior policy analyst at CLASP, added.
Mar 05, 2014
| Diane Rehm Show NPR
The Diane Rehm Show: The Political Divide Over How Best To Reduce Poverty
In his 2015 budget, President Barack Obama calls for expanding tax breaks for low-income workers. Republicans are pushing welfare reform and an overhaul of social programs. Debate over government efforts to reduce poverty.
Mar 06, 2014
Isaiah J. Poole: Paul Ryan Misses Top Reason We Haven't 'Won' The War On Poverty
Ryan's report "doesn't say anything about low-wage work, which is the thing that has changed the most in the past 50 years: that people can be working and still be quite low income," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch of the Center for Law and Social Policy, an expert on public assistance programs.
Mar 04, 2014
| Stevens Point Journal Media
Letter: Here's what Head Start can do for kids
An Oct. 2013 report by the advocacy group CLASP found that 91 percent of Head Start children and 85 percent of Early Head Start children received a medical screening. Nearly 12 percent had a disability (13 percent in Early Head Start), with 45 percent diagnosed after enrollment! Early intervention and services are simply invaluable.
Feb 27, 2014
| Diane Rehm Show NPR
The Diane Rehm Show: Readers' Review: "Salvage The Bones" By Jesmyn Ward
CLASP Executive Director Olivia Golden sits down with Diane Rehm and two other panelists to discuss Jesmyn Ward's book, Salvage the Bones.
Feb 25, 2014
Help for Families Who Can't Afford Childcare Hits Decade Low
Spending on childcare assistance last year fell to the lowest level since 2002, according to a report from the policy organization CLASP.
One factor that the CLASP report points to is the lapse of extra childcare funding that was included in the 2009 stimulus bill. Another is that the federal block grant to TANF — a fixed amount of money given to states each year — hasn’t been adjusted for inflation since it was created in 1996. It “thus has lost about one-third of its value,” the report notes. In the first few years after that change, the amount of funding directed to childcare grew from less than $300 million to a high of $4 billion in 2000, but it has declined since and was just $2.6 billion last year.
Feb 25, 2014
| Huffington Post
A Living Wage is an Equal Voice
On Jan. 28, President Obama ignited a long-standing debate amongst political parties with his State of the Union call to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. The controversy that followed was as predictable as it was irrelevant to those with the most at stake: the low-wage working poor. Pundits and commentators fell into two camps: Is raising the wage floor good for the economy or bad for the economy?
A recent article by Jodie Levin-Epstein, in Spotlight on Poverty, 2014 Poverty Polling Pulling Purple, reported that a USA Today/Pew Research Center poll found that nearly two-thirds of Republicans (64 percent) and more than nine out of 10 Democrats (94 percent) believe government should take action to reduce poverty; and that a majority of both Republicans (53 percent) and Democrats (90 percent), support raising the minimum wage to $10.10.
Feb 24, 2014
NEA Pres Slams 'Stupid' Tests - Can Colleges Be Rated Like Cookies? - NGA Tackles Education - Indiana's Standards Rewrite
State spending on child care assistance has fallen to new lows, according to an analysis from the Center for Law and Social Policy, or CLASP. Spending within the Child Care and Development Block Grant is at its lowest level since 2002. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds used for child care is at its lowest since 1998.
Feb 06, 2014
| Next Avenue
The Family Leave Law is Failing Family Caregivers
It’s unpaid, which often makes taking a leave financially impossible. That’s the number one reason people don’t take family and medical leave, says Ness. “For many workers, taking an unpaid leave is not a viable option,” says Liz-Ben-Ishai, policy analyst at CLASP (the Center for Law and Social Policy). Only 12 percent of private-sector workers have paid family leave.