News Clips Archive
- Nov 18, 2014 | U.S News and World Report Child Care Grant Program to Sail Through Senate A CLASP report is cited in this article on the Senate's passage of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act.
- Nov 17, 2014 | Philly.com First-Year Report Released on City's Plan to Combat Poverty Jodie Levin-Epstein was the keynote speaker at the Uniting to Fight Poverty Summit, at which Shared Prosperity Philidelphia, the city's plan to tackle the city's deep poverty rate, released its first progress report.
- Nov 13, 2014 | The Chronicle of Higher Education Forget the Rise in Tuition and Fees, What About Living Expenses? Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield is quoted in this article on the challenges posed by the high costs of college living expenses.
- Oct 28, 2014 | The Washington Post The Young and the Disconnected: America's Youth Unemployment Problem Kisha Bird is quoted in this article about youth unemployment and why so many young Americans have been left out of the economic recovery.
- Oct 16, 2014 | Washington Post How America's Poor Are Slipping Further Behind Liz Ben-Ishai is quoted in this article on low income America.
- Oct 15, 2014 | The Nation When the Workday Never Really Ends A CLASP Report on the Schedules That Work Act is cited in this article on work schedules.
- Oct 08, 2014 | The Kankakee Daily Journal Editorial: State unemployment rate in need of change This editorial cites a CLASP report on unemployment.
- Oct 01, 2014 | Christian Science Monitor Decline in the US Poverty Rate: What Made it Happen? Hannah Matthews is quoted in this article about the decline in child poverty in 2013.
- Oct 01, 2014 | Huffington Post Predictable Schedules Offer Stability and Regular Pay to Hourly Workers A CLASP Report on unpredictable work schedules is referenced in this article.
- Sep 30, 2014 | The Diane Rehm Show on NPR Single Parenthood and Child Well Being Olivia Golden was a guest on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR to discuss the impact of family structure on child well-being.
Sep 26, 2014
| Washington Journal on C-SPAN
Census Report on Poverty
Olivia Golden joined Washington Journal to talk about a recent census report showing 45 million Americans living below the poverty line.
- Sep 24, 2014 | Stateline In Some States, Low Poverty Rate Obscures Deeper Despair Elizabeth Lower-Basch is quoted in this article on Stateline's analysis of the state-by-state poverty data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sep 18, 2014
| The Daily Beast
The U.S is Losing a Generation to Poverty
Elizabeth Lower-Basch and Olivia Golden are quoted in this article about the United States Census Bureau release of the poverty data for the year 2013. The poverty numbers show the first significant decline in poverty since the recession hit, but still remain higher than they were before the recession.
- Sep 18, 2014 | International Business Times As Congress Aims To Improve Child Care, Low-Income Families Still Grapple with Access Hannah Matthews is quoted in this article on Child Care access for low-income families. The article also references a CLASP report on Child Care Assistance Spending.
- Sep 17, 2014 | Politico Politico Pro Morning Edition: Child Poverty Improves, but 1 in 5 Still Poor Hannah Matthews is quoted in the Politico Pro morning edition article reporting on the U.S Census Bureau data on income and poverty. The CLASP report on the data is also cited.
- Sep 17, 2014 | The Christian Science Monitor Child Poverty Rate Declines in America for First Time since 2000 Hannah Matthews is quoted in this article about the poverty rate for children in this year's Census Bureau report.
- Sep 17, 2014 | The Washington Post Poverty Dropped but Household Incomes Didn't Rise, Census Bureau says Olivia Golden is quoted in this article examining poverty trends from the Census Bureau statistics released Tuesday.
- Sep 15, 2014 | Politico House Passes Child Care Bill Hannah Matthews is quoted in this article about the House passing a bill to overhaul child care for low-income families. The bill will likely become law before the end of the year.
- Sep 04, 2014 U.S Senator Tammy Baldwin Calls for Senate Action on Student Loan Debt Crisis and Announces New Legislation to Address Higher Education Affordability David Socolow is quoted in this official press release for the Working Student Act.
- Aug 27, 2014 | Providence Journal On Labor Day, Place a New Order at Starbucks A report by CLASP, the Retail Action Project and Women Employed on unpredictable works schedules is referenced in this article about scheduling changes at Starbucks.
Aug 28, 2014
| The Boston Globe
Aid To Disabled Children Now Outstrips Welfare
Elizabeth Lower-Basch is quoted in this article about the growth of the children's Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.
Aug 21, 2014
| The EvoLLLution
Toward a Two-Generation Approach: Innovative Strategies to Improve Education and Training for Parents
Katherine Saunders and Manuela Ekowo discuss a two-generation approach to poverty, arguing for career pathways and comprehensive financial supports as strategies that provide adult participants who have families the opportunity to climb out of poverty by increasing their access to job training and economic resources.
- Aug 01, 2014 | TalkPoverty.org Something We Can All Get Behind: Subsidized Jobs CLASP’s and CBPP’s report on the TANF Emergency Fund is referenced in this article on subsidized jobs.
- Jul 28, 2014 | The Pump Handle When Schedules Don't Work for Hourly Workers CLASP's analysis of "The Schedules that Work Act" is referenced in another piece on job quality for low-wage workers.
- Jul 31, 2014 | The Nation Poor Parents Need Work-Life Balance Too CLASP's analysis of the federal "Schedules that Work Act" is referenced in this article on job quality for poor parents.
Jul 24, 2014
| Business Insider
'POLICY AND POLITICAL SCHIZOPHRENIA ON STEROIDS': Critics Quickly Blast Paul Ryan's Big Plan To Defeat Poverty
Elizabeth Lower-Basch is quoted in this report on Rep. Paul Ryan's poverty plan.
Jul 24, 2014
| Think Progress
Poverty Experts Skeptical That Paul Ryan's Plan Can Actually Reduce Poverty
This article analyzing Rep. Paul Ryan's poverty proposal includes comments from Elizabeth Lower-Basch and excerpt's from Olivia Golden's testimony at the War on Poverty hearings.
- Jul 22, 2014 | 1 Million for Work Flexibility Whose Flexibility? New Legislation Addresses Need for Stable, Predictable Schedules
Jul 10, 2014
| Education Week
Want More Kids to Graduate? Report Suggests Starting with Mom and Dad
CLASP report cited in this story about two-generation approach to poverty.
Jul 10, 2014
| The Chronicle of Higher Education
To Break Cycle of Poverty, Focus on Education of Mothers and Children
The Chronicle of Higher Education cited CLASP's report "Thriving Children, Successful Parents: A Two-Generation Approach to Policy" by Stephanie Schmit, Hannah Matthews, and Olivia Golden.
- Jul 09, 2014 | Washington Post Biggest influence on a child’s education may be the mother’s education CLASP public forum featured in this article about the importance of two-generation approaches to addressing poverty.
Jul 08, 2014
| Huffington Post
The Case for a Guaranteed Minimum Income
Liz Ben-Ishai's work is referenced in this article focusing on income.
Jul 02, 2014
| Western Queens Gazette
Cuomo Signs Gianaris-Aubry Bill To Reform Queens Library
This feature cites CLASP's support of the On-the-Job Training Act of 2014 (H.R. 3971), which is legislation that will help New Yorkers gain employment and receive on-the-job training programs.
- Jun 24, 2014 | Think Progress No, Working Moms are Not Ruining Their Children Hannah Matthews is quoted in this feature investigating the effect of mothers' employment status and income level on their children.
- Jun 24, 2014 | Huffington Post States Undo Food Stamp Felon Bans Elizabeth Lower-Basch is quoted in this article about the recent passage of a California bill that will allow people convicted of drug-related felonies to receive welfare and food stamps.
- Jun 17, 2014 | Portland Tribune The Changing Faces of College Graduates CLASP Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success report cited in this article discussing the demographics of students today.
- Jun 10, 2014 | CSPAN Olivia Golden Testimony at the House Budget Committee War on Poverty Hearing Executive Director Olivia Golden testified Tuesday, June 10, at the latest hearing in a series that Chairman Paul Ryan of the House Budget Committee is holding about the War on Poverty.
- Jun 08, 2014 | NWI Times Indiana Ranks Low Among States' Anti-Poverty Programs Jodie Levin-Epstein is quoted in this article discussing the state of the poor in Indiana.
- May 27, 2014 | GOVERNING States Relax Medicaid Eligibility for Former Foster Kids CLASP report cited in this article about how provisions in the ACA are helping older foster youth obtain health care coverage.
May 22, 2014
Does Head Start Work? Wrong Question
Blog posting by Hannah Matthews refuting the misuses and mischaracterizations of Head Start data and describing the successes of the program.
May 21, 2014
| Bangor Daily News
Best Ideas from LePage’s Welfare Consultant Lifted Word-for-Word from Someone Else’s Work
The welfare consultant hired by Gov. Paul LePage through a $925,000 no-bid contract to provide guidance on a subsidized employment program for low-income adults in Maine lifted many of his recommendations directly from a report published jointly by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and CLASP.
- May 19, 2014 | Popular Democracy Use of Employee Scheduling Software Raises Union Concerns About Seniority, Work Hours CLASP report cited in this article about how employee scheduling software impacts workers.
- May 15, 2014 | CNN Money Poorest Poor Left Out of Government Aid CLASP's Elizabeth Lower-Basch quoted in this report about who gets public benefits.
- May 12, 2014 | Moms Rising How the ACA Helps Low-Income Parents – and Children – Succeed Posting by CLASP Executive Director Olivia Golden.
- May 09, 2014 | GOVERNING Some States Streamline Food Stamp, Medicaid Applications CLASP-sponsored webinar cited in this article about how states are helping eligible people streamline their enrollment in Medicaid and nutrition assistance programs.
- May 07, 2014 | NPQ: Nonprofit Quarterly Social Impact Bonds Not Well Received at Senate Budget Hearing This article about a Senate Budget Committee hearing on social impact bonds refers to a CLASP report on pay-for-success programs.
- May 06, 2014 | Bloomberg View How We Should Talk About Inequality CLASP resources on employees and responsive workplaces linked to in this editorial on economic inequality.
- May 05, 2014 | Moms Rising Moms Know How to Unite Us: Congress Should Follow their Lead and Pass FAMILY Act Posting from Liz Ben-Ishai urging passage of the FAMILY Act.
- May 02, 2014 | Market Place Georgia latest state to drug-test welfare applicants Elizabeth Lower-Basch quoted in this story about how states are using drug testing on applicants and recipients of public benefits.
Apr 22, 2014
| Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pennsylvania denies 75 percent of welfare applications
The vast majority of applicants for welfare benefits in Pennsylvania are rejected every month, data from the state show, and some blame a 2012 change in state law for sharply increasing the rate at which people are rejected from the program.
States have figured out that by putting requirements up front, they can screen out potential assistance recipients, said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, an expert in state welfare policies at Washington, D.C., think tank CLASP.
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 10, 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 08, 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 05, 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.
Feb 06, 2014
FMLA at Twenty-One: Let's Blow Out the Candles and Get to Work
The FMLA provides some workers with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to care for a new baby, tend to a sick family member, or recover from one’s own illness. Having access to this type of leave has enabled many workers to take the leave they need without worrying about the security of their jobs. Yet, many others are excluded from the law.
Jan 30, 2014
Minnesota Legislators Challenge State Welfare Drug Tests
A 2011 survey by Rasmussen Reports, for example, found that 70 percent of likely voters said welfare recipients found to be using illegal drugs should have their benefits cut off. "It resonates with people's stereotype of welfare recipients taking advantage of the system," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) in Washington.
Jan 30, 2014
Uneven Gains for States After 50 Years of the War on Poverty
Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy, called the success in fighting poverty among the elderly a “big, unquestioned accomplishment” of the War on Poverty, while noting that much of the effort has come at the federal level. Help for younger demographic groups, however, tends to come at the state level, she said, and because of that the progress from 1959 to today is more mixed.
Jan 27, 2014
| Employment and Training Reporter
Clock is ticking For States to Seek Federal Work Sharing Aid
Recently, CLASP and the National Employment Law Project organized a summit to tackle the nation’s pressing unemployment issues through “work sharing.” Work sharing “entails state unemployment insurance programs providing prorated benefits to workers whose hours are reduced as their employers try to avoid a layoff.”
At the start of this year, 26 states and the District of Columbia were implementing work sharing programs, according to Neil Ridley, a senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Jan 27, 2014 | C-SPAN Head Start Funding CLASP Executive Director Olivia Golden sits down with the Washington Journal to discuss Head Start and what it means to the American people.
Jan 26, 2014
| The New York Times
Despite Business Fears, Sick-Day Laws Like New York's Work Well Elsewhere
Already, four municipalities and the State of Connecticut have implemented paid sick-leave laws. Assessments of the programs in San Francisco, Washington and Seattle — the cities whose plans most closely resemble New York’s — indicate that the new policies have taken effect without harming local economies, touching off an exodus of businesses or being abused by workers.
Jan 16, 2014
| The Hechinger Report
ANALYSIS: Real-world trends clash with promises made at White House summit
It’s not only college financial aid that has been moving to higher-income rather than lower-income students. So have some federal financial aid and tax breaks, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which Obama signed into law.That credit, combined with several other tax credits and deductions, now account for nearly $34 billion annually, or more than the federal government spends on Pell Grants for low-income students. And more than a third of the money goes to the wealthiest fifth of American households, according to the Center for Law and Social Policy. Fifty-seven percent of the tuition tax deduction alone goes to families earning more than $100,000, which saved an average of $500 apiece, while only 12 percent of families that made under $50,000 got the tax deduction, saving $220 to $320 apiece.
Jan 14, 2014
Maine Struggles with Welfare Misuse at ATMs
Maine public officials may learn that it is difficult to completely prevent the types of transactions restricted by federal and state law. "Mostly what the [data] highlight is how hard these rules are to implement," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst for the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).
Last week Maine Gov. Paul LePage announced that some state residents have been withdrawing welfare money from ATMs located in liquor stores and other restricted places. The revelations come at a time when states across the country are trying to comply with a 2012 federal law that restricts how welfare recipients spend public money through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
Jan 13, 2014
| Portland Press Herald
Rooting out EBT fraud more complex than it seems
“It’s obviously a very tiny dollar amount compared to the amount that people receive,” said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, policy coordinator at the Center for Law and Social Policy, a left-leaning organization active on poverty issues. “Some people say any amount is too much, ... but I think the challenge is the amount of time and money that is going to be spent, is that disproportionate? And in this case, I think it is.”
Mainers use EBT cards to make roughly 50,000 transactions every month. Media reports and critics of the LePage administration’s welfare reform agenda pointed out that the 3,700 transactions highlighted in the governor’s report would constitute just two-tenths of 1 percent of all transactions during that period.
- Jan 07, 2014 | Al Jazeera America "Inside Story": 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty CLASP Executive Director Olivia Golden spoke with Ray Suarez, host of “Inside Story” on Al Jazeera America, about successes and failures in the war on poverty and where we go from here.
Dec 21, 2013
| The Tucson Sentinel
Why no literacy programs for 30 million in U.S.?
Marcie Weadon-Moreno Foster, public policy chair for the National Coalition for Literacy and a policy analyst at CLASP, an anti-poverty group, said that out of the 36 million adults with the lowest skills, only about 5 percent have gained access to education programs. In other words, about 34 million have not gained access. There are waiting lists for such programs in all but one state, some stretching to a year's time and hundreds of thousands of people. "The number one issue is that we're simply not providing the resources that we need to serve the students that we need to serve," Foster said.
Dec 20, 2013
| Ms. Magazine
While Holiday Shopping, Think of the Retail Workers
We need more low-wage employers to follow in the footsteps of Costco, Trader Joe's and QuickTrip, so Women Employed is partnering with the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the Retail Action Project (RAP) to work on policy solutions that will help low-paid workers enjoy stable schedules and predictable paychecks. Stay tuned for a policy brief to be released early in 2014.
- Dec 16, 2013 | The Nation. This Week in Poverty: Signing Off Nearly two years ago, TheNation.com launched This Week in Poverty as a way to keep the issue of poverty-and what we can do about it-front and center for our readers. We felt that poverty was largely ignored by the mainstream media, with the exception of every September, when the new Census Bureau statistics were published. In contrast, as the oldest political weekly magazine in the country-founded by abolitionists in 1865-The Nation has poverty coverage in its DNA. It's been a great privilege to be a part of that coverage on a weekly basis.
- Dec 16, 2013 | The American Prospect The Year in Preview: Paul Ryan's Misguided Poverty Plan For some, this activism is a welcome relief. The forces that have led to the rise in poverty we see today are at least 40 years old, but no one has gotten mad until now. "I'm always shocked at the use of the word of 'entitled,' because I'm shocked people don't get entitled," says Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at CLASP, a DC-based nonprofit seeking to improve the lives of low-income people. "We're hearing stories of health care now, with the Affordable Care Act, and people are going to the doctor for first time in 25 years," she says. "How are they not outraged? I think it's shocking how much we've come to accept this is the way things work."
- Dec 15, 2013 | Star Tribune Drug Tests of Welfare Recipients Prove Costly A new state law designed to prevent drug users from receiving welfare benefits could end up costing taxpayers far more than it saves, while inadvertently denying assistance to poor families simply because they are unable to comply with its complex paperwork. Like a recent wave of drug-testing laws passed in other states, Minnesota's legislation was touted as a way to encourage greater responsibility among welfare recipients while saving taxpayers money.
- Dec 14, 2013 | Alaska Business Monthly Senate, House Introduce Family and Medical Leave Insurance Legislation Few employers offer paid family and medical leave to their employees. Only 12 percent of private sector workers currently have paid family leave, and fewer than 40 percent have access to disability insurance for personal medical leave. For them, taking time off to care for themselves or their families results in lost wages or even lost jobs. "Lack of paid leave has devastating consequences for families, businesses, and the economy," said Liz Ben-Ishai, policy analyst at CLASP (the Center for Law and Social Policy). "The FAMILY Act will help workers maintain their wages even when they need to take leave; it will help employers avoid the high costs of turnover; and it will boost the economy, with more workers earning income to spend in their communities ."
- Dec 13, 2013 | Think Progress The Source Of Federal College Financial Aid That Mostly Benefits The Wealthy The students from the most well off families receive the most tax-based federal college financial aid, which has become a big piece of the federal aid pie, according to a recent report from The Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery (RADD) Consortium for Higher Education Tax Reform.
- Dec 12, 2013 | Mom'sRising.org Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Law Would Help Employers Do Good and Do Well #FAMILYAct When fast food workers bravely took to the streets in September to protest the unlivable wages that many earn, the media shone a spotlight on the exploitative and unsustainable practices of some large employers. But while these unscrupulous businesses deserve all the attention they are getting, they don't represent the majority of business owners. In fact, many workers are lucky enough to work for businesses that truly care about them-businesses that know the value of their employees and want to do what's right for them, including ensuring access to paid leave.
Dec 12, 2013
| YES! Magazine
Only 4 Percent of the Lowest-Wage Workers Get Paid Family Leave: Could a New Law Change This?
"Our employees are like family." It's a sentiment employers often espouse- and some readers may dismiss it as a cliche: After all, many U.S. workers- particularly lower-wage workers- face dismal conditions, especially when it comes to policies that help them care for their families.
- Dec 11, 2013 | Mother Jones Most Tax-Based College Aid Goes to the Least Needy Families The federal government helps to make college affordable in a number of ways, from low-interest student loans to grants for low-income students. It also offers a host of lesser known subsidies for higher education through the tax code, by way of such things as 529 tax-free college savings plans and exemptions for loan interest and college expenses- expenditures that don't show up as a budget line item the same way Pell Grants do. A new report from the Consortium of Higher Education Tax Reform suggests these tax credits aren't doing much to increase the number of low-income families who send kids to college. Instead, they're subsidies to the 20 percent of American households making more than $100,000 a year- people who would send their kids to college even without a 529 plan.
- Dec 08, 2013 | The Chronicle of Philanthropy Anniversary of Poverty Speech Renews Battle Over Helping the Poor Many advocates agree that the fight against poverty today must be a different animal than the one President Johnson waged in the 1960s, because the economy has changed. It does not bounce back as quickly from recessions, wages have stagnated, unemployment is high, and far more women work. "There will be a battle about the War on Poverty and what it achieved and did not achieve," says Jodie Levin-Epstein, deputy director of the Center for Law and Social Policy. "The bigger battle should be around solutions that address the poverty of today."
- Dec 04, 2013 | Bloomberg Teens Chasing Scarce U.S. Jobs Boosted by State Programs "These young people will be a decade or more behind, compared to the previous generation, because they won't have early work experience," said Kisha Bird, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy, a Washington-based policy group focused on low-income Americans. "They have limited skills, they're not enrolled in school and they don't have basic credentials."
- Dec 04, 2013 | Center for American Progress Real Family Values: Paid Family Leave The lack of universal family leave is an affront to these values, perpetuating injustice and disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable in our society. While the FMLA granted millions of Americans access to unpaid family leave, about 40 percent of U.S. workers still do not qualify for the benefits of the law. Worse, the Department of Labor reports that nearly half of workers who qualify for unpaid family leave cannot afford to take the time off, and two-thirds of those who did take leave said that it hurt their family financially. In addition, although wealthier families are better able to shoulder lost wages while taking unpaid leave by relying on other forms of income such as extensive savings or financially leaning on a spouse with high income, a 2013 Center for Law and Social Policy analysis found that poorer families often saw their incomes vanish while taking time off to care for loved ones. The study also reported that 54 percent of workers earning less than the median national family income reported losing all of their income while taking unpaid leave.
- Nov 27, 2013 | Think Progress The Majority Of Eligible Preschoolers Aren't Enrolled In Head Start Just 42 percent of eligible low-income preschoolers are actually served by Head Start and less than 4 percent are in Early Head Start, according to a recent report from CLASP. Meanwhile, only about a quarter of low-income families with children under the age of six who are eligible to get childcare subsidies actually receive them.
- Nov 26, 2013 | Education Week Only 42 Percent of Eligible Children Participate in Head Start Despite funding increases for Head Start over the past six years, only 42 percent of eligible children are now served, and just 4 percent of those eligible are served by Early Head Start, a report by the New York-based National Center for Children in Poverty and the Washington-based Center for Law and Social Policy states.
- Nov 26, 2013 | The CT Mirror CT One of Four States Meeting Head Start Quality Benchmarks Only four states require their Head Start preschool programs to meet certain benchmarks recommended by child experts: keeping class sizes under 20 students, and below eight students for infant classrooms; and keeping certain adult-to-child ratios. According to a report released this month by the Center for Law and Social Policy and the National Center for Children in Poverty, Connecticut is one of these states, along with North Dakota, Oregon and Vermont.
- Nov 25, 2013 | Mint Press News A Time To Examine America's Skills America finds itself in a quandary. According to a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), not only is the skill level of the American working populace slipping compared with the international market, but the nation's collective skill level is also significantly beneath where it should be to maintain competitiveness.
- Nov 22, 2013 | The Chronicle of Higher Education Coalition Calls for Refocusing Tuition Tax Breaks on Neediest Families A coalition of groups is calling on Congress to streamline the higher-education tax benefits and to refocus them on low- and moderate-income students.
- Nov 12, 2013 | The New York Times Encouraging Paid Employment Elizabeth Lower-Basch of the Center for Law and Social Policy provided a broad overview of positive employment incentives in her testimony before a congressional committee last year. She noted that studies of the impact of the earned-income tax credit revealed a far stronger effect encouraging low-income parents to enter employment in the first place than its phaseout (the decline in benefit levels as earnings increase past a certain point) has in reducing work effort.
- Nov 07, 2013 | MinnPost Turning Minnesota's Job-Skills Gap into an Opportunity for Low-Income Families The event with a tongue-tripping name - "Strengthening Your Career Pathway Systems: Tools, Tips and Tactics" - is hosted by Greater Twin Cities United Way and sponsored by the Washington D.C.-based Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).
- Oct 25, 2013 | CNN Money Cut to Food Stamps Coming Next Friday "It's hard to imagine anything that could stop this happening in a week," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, policy coordinator at CLASP, an advocacy group for the poor. "There are studies that this really did help people buy slightly higher quality food."
Oct 23, 2013
| We News
San Francisco's New Workplace Law Signals a Shift
The family friendly ordinance passed this month gives workers with caregiving responsibilities the right to request changes to their working conditions, including requests for predictable scheduling. A similar law was also passed in Vermont.
- Oct 18, 2013 | Politico Let the budget bickering begin - The First Five Years Fund - Short term solutions just aren't cutting it Coaching college students individually boosts student persistence and completion http://bit.ly/H3xKYr; the National Center for Education Statistics follows up on the education expectations of a group of high school students http://1.usa.gov/19U1Yay; and The Center for Law and Social Policy has two new fact sheets based on the last Head Start Program Information Report http://bit.ly/19btQ8Y
- Oct 17, 2013 | WJTV Majority of NC Representatives Voted in Favor of Ending Shutdown According to officials with the Center for Law and Social Policy, North Carolina was the only state in the country that suspended processing Work First applications and limited child care assistance in response to the government shutdown.
- Oct 17, 2013 | Think Progress Not Everything Is Back To Normal Now That The Shutdown Is Over And while North Carolina stopped processing new applications for its state welfare program, Elizabeth Lower-Basch, policy coordinator at CLASP, thinks that the backlog will be small enough that it shouldn't cause any problems. For the other state programs, the resumption in federal funding should be automatic. There may be some people who have been confused about conflicting information about whether state welfare and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) programs have been funded who "may just throw up their hands at some point," she said, although "my guess is that's not a huge effect."
- Oct 15, 2013 | The Charlotte Observer Another N.C. Threat to Program for Poor North Carolina is one of only a few states to announce that TANF benefits would stop in November, said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst for the Washington-based advocacy agency CLASP. A handful of other states have suggested that assistance programs in general could be threatened if the shutdown continued that long. North Carolina, however, is the only state Lower-Basch has found that's stopped processing TANF applications. That's problematic, she said, because the longer the shutdown continues, the longer those applicants will see critical benefits delayed.
- Oct 15, 2013 | The Charlotte Observer NC Counties Told to Hold Work First Applications "It just means people will have to wait longer for benefits," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst for CLASP, a Washington-based group advocating for policies to help the poor. She said her group wasn't aware of any other state deciding to stop processing applications.
- Oct 14, 2013 | The Takeaway Big Changes Coming to the GED Big changes are on the way for the GED, also known as the General Educational Development Certificate. Thirty million adults in the U.S. are without a high school degree, and 700,000 of them take the GED test every year. Two new competitors will begin offering high school equivalency testing in January and the GED itself will no longer be a pen and paper exam, but a computer-based system. What do all of these changes mean for those seeking a high school equivalency degree? Marci Foster, a policy analyst at the Center for Law And Social Policy, explains.
- Oct 10, 2013 | Chronicle of Higher Education Students Are in Cross Hairs of Dueling Messages on New Health Care Options Many students who don't have health insurance would probably qualify for marketplace subsidies or the expansion of Medicaid, said Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy, or Clasp, an advocacy group for low-income people. In 2011 the group started the program Benefits Access for College Completion to help connect students with public benefits.
- Oct 10, 2013 | ThinkProgress Child Care Subsidies Jeopardized By The Shutdown Because the block grant that funds these subsidies allows states to spend the money over several years, "most states have prior year funds they can rely on right now," Hannah Matthews, director of child care and early education at CLASP, told ThinkProgress.
- Oct 09, 2013 | Education Week Answering Your Shutdown Questions More on how the shutdown is impacting programs related to children in this great blog post from the smart folks at CLASP, an advocacy group.
- Oct 08, 2013 | The Atlantic The GED Test Is About to Get Much Harder, and Much More Expensive "It is synonymous with a high-school equivalency for most adult education students," says Marci Foster, a policy analyst at CLASP, a nonprofit that advocates for low-income people. "They know the acronym. It has a lot of resonance."
- Oct 06, 2013 | Miami Herald (and Associated Press) Ariz. only state cutting welfare in govt shutdown Pavetti and Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy in Washington, said they aren't aware of any other states that have failed to make welfare payments because of the shutdown.
- Oct 04, 2013 | The American Prospect America's Neediest Families Are About to Run Out of Money "States are in different places about their capacity and their willingness to step forward in order to mitigate the effects," says Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a policy coordinator at CLASP in Washington, D.C., an organization that develops policies meant to improve the lives of low-income families.
- Oct 04, 2013 | AZ Central Experts: Arizona only state to halt welfare checks during shutdown Pavette and Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy in Washington, said they aren't aware of any other states that have failed to make welfare payments because of the shutdown. States are allowed to use contingency funding or move money around to fund the cash-assistance payments, and other states have done so. In a letter to state welfare directors this week, federal officials said states would be reimbursed once the budget impasse is resolved.
- Oct 04, 2013 | Time Magazine Poor Families Taking a Hit From Government Shutdown Hannah Matthews, the director of Child Care and Early Education for CLASP, a D.C. based advocacy organization, says at a time when programs are already operating at marginal levels, the shutdown could cause lasting damage. "Right now we don't have the means to support critical developments in quality and professional development," Matthews said. "That could have a larger impact on how we improve early childhood care in the future."
- Oct 02, 2013 | MSN Living How the Government Shutdown Affects You and Your Baby Policy analyst Elizabeth Lower-Basch from CLASP said in an email to the Huffington Post on Saturday that, "States can probably shelter families receiving WIC from the effects of a shutdown for a short period, but it could be a real problem if it lasts more than a few days."
- Oct 01, 2013 | The Miami Herald George Sheldon to Leave Obama Admin and Return to Florida Prior to his service with ACF, Mark directed the Georgetown University Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy, and was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP) and CLASP.
- Oct 01, 2013 | Think Progress The Other Deadline Congress Missed: Welfare Just Lapsed According to the advocacy organization CLASP, states have funds that they can use to cover the cash assistance and other programs until the block grant is reauthorized. "In practice, there's nothing that should stop the benefits from going out," Elizabeth Lower-Basch, policy coordinator at CLASP, told ThinkProgress. Most actually float the money, paying out benefits and then requesting the money from the federal government afterward.
- Oct 01, 2013 | The Huffington Post 9 Ways The Government Shutdown Could Affect Your Health "States can probably shelter families receiving WIC from the effects of a shutdown for a short period, but it could be a real problem if it lasts more than a few days," policy analyst Elizabeth Lower-Basch of CLASP told HuffPost's Arthur Delaney.
- Oct 01, 2013 | Financial Times Poorer Families Suffer Most as Cuts Put Holes in Anti-Poverty Safety Net (Video) "We know that high-quality programmes prepare children to enter school ready to be successful and also have long-term effects, [such as] increased earnings and increased employment," said Hannah Matthews, director of childcare and early education at the Center for Law and Social Policy.
- Sep 30, 2013 | The Huffington Post Government Shutdown Is Bad News For Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program "States can probably shelter families receiving WIC from the effects of a shutdown for a short period, but it could be a real problem if it lasts more than a few days," policy analyst Elizabeth Lower-Basch of CLASP said in an email Saturday.
- Sep 24, 2013 | The Anniston Star Poverty Commission to Lose State Funding Oct. 1: Task Force Has Had Few Victories in Legislature "We should refuse to accept the perception that Alabama is always going to be poor," said Jodie Levin-Epstein, director of the D.C.-based Center for Law and Social Policy, in an address to the commission in 2010. The Associated Press reported on that address. In 2010, Levin-Epstein urged the commission to set up specific goals to strive for in eliminating poverty. Several other states with anti-poverty commissions have pledged to cut child poverty in half, usually giving themselves five to 10 years to reach that target.
Sep 24, 2013
Poverty Rates Remain Stubbornly High in Big Cities
The federal government and its state counterparts have a bigger influence over reducing poverty than cities or towns, says Olivia Golden, executive director of CLASP. Nonetheless, she notes that a handful of local governments have helped by increasing the minimum wage and by requiring that businesses offer paid sick days. In the past decade, cities have also partnered with banks and nonprofits to help low-income residents save money for large assets, such as a home, car or college tuition for their kids.
- Sep 23, 2013 | Youth Today Taking Food from the Mouths of Children A coincidence of timing last week highlighted the contrast between the needs of hungry families in America and the political will in Washington to help them. On Tuesday, the U.S. Census reported that in 2012, 15 percent of people in America, and 21.9 percent of children, had household income that put them below the official poverty line. On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted for a bill, H.R. 3102, that would deny nutritional assistance to millions of individuals and cut benefits for others.
- Sep 20, 2013 | The Nation This Week in Poverty: New Data, Same Story (and Same Dangerous House Republicans) "In the past year the kinds of distortions and misstatements that characterize the arguments against the public policy that we have are even more troubling than they were before," said Edelman, author of So Rich, So Poor: Why it's So Hard to End Poverty in America. "Because now for example, there is a significant number of people who want to characterize food stamps as being something that keeps people from looking for jobs-a totally made up thing. It's such a gross distortion."
- Sep 20, 2013 | The Wall Street Journal Community Colleges Try to Revamp Image to Keep Students "There are lots of ways students fall through the cracks," said Ms. Mannes. "We're not meant to be social-service agencies, but we're meant to find whatever ways we can to help our students get to the finish line." Her organization has joined with the Center for Law and Social Policy in a pilot program called Benefits Access for College Completion, a three-year program to guide students to services, such as subsidies for food and housing, that they might otherwise miss. Five foundations chipped in nearly $5 million for the project.
- Sep 19, 2013 | The Huffington Post The Children Are Still Poor in America Since the early part of the decade, the number of young children -- those from birth to five years of age -- living in poverty in the United States has been climbing. While that number held steady in 2012, according to data released today from the U.S. Census, the poverty report is far from good news.
- Sep 19, 2013 | MSNBC Fighting for Food Stamps Elizabeth Lower-Basch talks with MSNBC about the upcoming GOP vote that would cut food assistance to millions of struggling Americans.
- Sep 17, 2013 | The Huffington Post Food Stamps Kept 4 Million Out Of Poverty In 2012 "This report shows that SNAP is working as an anti-poverty program as well as a nutrition program," Elizabeth Lower-Basch of the Center for Law and Social Policy said in an email. "It also shows that a key reason that the number of people receiving SNAP benefits has not declined since the official end of the recession is that the economy did not actually improve for most low- and medium-income households."
- Sep 12, 2013 | The Republic Welfare ATM Use Raising Questions Elizabeth Lower-Basch, policy coordinator with nonpartisan CLASP, said that although welfare recipients spending their money in strip clubs, casinos and liquor stores makes eye-catching headlines and popular politics, in reality, it represents a "very tiny, tiny percentage" of TANF spending.
- Sep 12, 2013 | The Chronicle of Higher Education Second Round of Gates Project Aims for 'Convergence' of Financial Aid Reforms The Chronicle on Higher Education cites CLASP as the leader of the tax credit consortium and as a participant in two other consortia in an effort funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to explore ideas to use financial aid to improve student performance.
Sep 09, 2013
| CQ Weekly
On the Move: Olivia Golden
CLASP has named its new executive director: Olivia Golden, an expert on family welfare issues for 35 years whose former jobs include directing state and local social service agencies and serving as a presidential appointee in the Department of Health and Human Services during the Clinton administration.
- Sep 04, 2013 | The New Orleans Times-Picayune Report Says Louisianans Needs Better Skills, Higher Wages to Lessen Dependence on State, Federal Aid "This state profile is really a way to show that are many different type of workers out there that can benefit from better skills and better wages," Marcie Foster, a policy analyst at CLASP said, adding this includes workers currently in the workforce but living on poverty wages and struggling to get by.
- Sep 03, 2013 | Community College Week A Helping Hand: Pilot Programs Links Needy Students To Public Benefits "This is not about building dependence," said Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, senior policy analyst for CLASP. "It's about building independence. It's short-term assistance for long-term gain."
- Sep 03, 2013 | AARP Saving Jobs in Hard Times Work-share programs are not as common in the United States as they are in some countries. Germany, for example, which has used work sharing extensively according to a recent publication from the International Labor Organization, weathered the recession seeing far less impact on its unemployment rate than the U.S. did. A great deal of credit for this outcome has been attributed to the country's work-share program.
- Aug 20, 2013 | The Huffington Post Sharing Work When Times Are Tough Work sharing requires amending state unemployment insurance laws, but once that has been done, a program can be easy to implement. The decision to use work sharing is up to an employer. Work sharing won't work for all types of jobs and, by itself, will not keep all firms from going under -- some just might not survive a downturn. However, in the last recession, some states found that work sharing did help save jobs -- an estimated 166,000 jobs in 2009 alone, as reported by CLASP and the National Employment Law Project
- Aug 16, 2013 | AlterNet 5 Ways States Are Screwing the Poor By Making Welfare Almost Impossible to Get As Elizabeth Lower-Basch, policy coordinator for CLASP told AlterNet, "Some states' TANF policies are driven by this ideology that people are poor because they're making bad choices, that they're bad people, and thus we need to force them to shape up. It doesn't recognize the real world people live in."
Aug 13, 2013
| Moms Rising
When Women Succeed, America Succeeds: Linking Women's Economic Security and Small Business Success
Policies that improve access to childcare, enable workers to care for themselves and their families without risking job or wage loss, and ensure that women are paid fairly are crucial for small business success, said Velasquez, particularly for woman-owned businesses. Amidst critiques of such policies from some large corporations, Velasquez's speech shed light on the truth: women, small businesses, and the economy in general all benefit from family and woman-friendly economic and social policies.
- Jul 23, 2013 | USA Today GED Test Going Digital at Nearly Double the Cost "While $120 may not seem like a lot to some of us, it represents a significant portion of student wages who are in this population," said Marcie Foster, a workforce development policy analyst at CLASP. "We're talking about students who don't have secondary school credentials."
- Jul 18, 2013 | Think Progress New Class of Businesses Look to Boost Support for Pro-Worker Policies A new class of businesses called benefit corporations are creating a space for job quality advocacy in the business community - a space which is much needed in light of their long-term opposition to workplace policies, according to the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC ). David Levine, the Co-Founder and CEO of ASBC, explained in an online informational meeting earlier this week that the two organizations hope to frame a business-oriented case for pro-worker reform in order to add business talking points and case studies to the dialogue
- Jul 10, 2013 | Inside Higher Ed Short-Term Help, Lasting Payoff After being laid off from her job in 2005, Sarah Young waited for hours at a local health and family services agency, where she planned to apply for public benefits. Young said she was treated rudely and then turned away. She returned to the same agency the next day and was greeted by a woman who slid a card across her desk. It read: Gateway Community and Technical College. At first, Young wasn't interested, but two weeks later she enrolled at the Kentucky institution.
- Jul 01, 2013 | The Huffington Post How Food Stamp Resentment Feeds Crabby Conservatism Elizabeth Lower-Basch, an analyst for the Center for Law and Social Policy, noted the secondhand nature of many of the anecdotes. "It's definitely a meme. You hear it a lot," Lower-Basch said. "There's a lot of a-friend-told-me-she-saw type stories. I'm not going to tell you there aren't cases of people making lousy choices, but they are far more visible in the public imagination."
- Jun 26, 2013 | The Huffington Post Why the Failure of the Farm Bill Was Good for Low-Income Families Last week, the House of Representatives rejected the Farm Bill by a 195-234 vote. The bill, which usually enjoys support from both sides of the aisle, was defeated by an unlikely -- and bi-partisan -- coalition of those who opposed the deep cuts of more than $20 billion to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and those who thought that the bill did not go far enough in cutting nutrition programs and agricultural subsidies.
Jun 13, 2013
| The Chronicle of Higher Education
Program Steers Struggling Students to Benefits That Help Them Stay in College
Students fail to finish college for a variety of reasons, but financial pressures appear to be the single largest factor, says Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, a senior policy analyst with the Center for Law and Social Policy. She pointed to a 2009 survey in which 71 percent of young adults who left college cited a need to "go to work and make money" as a reason for doing so.
- Jun 06, 2013 | Education Week New GED Tests Stir Concerns, Draw Competitors For many dropouts, especially those who are too old to return to the public K-12 system, the GED assessment has long been the main route to the high school credential that eluded them.
- May 31, 2013 | The Nation This Week in Poverty: Taking on Sallie Mae and the Cost of Education Greg Kaufmann discusses Sallie Mae and the cost of education.
- May 31, 2013 | The American Prospect A Shredded Safety Net n 1996, the year that Congress passed and Bill Clinton signed welfare reform, fulfilling his campaign pledge to "end welfare as we know it," there were 14.5 million poor children in the United States; 8.5 million children were in families that received cash assistance from Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), or welfare. Even then, nearly half of poor children were not in families that received welfare.
- May 28, 2013 | Governing Florida, LexisNexis Partner to Combat Public Assistance Fraud Identity fraud in public assistance is "certainly something that you would want to prevent [and] to the extent that you can make online applications more secure, it's a good thing," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a policy coordinator and senior analyst with the Center for Law and Social Policy. "You just need to make sure that it doesn't create burdens for people."
- May 19, 2013 | Post-Gazette Funding for GED Drops, but More Need Diplomas "Nationally, the picture for adult literacy funding has always been dire, but recently it's been getting more so," added Marcie Foster, a policy analyst with CLASP in Washington, D.C., noting that while adult education's funding has remained flat in the past decade, when adjusted for inflation that means a 25 percent cut in purchasing power for providers.
- May 10, 2013 | The Nation This Week in Poverty: Twelve Things You Can Do To FIght Poverty Now Even as the economy recovers, too many unemployed workers and individuals with low education and skill levels face a difficult job market. Nearly two out of five unemployed workers have been jobless for six months or more; 6.7 million youth are both out of work and out of school.
- May 07, 2013 | Philanthropy News Digest Foundation Center Connections - Taking Aim at Gun Violence Because gun violence disproportionately affects African-American men and boys, particularly those who live in high-poverty communities, efforts to end it must also address issues of race, place, and poverty, a report from CLASP finds. According to Taking Aim at Gun Violence (11 pages, PDF), 53,850 African-American males were killed by firearms between 2000 and 2010, while rates of gun violence among young African-American men were highest where dropout, unemployment, and poverty rates are also high.
- May 06, 2013 | Post-Gazette Critics Decry Pennsylvania's Revived Asset Test on Food Stamps Such tests can be harmful due to the volume of paperwork and caseworkers' time they can tie up, but also because they discourage savings, said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, an expert on policies that impact low-income people at CLASP. "It sends the wrong signal," she said. "It encourages people to spend down rather than put money in the bank and save it against future needs."
- May 05, 2013 | The Washington Post D.C. Area Appointments for the Week of May 6 Center for Law and Social Policy of the District appointed Olivia Golden executive director.
- May 02, 2013 | GMA News A Million More Pinoys Jobless as Unemployment Up to 25.4 Percent - SWS Quality jobs refer to employment that provide decent wages, job security, advancement opportunities, and healthy working environment where workers are treated fairly and have a voice in their daily activities at work and about the overall working conditions, according to the American Center for Law and Social Policy.
- Apr 25, 2013 | Corporate Voices for Working Families A Milestone for Competency Based Education - College for America is Approved by Department of Education Corporate Voices for Working Families mentions CLASP's Emily Firgens's In Focus article "Lowest Income Families Remain Most Burdened by High Childcare Costs"
- Apr 23, 2013 | Governing Tying Welfare Benefits to Grades Meets Resistance in Tennessee Campfield's assumption is that parents who don't participate in parent-teacher conferences would change that behavior to avoid losing $55 a month. That doesn't make sense to Elizabeth Lower-Basch, policy coordinator for CLASP, who points out that many welfare recipients miss school events because they hold multiple jobs, causing work conflicts. The bill is "grounded in a stereotype that the reason a kid might be failing in school is because parents don't care," Lower-Basch says. "Overall, low-income parents do care very much about their children and want them to succeed."
- Apr 22, 2013 | WAMU D.C. Education Advocates Seek More Funding For Adult Programs "Federal funding for adult education is declining extremely rapidly, facing an almost 20 percent decrease in funding since 2002," says Foster.
- Apr 19, 2013 | The Nation TANF: A Good News Story From the States Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - the program created by welfare reform in 1996 - is a flexible block grant, meaning that while the federal government sets some general rules, states have been given an enormous amount of control, both over the ways that they spend the federal funds they receive and over the rules that they set for families receiving TANF cash assistance. This flexibility results in an enormous amount of variation from state to state.
- Apr 12, 2013 | Philly.com Welfare Regulations in Tennessee, Pennsylvania Spur Arguments And, experts say, impoverished children often do badly in school precisely because they're poor: scant food, bad housing, and dysfunction in the family all contribute to difficulties making good grades. Taking money from such families would serve to further damage these children, noted Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a TANF expert with CLASP in Washington.
- Apr 11, 2013 | The Huffington Post Drug Testing Bills Proliferate In State Legislatures "These are copycat bills that feed off of each other and are based on stereotypes," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, policy analyst for CLASP. "The stereotype is that welfare [and unemployment] recipients are more likely to use drugs, and more broadly that people are poor solely because of their bad choices instead of an economy that's not creating enough jobs."
- Apr 08, 2013 | The Huffington Post The Facts About the Social Security Disability Programs Additionally, as highlighted by Elizabeth Lower-Basch at the Center on Law and Social Policy (CLASP), there is no evidence of a large-scale shift from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to SSI. In fact, the decline in TANF enrollment from 1996 to 2011 is more than 20 times the magnitude of the increase in SSI child enrollment during that period.
- Apr 02, 2013 | The Washington Post Lack of Paid Sick Leave is Unhealthy for America More than 40 million Americans - disproportionately low-income, black and Latino workers - cook, clean, fold, and ring us up without any paid time off when they or their children are ill. On any given day, these workers must choose between caring for a sick child and their job. They handle our food and our purchases, coughing and sniffling through Kleenex, to avoid being handed a pink slip.
- Apr 01, 2013 | The Big Story Correction: SmallBiz-Small Talk In a story March 27 about paid sick leave laws, The Associated Press, relying on information from Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., reported erroneously the number of employees a company has to have to be exempt from paying for sick leave under the Healthy Families Act. The Healthy Families Act exempts companies with fewer than 15 employees from providing paid sick time.
- Mar 29, 2013 | The Huffington Post Sick Days Go Viral This month, Portland, Oregon and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania both passed legislation (Philly awaits the Mayor's signature) and New York City is expected to follow suit. These actions build on laws enacted in Connecticut, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C.
- Mar 21, 2013 | The Boston Globe Single-mother Families Struggling in Mass. In Massachusetts, the gap between rich and poor is among the largest in the country. The state's poverty rate is below the national average, but when regional living expenses are factored in, Massachusetts has the 10th-highest rate, according to the Center for Law and Social Policy.
- Mar 14, 2013 | Inside Higher Ed Reimagining Financial Aid The most comprehensive ideas for changing tax credits came from the Center for Law and Social Policy, which devoted most of its white paper to tax benefits. The group looked at several options, including making the American Opportunity Tax Credit more refundable; front-loading part of the credit, meaning taxpayers could get their refunds earlier; and ending the separate tax deduction for tuition and fees.
- Mar 13, 2013 | CNN Money Future of Medicaid and Food Stamps at Stake "When you talk about slashing the safety net to save it, it's hard to call that anything but Orwellian," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP, which focuses on policy for the poor.
- Mar 01, 2013 | The Nation This Week in Poverty: Gangnam-Style Counting With Senator Jeff Sessions CLASP's Elizabeth Lower-Basch's Congressional testimony offers further detail on TANF in Greg Kauffman's article.
- Mar 01, 2013 | The Christian Science Monitor Financial Aid: Finding Better Ways to Help College Students Earlier this week, my Tax Policy Center colleague Elaine Maag blogged about proposals by CLASP to improve federal assistance for low-income college students, including better targeting of higher education tax credits. But there may be even more effective ways to help these students. One idea: Cut back on tax credits and use the savings to improve Pell grants and loan programs.
- Feb 28, 2013 | The Hill House Welfare Hearing Gets Personal for Lawmakers "Employers are increasingly unwilling to just hire folks like your dad," Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst with CLASP, said to Reichert. "They want people with skills, they want people ready to show up and do the job on the first day. So we need to give people access to those training programs."
- Feb 27, 2013 | Youth Today EBT Money Withdrawn at Liquor Stores, Casino Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a policy coordinator at the Washington D.C.-based CLASP, said that depending on how states implement the federal restrictions, they may end up spending more on enforcement than the cash assistance recipients spend at questionable retailers.
- Feb 27, 2013 | Philanthropy News Digest Investing in Young Men and Boys of Color: The Promise and Opportunity Improving the health of and educational and employment opportunities for young men and boys of color - the demographic cohort most likely to grow up in poverty, live in unsafe neighborhoods, and attend underresourced schools - requires alternative approaches to school discipline, job training, and postsecondary degree completion, as well as cultural shifts among health professionals, educators, and youth-serving agencies, a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Center for Law and Social Policy finds.
- Feb 26, 2013 | SF Gate Government Credits Make Working Pay Off Other changes around the same time had an even bigger impact, such as increasing the earned income tax credit and expanding Medicaid and child care subsidies, says Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst with CLASP. Today, "you are almost always better going from no work to work," she says.
- Feb 25, 2013 | Tax Policy Center Education Tax Credits Rival Pell Grant Program in Size: Reforms Proposed As part of a series of reports on federal financial aid, CLASP is urging a full review of who receives tax benefits for education, how those benefits compare with the better-known Pell grants, and whether Congress should reform higher education benefits.
- Feb 21, 2013 | FOX 5 News What Sequestration Could Mean for Your Child's Education CLASP's Stephanie Schmit talks with Allison Seymour about the potential effects of sequestration on early childhood programs, particularly those affecting low-income children and families on FOX 5 News.
- Feb 21, 2013 | Youth Today New Report Proposes Financial Aid Reform to Benefit Low-Income Students A new report released by CLASP's Center on Postsecondary and Economic Success argues that billions of dollars in federal funds could be saved by altering tax-based student aid in the United States.
- Feb 20, 2013 | The Chronicle of Higher Education Tax-Based Aid Should Be Redirected to Low-Income Students, Report Says We want policy makers to understand," Ms. Strawn said, "that it's possible to make tax-based student aid simpler, and more effective, and that it's possible to do all that in a fiscally responsible way.
- Feb 14, 2013 | CNN Money $9 Minimum Wage Alone Doesn't Get Workers Out of Poverty "For too many people, low-wage jobs are a way of life," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP, which advocates for low-income workers.
- Feb 13, 2013 | The Dish Does A Head Start Help? A randomized trial run by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), which runs Head Start, found some effects in the first few years for program participants, but those benefits faded away by grade school. Some Head Start supporters, like Danielle Ewen of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), argue that this says more about K-12, and that what's likely happening is that poor quality public schools are actually reversing Head Start's gains.
- Feb 13, 2013 | The Washington Post Hey Congress: Pre-K is a Better Investment than the Stock Market A randomized trial run by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), which runs Head Start, found some effects in the first few years for program participants, but those benefits faded away by grade school. Some Head Start supporters, like Danielle Ewen, formerly of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), argue that this says more about K-12, and that what's likely happening is that poor quality public schools are actually reversing Head Start's gains.
- Feb 12, 2013 | The Chronicle of Higher Education Money Matters, but So Does Avoiding Red Tape As advocates like those at the Center for Law and Social Policy have pointed out, transportation is a common barrier to community-college success, as is a lack of housing and food. But usually, community colleges do not have the power or resources to provide vouchers or free rides, nor are they in the business of coordinating social services. And post-welfare reform, they were explicitly disarmed from doing so.
- Feb 08, 2013 | Diversity Journal Growing Income Inequality Points to Need for Sustained Support for Workers and Families In 2011, poverty remained high at 15 percent - with more than 46 million people living below the poverty threshold. While this number alone is unacceptable, income inequality grew, a worrisome sign for families and our economy.
- Feb 07, 2013 | The Huffington Post When Family Leave Crosses the Aisle The time is ripe to find common political ground on family issues. The November election revealed a huge gender and Hispanic voter gap between the two parties. As Republicans seek to close the gap, new proposals about short-term job leave that help keep families together ought to prove fertile ground.
- Jan 28, 2013 | The Huffington Post Drug Testing Unemployment Bill Pops Up In Arkansas Elizabeth Lower-Basch of CLASP, said schemes to drug test the poor and jobless are part of an effort to stigmatize low-income people. "It's all part of the same pattern of stigmatizing people and blaming them for facing hard times," Lower-Basch said, "rather than recognizing that we're still in a slow recovery and that many people are struggling through no fault of their own."
- Jan 19, 2013 | New York Times Sunday Dialogue: Flexible Work Hours The Working Families Flexibility Act could be, as Mr. Waring notes, a step that improves the quality of part-time jobs. It would give a nation of workers the right to ask for schedule changes (but not an automatic right to get them). A little noted but intriguing aspect of the act could nudge a workplace culture shift: The employee who requests the change must put on a manager's hat and recommend how the company could adapt.
- Jan 17, 2013 | HuffPost Live A Segregated Nation On January 17, CLASP Senior Policy Analyst Rhonda Bryant joined A Segregated Nation on HuffPost Live to discuss segregation based on classism and the resulting access to education and financial stability.
- Jan 16, 2013 | The Huffington Post Obama's Poverty Moves Face Tough Road Amid Tight Budgets, Political Gridlock "I think the Recovery Act -- it was Obama's first big piece of legislation -- and it included huge benefits for low-income folks," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a policy coordinator and senior policy analyst with the Center for Law and Social Policy, a Washington-based research and advocacy organization focusing on low-income people. She pointed to the expansion of the child tax credit, additional funding for child care and job training, and new emergency funding for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, or TANF, the nation's principal welfare program. "It was all in the context of a much bigger package," Lower-Basch said. "But these had real benefits for low-income people."
- Jan 14, 2013 | The Advocate Regents Strike Out with La. Lawmakers Vickie Choitz, a senior policy analyst with the Washington, D.C.-based CLASP, explains that embedding basic math and reading skills into a technical college curriculum is a critical component to making students more marketable as they look for jobs.
- Jan 08, 2013 | Education Week Early-Childhood Education Advocates Wary of Automatic Cuts Early-childhood educators and advocates are bracing for a series automatic, across-the-board cuts set to hit a broad swath of federal programs on March 1, unless Congress can come up an agreement to avert them.
- Jan 07, 2013 | The Sacramento Bee Uncertainty from Washington Continues for States We must let policymakers and opinion leaders know that it is unacceptable to reduce the deficit by targeting the most vulnerable," writes Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a policy analyst at CLASP.
- Jan 04, 2013 | The Nation This Week in Poverty: Responses to the 'Cliff' Deal While we can breathe a sigh of relief over avoiding a drop off the cliff, there is no time to rest. We must let policymakers and opinion leaders know that it is unacceptable to reduce the deficit by targeting the most vulnerable and that it is outrageous to hold the entire economy hostage. In this season of resolutions, we must resolve to stand up for those whose voices are rarely heard.
- Dec 26, 2012 | The Capitol Times Ken Taylor and Alan Houseman: Deficit Reduction Should Not Sacrifice Our Children The fiscal cliff represents a big challenge for our elected leaders, and spending cuts must be part of the solution. But we must avoid cuts that will save a little now only to cost us far more in the future. More importantly, we must take care not to solve our fiscal problems on the backs of our children, who did nothing to cause the budget problems we face today, and whom we must trust to overcome the next batch of challenges our nation will face tomorrow.
- Dec 21, 2012 | Marketplace Radio What Happens When the Poor Fall Over the Fiscal Cliff? Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior analyst at CLASP, a nonprofit that promotes policies for low-income Americans, says if you're not getting extended unemployment insurance but you're poor, you'll feel the pinch gradually. She says spending will be cut by eight percent on government programs that help low-income Americans: job training programs, Head Start for pre-schoolers, and federal housing assistance.
- Dec 21, 2012 | Chicago Sun-Times Pull Preschool Back from Cliff In Illinois alone, almost 240,000 children under age 6 - nearly 25 percent - live in poverty, according to the Center on Law and Social Policy. By the time many children begin school, they already face an achievement gap that can set the stage for a lifetime of academic and work-related struggles. Although many teachers, schools and even employers do everything they can, the struggle to close the gap and put students on a path to success continues.
- Dec 17, 2012 | News OK Advocates: Congress Shouldn't Push Children Over the 'Fiscal Cliff' Nearly one-quarter of those children live in poverty. About two-thirds of them relied on either Medicaid or food stamps during 2011. The earned income tax credit, the child tax credit, unemployment insurance and food stamps prevented thousands more Oklahoma families from falling further into poverty last year. Yet the automatic budget cuts scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1 would devastate these programs.
- Dec 16, 2012 | The Toledo Blade Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients Weighed Ohio is weighing a pilot program in several counties that would require drug testing for some people receiving welfare benefits.
- Dec 14, 2012 | In These Times The Young and the Disconnected Linda Harris, CLASP's Director of Youth Policy and the report's author, tells Working In These Times, "The resolution to this, given the scale [of the problem], can't be a program here and there. It really has to be some of the more systemic interventions" that draw upon "public systems, communities and the private sector" to generate opportunities. Moreover, the recession my have for now exacerbated structural barriers, but they persist even during relatively good times. In communities plagued by something like a permanent recession, Harris says, "unless we make the kinds of investments that are targeted at getting more of the young people who are disconnected from the workforce, they will not be better off when the economy is better off."
- Dec 13, 2012 | Minn Post Do Proposed Laws Need a 'Poverty Impact Statement'? It boils down to this, as explained in materials from CLASP, a national proponent working to improve the lives of low-income people: State and federal lawmakers across the nation should ask this question: "If we pursue this policy, how much should it increase or decrease poverty?"
- Nov 22, 2012 | Washington Journal Poverty in the U.S. Elizabeth Lower-Basch, CLASP, and Veronique de Rugy, George Mason University, discuss poverty in the United States today, including where it is most widespread, as well as programs in place to combat poverty, including food stamps and other forms of government assistance.
- Nov 07, 2012 | Education Week Educare Preschools Aim to Close Academic Gaps Educare "has been a model for the country. It certainly shows what high-quality education can produce," said Hannah Matthews, the director of child care and early education for the Center for Law and Social Policy here.
- Nov 05, 2012 | The Boston Globe Children's Programs Need More Backing America's kids are the future, and programs and services that support them are not given the kind of political or economic backing they deserve. Often, these services are misrepresented as "hand-outs" or "hammocks" promoting a culture of dependency. But many of them are just the opposite - cost-effective ways to feed, clothe, house, or care for the health and well-being of poor and struggling families and work to ensure that they can become healthy, educated, productive, and self-sufficient adults down the road.
- Nov 02, 2012 | The Huffington Post One Person's 'Welfare' Is Another Person's Ticket to the Middle Class Eliminating or significantly paring down these programs will, according to the Senator, promote, "gainful employment and financial independence." While no one could argue with these goals, the truth is that cutting these programs will do just the opposite. Pell Grants, for example, make college possible for more than 9 million Americans; research shows that such need-based grant aid increases college enrollment among low- and moderate-income students and reduces their likelihood of dropping out of college.
- Oct 31, 2012 | Michigan NPR's State of Opportunity What This Election Means for Low-income Families We've written about this before, but it bears repeating: There has been very little talk of poverty during the presidential campaign, and yet nearly a quarter of all American children live in poverty. Since neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney have been too candid on where they stand on policies that directly impact kids from low-income families, we decided to take a look ourselves.
- Oct 31, 2012 | CSPAN2 Removing Red Tape: New Strategies for Strengthening the Safety Net This panel discussion explored new strategies for strengthening the safety net. The event was co-sponsored by New America Foundation and the Coalition for Access and Opportunity, which CLASP co-convenes. It aired on CSPAN2.
- Oct 22, 2012 | The New York Times How Best to Lift People Out of Poverty Gary E. MacDougal is right that candidates should pay more attention to poverty and that low-income families too often face a confusing maze to get help. However, the budget proposed by Representative Paul D. Ryan, which relies on cost shifts to states, should not be the discussion's starting point.
- Oct 10, 2012 | MN Daily Fair Highlights Student-Parents Nearly a quarter of college students nationwide are parents, according to CLASP, an advocacy group for low-income people.
- Oct 01, 2012 | Community College Week Pilot Program Links Low-Income Students to Benefits "In today's economy, it's more important than ever that students have the supports to earn a higher education so they can land better jobs and support their families," said Evelyn Ganzglass, director of workforce development at CLASP, a non-profit that advocates for low-income Americans. "Rising college costs mean an education is increasingly out of reach for millions. By combining traditional student financial aid with public supports, students are better positioned to get by and complete their education."
- Sep 24, 2012 | Thrive By Five New Report Shows a Major Challenge for Early Learning: 1 in 5 Children are Hungry "It is hard to reach your optimum development when you are hungry," Hannah Matthews, head of child care and early education at the Washington, D.C.-based social policy think tank CLASP, said.
- Sep 21, 2012 | The New Star Census Data Says Poverty Rates in La. on the Rise Jodie Levin-Epstein, deputy director at CLASP, a nonprofit group dedicated to creating policies for low-income people based in Washington, D.C., says the difference between the declining unemployment rate and the rising poverty levels could be attributed to the types of jobs that are available. "Employment reflects getting a job. It does not reflect the quality of the job. The new jobs that are coming on the market are mostly lower wage jobs, and people often in lower wage jobs are not getting full time work," she said. "This means, people are getting jobs, but the jobs are still keeping them in poverty," she said.
- Sep 21, 2012 | CNN Money The Poor Do Have Jobs "They are working, playing by the rules, but it's not enough to support themselves," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP, which advocates for low-income workers.
- Sep 19, 2012 | MLive Lake Michigan College Testing New Method of Connecting Low-Income Students to Social Services The colleges will implement the program over three years with a $4.84 million grant from the Ford Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations. The Annie E. Casey Foundation is also contributing to the initiative. The college, which is part of Benefits Access for College Completion (BACC) initiative, will work with CLASP and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to begin testing the model, according to a college release.
- Sep 13, 2012 | Philanthropy News Digest Center for Law and Social Policy Announces $4.8 Million Initiative to Boost Graduation Rates "In today's economy, it's more important than ever that students have the supports to earn a higher education so they can land better jobs and support their families," said CLASP director of workforce development Evelyn Ganzglass. "Rising college costs mean an education is increasingly out of reach for millions. By combining traditional student financial aid with public supports, students are better positioned to get by and complete their education. And when more students earn credentials, more employers have the skilled workers they need, and the labor market is able to stay competitive."
- Sep 13, 2012 | The Nation Welcome to 'Poverty Day': The One Time of Year When America Cares About the Poor As Hannah Mathews, director of childcare and early education at CLASP, puts it, "As is tradition on 'poverty day,' journalists, advocates and politicians alike will express outrage for the dismal poverty statistics...But by week's end, it's far too likely that the poor among us will have fallen out of consciousness."
- Sep 13, 2012 | The Huffington Post Shelter From the Storm Reading the new U.S. Census report on income and poverty in 2011, released on Sept. 12, is a bit like turning on the weather report in the middle of a hurricane. We don't really need to look at our television to know that it's raining and windy, and we don't need to read the Census report to know that too many of our neighbors are struggling to get by. But the weather report also lets us know how the most vulnerable -- those on the unprotected coast -- are faring, and whether there are blue skies ahead or if the storms will linger. Likewise, the Census report provides an accounting of the number of people who are riding out the storm of poverty and anxiously awaiting forecasts of better economic conditions -- along with news of help.
- Sep 12, 2012 | The Huffington Post When a Headline Isn't News: Child Poverty Persists One in four young children under age 6 in the U.S. lives in poverty. But this fact, from today's U.S. Census report on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in 2011, is not breaking news. In fact, perhaps one of the most troubling things about today's report is just how predictable these statistics are.
- Sep 11, 2012 | The Plain Dealer Cuyahoga Community College Helps Low-Income Students Find Benefits Community college officials in the project have said their mission must extend beyond the academic needs of the student because so many other factors stand in the way of success, said Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, project director from CLASP.
- Sep 10, 2012 | The Boston Globe Little Mentioned On Trail, Poverty Widening In US "The looming question of the next president is about what can be done to address this overarching challenge. The American people should hear how each candidate views the capacity of the government and its programs to diminish poverty," said Jodie Levin-Epstein, the deputy director of CLASP, a nonpartisan advocacy group in Washington.
- Sep 10, 2012 | The Huffington Post Left Unsaid on Labor Day The Bureau of Labor Statistics has issued new findings from the American Time Use Survey, known as ATUS. For the first time, ATUS included questions about paid and unpaid leave (and job flexibility) and got answers from workers themselves.
- Sep 05, 2012 | CBS Evening News Obama, Romney Offer Different Solutions to Unemployed Americans are living in hunger. The Department of Agriculture said Wednesday that nearly 15 percent of households - almost 18 million - don't have enough money to feed themselves adequately. One reason, of course, is unemployment
- Aug 24, 2012 | The Patriot-News Flexibility for states does not undermine welfare reform A 2010 CLASP publication cites "data compiled by KEYS program administrators [shows] the average hourly salary of KEYS graduates is $14.77, compared with under $8 an hour for former and current participants in other DPW programs."
- Aug 07, 2012 | Wisconsin Public Radio Measuring Poverty in America If you have a flat-screen TV and a cell phone, can you still be considered poor or below the poverty line? What does it mean to be poor? Wisconsin Public Radio's Joy Cardin Show invited CLASP Deputy Director Jodie Levin-Epstein to discuss how we measure poverty when many households have amenities like TVs but income inequality is on the rise.
- Aug 03, 2012 | Stateline A Likely Reprieve for the Federal Food Stamp Program "It's a little bit early to be excited," says Helly Lee, a senior policy analyst at CLASP. "Things are very much up in the air... For us, the position is to preserve SNAP as much as we can."
- Aug 02, 2012 | The Huffington Post Say It Like Beckham Child stunting in the U.S. is a surprise. Its implications demand attention. Yet, the possibility that the incidence of stunting will grow should not surprise. The nation's poverty rate is expected to reach levels not seen since the 1960s. Very young children are the age group with the highest rates of poverty and the nutritional deprivation termed food insecurity (what front line workers and parents call hunger). Yet, as the needs of children increase, budget outlays for them are decreasing.
- Aug 01, 2012 | CNN Money Are You Poor if You Have a Flat-screen TV? "We have a new standard of living, but it's not a sign of luxury," said Jodie Levin-Epstein, deputy director of CLASP, which advocates for the poor.
- Jul 30, 2012 | The Business Journal Wisconsin Technical Colleges Join Multistate Career Pathway Study The Wisconsin Technical College System is teaming with nine states to create a framework of benchmarks and success measures for career pathway initiatives, a model of education that's viewed as a method of filling the skills gap in the state. The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways will also partner with the Washington, D.C.-based CLASP and the Joyce and James Irvine Foundations, according to a WTCS press release.
- Jul 23, 2012 | The American Prospect Creating a Countercyclical Welfare System Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at the D.C.-based CLASP, believes that it would be somewhere between $5 billion and $7 billion, less than 1 percent of the financial industry's bailout following the 2008 meltdown.
- Jul 19, 2012 | Green Bay Press Gazette Guest Column: College Remains Great Investment for the Long Term A study from CLASP and the Center for Higher Education Management Systems shows that closing the education gap can improve the state's bottom line. If Wisconsin can match the performance of states with significantly higher numbers of college graduates, revenues could increase by $815 million per year.
- Jul 18, 2012 | Associated Press New Welfare Restrictions Target Alcohol, Tattoos And Strippers Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a policy analyst for CLASP, a Washington-based nonprofit organization, said the regulations reflect "people's preconceived notions and stereotypes of low-income people." She said poor people have hardly any money left over for things like alcohol or tattoos after they pay for necessities.
- Jul 16, 2012 | CNN Money Summer jobs: Cities push companies to hire teens "They are not having the opportunity to develop their work ethic, portfolio and resume," said Linda Harris, director of youth policy for CLASP, an advocacy group for low-income communities.
- Jul 09, 2012 | USA Today States Restrict Welfare Purchases The laws are meaningless because they can't restrict how someone spends the cash once it is in hand, says Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a policy analyst for CLASP, an advocacy group for low-income people. "It's a way for legislators to look like they are on top of things," she says. "It plays into people's stereotypes of the undeserving poor who buy things that are wasteful."
- Jul 09, 2012 | Wisconsin Public Radio Elizabeth Lower-Basch on Wisconsin Public Radio On July 9, CLASP Senior Policy Analyst and Policy Coordinator Elizabeth Lower-Basch joined At Issue with Ben Merens on Wisconsin Public Radio to discuss a federal law requiring states to restrict the use of welfare money and how various state bills would create a stigma for people receiving those benefits and distract from more important issues in welfare spending.
- Jul 07, 2012 | Nashua Telegraph O'Brien Calls for Tighter Restrictions on Use of EBT Cards CLASP protested the federal law and efforts that other states have made to restrict EBT card use, arguing that there was no evidence of abuse by those using the program.
- Jun 22, 2012 | Huffington Post Democrats Not Trying To Prevent Food Stamp Cuts, Breaking Promise "We thought it was bad two years ago and it's only getting more bleak," Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst for CLASP, told The Huffington Post. When Democrats promised in 2010 they would restore food funding, Lower-Basch said at the time she feared they wouldn't find a way. "It didn't take a particularly good crystal ball," she said.
- Jun 20, 2012 | The Daytona Beach News Journal Daytona WyoTech School for Sale Vickie Choitz, senior policy analyst for CLASP, said a law passed in December will cut off federal funding --Pell grants and loans -- to new students who do not have a high school diploma or GED. Those already enrolled will be grandfathered in, she said. Choitz added many for-profit technical programs are facing more scrutiny after President Barack Obama helped pass "gainful employment" regulations, which are designed to protect students from incurring insurmountable debt. High student debt can also increase the risk of an institution missing out on federal funding, Choitz said.
- Jun 06, 2012 | Marketplace Rising Use Makes Food Stamps a Target The people who pay a lot of attention to it are frankly the agricultural interests. And so they're really mobilized to defend subsidy programs, says Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- May 31, 2012 | America's Workforce Radio Vickie Choitz on America's Workforce Radio On May 31, CLASP Senior Policy Analyst Vickie Choitz joined America's Workforce Radio to discuss the country's need for more workers with a postsecondary degree or credential. According to a new Return on Investment Dashboard and analysis released by CLASP and NCHEMS, if the country maintains the status quo on number of credentials produced, we stand to leave nearly $600 billion in additional revenue on the table.
May 24, 2012
| The Huffington Post
As School Districts Compete for Federal Race to the Top Dollars, It's Time to Think Beyond School Walls
On May 22, the U.S. Department of Education released draft criteria for its latest competition: the Race to the Top (RTT) District competition. While early education is not prominently included in the draft criteria, it remains an option for school districts to include.
- May 21, 2012 | San Jose Mercury News Congress Pulls Plug on Pell Grants; Thousands of Students Affected A coalition of groups is pushing Congress to reverse some of its Pell reforms. The most likely change would be to once again allow grants to students who have completed six college units, said Vickie Choitz, a senior policy analyst with CLASP.
- May 21, 2012 | KGO 810 Newstalk Radio Threats to Pell Grants Would Harm Students Vickie Choitz, senior policy analyst at CLASP, describes cuts to the federal student aid that will take place starting July 1, 2012.
- May 19, 2012 | Medical Daily Stay at School to Find Way Out of Adversity "This situation goes largely unattended because minority youth is an invisible constituency. When young people dropout, or disconnect, or stop looking for work, they are no longer counted in any system or any statistic unless they find their way to the public welfare system or the criminal justice system as many of them do. No public institution or system is called upon to account for the preparation and transition of youth to the labor market," wrote Linda Harris from CLASP.
- May 11, 2012 | The Huffington Post For Mother's Day: A Present That Values Families Mother's Day unifies the nation as we all scurry to find the right Hallmark card, fancy flowers or some proverbial chocolates to honor she who labored us into this world. The treats, however, can't sweeten a bitter fact: our country, while touting that it values families, gives scant evidence of doing so, particularly when it comes to infants and their care. Our public policies in these arenas could, but don't, give mothers (and fathers) who work outside the home what they need to nurture our next generation. To create healthy, thriving families and communities, we should start when children are young. Babies develop a set of social, emotional, and cognitive skills that lay the foundation for the very skills they will need to be successful in school and in the workplace. In short time, these tiny bundles begin to crawl and then walk and in a blink they become young adults and workers determining our nation's productivity and global role.
- Apr 30, 2012 | Uprising Radio What's at Stake as LA's Adult Ed Programs Face Closure As a whole, the US is well behind other developed nations in its number of adults with post-secondary education credentials, according to a new study by CLASP.
- Apr 29, 2012 | The Gazette Student Debt and the Value of a Degree According to a study released this week by CLASP, the United States is falling far behind other countries in numbers of workers with postsecondary credentials.
- Apr 27, 2012 | Huffington Post Food Stamps in Crosshairs of Republicans' Plan to Save Military Three quarters of households receiving food stamps were "categorically eligible" in 2010, according to the CBO, meaning they qualified because they received benefits from programs like Supplemental Security Income or the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, informally known as welfare. That policy borders on fraud, according to the GOP. "It's really misleading to call this fraud because people are eligible -- no one's doing anything fraudulent," Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior analyst with CLASP.
- Apr 27, 2012 | The Hechinger Report College Graduates Goal Will Fall Short by 24 Million Degrees in 2025 In order to reach the goal of having 60 percent of adults with college degrees by the year 2025, the United States would have to confer an additional 24 million degrees beyond what it is already producing--but it is projected to award only 278,500 more degrees, CLASP and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems reported Thursday.
- Apr 27, 2012 | Atlanta Journal Constitution Another Call for More College Graduates in Georgia Interesting study by CLASP and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems warning that Georgia will leave $1.913 billion on the table in revenues if we don't produce more college grads by 2025.
- Apr 26, 2012 | Women's eNews Atlantic Runs Screed Against Working Families Child-friendly policies benefit men, women and the bottom line. They reduce stress not only for parents, but anyone caring for a family member or a difficult personal medical problem. CLASP reports that employers offering workplace flexibility say that these practices improve their bottom line. Research bears that out, in the form of fewer absences, lower health-care costs and higher rates of worker retention.
- Apr 26, 2012 | New Mexico Business Weekly More College Degrees Equals Better Economy in New Mexico A growing reduction in the number of college graduates in New Mexico is projected to lead to lower income, property and sales tax revenue for the state by 2025. Annual per capita income also is expected to decrease slightly, according to a review of U.S. Census and other data by CLASP and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.
- Apr 26, 2012 | The Chronicle of Higher Education New Tool Shows $600-Billion in Revenue from Additional College Credentials The United States wants to surge ahead (or at least keep up) in the global tally of adults with postsecondary degrees, a feat tied to competitiveness - and cash, $600-billion of it, according to CLASP and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.
- Apr 26, 2012 | Hartford Business Journal CT, US Lag in Postsecondary Degrees CLASP and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) shows to remain globally competitive, the U.S. must produce 24 million additional degrees -- 115,713 of them in Connecticut -- by 2025 to achieve a 60 percent degree attainment rate among adults ages 25 to 64.
- Apr 10, 2012 | The Huffington Post Is Marriage a Poverty-Buster? But is marriage invariably a poverty-buster? It turns out that one plus one does not always add up to two stable incomes. Particularly for those with precarious incomes the decision to get hitched includes a special calculation that adds in an assessment of economic instability and liability.
- Apr 09, 2012 | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Workzone: Pa. Gets on Work-Sharing Bus Pennsylvania joins 22 other states and the District of Columbia in adopting work-sharing, which is a way to keep more workers on the job during economic downturns, said Neil Ridley, a senior policy analyst with CLASP.
- Apr 06, 2012 | The Huffington Post Unemployment Insurance Faces Changes Across the Nation Despite changes to Unemployment Insurance programs, there is one thing worker advocates are happy about: new federal support for work-sharing programs, which help businesses reduce hours instead of laying people off. The payroll tax cut legislation Congress passed in February included nearly $500 million for work sharing, which the National Employment Law Project and CLASP hailed as a "breakthrough" for the policy, also known as short-time compensation.
- Apr 03, 2012 | The Huffington Post Painting a Picture of Poverty in Utah: By the Numbers In Utah, a picture of poverty is about to get painted. The state legislature has unanimously passed a bill that will provide data on the extent of, and the demographics attached to, intergenerational poverty in the state. While Utah may be the only state with such a law, there is growing interest around the country in research that shows economic mobility is more elusive in the U.S. than in other developed nations. Simply put, it's getting harder and harder for American families to move up the economic ladder and into a measure of financial security where they can afford quality health care, to send their kids to college, and can put away a little for retirement.
- Mar 23, 2012 | Stateline Food Stamp Program Under Fire "It's easy to make fun of categorical eligibility, because it is sort of a roundabout process to determine eligibility," says Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP. "But the fact is that states have adopted it - including many states with conservative governors and legislators - because the statutory limit (for food stamps) is so absurdly low that it would trap people in poverty by not letting them get ahead," she says.
- Mar 21, 2012 | Huffington Post Paul Ryan Wants 'Welfare Reform Round 2' "This last recession would have been quite horrific, and there would have been quite a great deal of suffering and hunger, if food stamps were as unresponsive as TANF was," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch.
- Mar 21, 2012 | CNN Money House GOP Budget Would Overhaul Medicaid House Republicans want to overhaul the nation's safety net by turning Medicaid and food stamps into block grants and making recipients work for certain benefits. The idea that the states could administer either Medicaid or food stamps more efficiently is a fallacy, said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP. It would just force states to make "ugly decisions," such as restricting enrollment or instituting co-pays.
- Mar 02, 2012 | C-SPAN's Washington Journal State Proposals to Drug Test Public Benefits Applicants Misguided CLASP senior policy analyst Elizabeth Lower-Basch joined C-SPAN's Washington Journal to discuss recent state proposals to drug test applicants for public benefits programs like TANF and SNAP.
- Mar 01, 2012 | Education Week Rating System for Child Care, Early Learning Shows Promise A new study by CLASP and the National Women's Law Center has found that "quality rating and improvement systems" designed to strengthen child care and early learning offer a road map to improvement, but need a few tweaks to be truly effective. The study interviewed nearly 50 child-care center directors from around the country to find out what they thought about QRIS and how they worked "on the ground."
- Feb 28, 2012 | Stateline Congress Closes "Strip Club Loophole" Advocates for the low-income say new restrictions on where TANF recipients can access benefits are unnecessary and stigmatize struggling families. "The idea that TANF recipients are using their cash benefits on gambling sprees or drinking them away may make for sensational headlines but is not based on facts," the Washington, D.C.,-based CLASP said in a statement. A parent may withdraw funds to pay rent at an ATM located in a liquor store simply because it is the lowest-cost or most convenient ATM, the group says.
- Feb 24, 2012 | The Nation Screwed Unemployed Workers and Rising Concentrated Poverty "Nearly half of displaced workers didn't receive unemployment benefits,"says Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP. "Moreover, all the young adults transitioning into the labor market who haven't been able to get their first jobs because of the recession aren't counted as either displaced workers or UI recipients. So both the displaced workers who didn't receive UI and the youth entering the workforce are likely to have even higher poverty rates than those who have exhausted their UI benefits."
- Feb 21, 2012 | U.S. News & World Report Community Colleges Work to Keep Low-Income Students in School Colleges will develop their own models, such as training financial aid and student services counselors to help students apply for aid and incorporating benefit access assistance in orientation. "We hope the colleges will move beyond needing grants ... but instead will build it into their way of doing business," said Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, senior policy analyst for CLASP.
- Feb 14, 2012 | San Francisco Chronicle Deadline for Federal Jobless Benefits Looms CLASP, an advocacy group for low-income households, supports policies that increase worker skills and education, but "it has to be done by education and workforce policy at the federal level" and not through state unemployment offices, says Neil Ridley, a senior policy analyst with CLASP.
- Feb 08, 2012 | The Huffington Post Congress: Don't Kick Workers When They're Down Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the ratio of unemployed workers to job openings was 4 to 1 in December 2011. This is a lot better than at the peak of the recession, when nearly seven people were looking for work for every opening, but it still means that no matter how much they search, three people will be left standing without a chair when the music stops.
- Feb 07, 2012 | CNN "Strip Club Bill" a No-Brainer The House "strip club" bill just passed, 395 to 27, with only 26 Democrats and one Republican voting against it. Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior analyst at CLASP, said: "This is another example of setting policies based on attention-grabbing news stories with little connection to the underlying reality and that are designed to reinforce the 'unworthy poor' stereotype."
- Feb 07, 2012 | The Daily Beast Congress Ponders Adding GED Requirement to Unemployment Benefits "Everyone is in favor of education. But this is the stick instead of the carrot. And it's the stick when people are already running as fast as they can," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Feb 06, 2012 | McClatchy States Shake Up Adult Education to Help Low-Skilled Workers The 'skills gap' between what employers need and job applicants offer already has become a drag on the economy, with nearly 3 million jobs unfilled even at a time of high unemployment. But a handful of states, working with private foundations, local community colleges and area employers, are redesigning their adult basic-education programs to provide career training and remedial course work--reading, writing, language and math--at the same time. The method works best for adults with seventh- to ninth-grade education levels who couldn't pass community college entrance exams. "These people are working. They have kids. Some have multiple jobs, and they get frustrated. Life happens," said Evelyn Ganzglass, director of workforce development at CLASP.
- Feb 06, 2012 | CNNMoney House Bill Bans Welfare Spending at Strip Clubs If welfare recipients want to dole out the dollar bills at a strip club, they'd better make sure it's not government money ... at least if a bill in Congress becomes law. Advocates for the low-income, however, said the legislation isn't really needed and that Congress has more important issues to focus on. "Of all the things Congress needs to be dealing with, that this is a priority seems pretty strange," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP, adding that several states have already adopted such rules.
- Feb 04, 2012 | Foxnews.com Pennsylvania Officials Roll Out Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients Pennsylvania officials are wading into the controversial territory of drug-testing welfare recipients, testing out a new program Republicans say is meant to prevent beneficiaries from getting a "free ride." Opponents claim the proposals are unfair and not cost effective. A Feb. 3 brief by CLASP, a low-income advocacy nonprofit, cited a 1996 study that found the proportion of welfare recipients with a substance abuse problem is consistent with the proportion of nonwelfare recipients with the same. The group said the tests cost between $35 and $76 each to administer, and described them as an "inefficient use of taxpayer money."
- Feb 03, 2012 | The Huffington Post The "Holeist" of Holes in the Safety Net Poor Mitt Romney. The fact is that the candidate is a rich man (no matter what his tax bracket), but equally true is that his "not concerned about the very poor" assertions in a CNN interview have made him a political pinata on both the right and the left. That must hurt.
- Feb 02, 2012 | The Daily Beast Mitt Romney and the Poor People's Safety Net Myth This notion that ours is a country with ample protections in place to protect the very poor rankles Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst with CLASP, a D.C.-based research and advocacy group. "It's a pretty common misperception, this idea that we have a strong safety net in place," Lower-Basch says. "The truth is, we have a very patchy safety net" - and one that is under greater strain and facing ever more threats the longer the country's economic woes continue.
- Feb 01, 2012 | The Huffington Post Republicans Aim to Ban Use of Welfare Debit Cards at Strip Clubs, Liquor Stores "This is another example of setting policies based on attention-grabbing news stories with little connection to the underlying reality and that are designed to reinforce the 'unworthy poor' stereotype," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior analyst at CLASP. "There's no evidence that this is a widespread problem. And even when funds are withdrawn in those locations, it doesn't mean that people are gambling away their benefits."
- Feb 01, 2012 | CNNMoney Romney: "I'm not concerned about the very poor" "It is a common misconception that we don't have to worry about the very poor because they are covered by existing programs," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP, which advocates for low-income Americans. "In fact, our safety net has many holes."
- Jan 25, 2012 | Stateline Governors Seek Drug Testing as Condition of Job Training Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst for CLASP, says she is concerned that those getting public benefits are being demonized even though they may be unemployed through no fault of their own. She also says drug testing doesn't save money as often touted. CLASP, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, has estimated the cost of catching a drug abuser may run between $20,000 and $77,000 per person.
- Jan 20, 2012 | The Huffington Post In South Carolina, the Plot to "Welfarize" Unemployment Insurance On drug testing unemployment insurance recipients, "It's clearly part of this overall trend to welfarize unemployment," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior analyst with CLASP. "It's part of this continuing attempt to blame unemployment recipients for being unemployed, as if it's because of their personal failings instead of an unemployment rate above 8 percent. If they can pin the blame on the individual there's no societal responsibility to help out."
- Jan 08, 2012 | Atlanta Journal-Constitution Education Focus Shifts to Construction A soon-to-be announced program in Georgia will likely combine a pro-construction marketing campaign with attempts to connect young people with the state's many technical colleges. The idea has some support in Georgia industry, as well as among some experts. "Education and training are not single events. You help people move in steps along pathways," said Evelyn Ganzglass, director of Workforce Development at CLASP.
- Dec 29, 2011 | The Seattle TImes State Child Care Cuts Force Hard Choices on Parents Some parents give up jobs and turn to the welfare system if they can't find affordable child care, but that isn't an option for those who have already used up their entitlements, said Danielle Ewen, a past director of Child Care and Early Education for CLASP. "For those families, there is absolutely no safety net and we don't know what is happening to their kids, but it is absolutely scary to think," Ewen said. "It becomes a very desperate, horrible cycle for poor families who are doing everything they can possibly do to become self-sufficient."
- Dec 28, 2011 | Daily Tribune Layoffs Could Be Eased by Work Share The program, known as work sharing, allows businesses to keep employees during down periods in the economy by reducing their hours and wages. Twenty-three states have similar programs. President Barack Obama supported it as part of his jobs package, said Neil Ridley, a senior policy analyst with CLASP in Washington, D.C.
- Dec 16, 2011 | MSNBC.com Good Graph Friday: That Child Care Bill Hannah Matthews, the director of child care and early education for CLASP, said it's not clear why child care costs have increased so substantially for very low-income families. One hypothesis is that child care costs are going up while incomes are dropping or staying steady.
- Dec 15, 2011 | International Business Times Drug Testing for Unemployment Benefits Allowed in Payroll Tax Cut Bill "What is really driving this is stereotyping and this assumption that if you can't get a job you must be doing something wrong: you're not looking hard enough, you don't have an education, you're a substance abuser," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP. "It's an assumption that when people are unemployed it must be because of their failings."
- Dec 13, 2011 | Education Week Bill Eyes Diploma, Progress to GED for Unemployment Benefits The U.S. House of Representatives is set to consider a bill that would require those seeking Unemployment Insurance to have a high school diploma or GED-or be working toward one-in order to receive those benefits. The provision is part of a push to extend unemployment benefits while revamping the program, in part by shortening to 59, from 99, the number of weeks people are eligible. "It would fundamentally alter the program by creating a new condition for eligibility," said Neil Ridley, senior policy analyst at CLASP. He added that those without a high school diploma or GED are "one of the most vulnerable groups" of unemployed workers.
- Dec 13, 2011 | The Rick Smith Show House Unemployment Bill to Extend UI & Payroll Tax Cuts Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst with the Workforce Development team at CLASP, discusses on the Rick Smith Show a current House proposal to extend payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance with provisions that could hurt low-income workers, especially those with the least education.
- Dec 12, 2011 | Huffington Post Unemployment Benefits: Party Leaders Stay Hush on Proposal To Drug Test the Jobless "Drug testing unemployment insurance recipients is part of a strategy of blaming the jobless for their predicament, rather than economic conditions," said CLASP Senior Policy Analyst Elizabeth Lower-Basch. "It's an insult to unemployed workers -- and a massive waste of taxpayer money -- to test millions of people for drug use with no reason other than the stereotype to believe they are using drugs."
- Nov 30, 2011 | Stateline States Get a Chance to Experiment with Child Welfare Systems To get a waiver, states have to agree to adopt at least two of an array of "child welfare program improvement policies" that the federal government lists, among them extending the age limit for foster care benefits to 21 from 18 and doing more to place siblings in the same foster home. States will also have to track how well children allowed to remain outside foster homes do, compared to those who go through the foster home process. These new reporting and tracking requirements are crucial, says Rutledge Q. Hutson, of CLASP. WWe need to know what happens to the child," she says.
- Nov 21, 2011 | Consumer Affairs Congress Slashes Legal Aid Budget "Legal aid grantees help low-income people with legal issues regarding foreclosures and evictions, consumer problems including predatory lending, restraining orders in domestic violence cases, child custody, child support, bankruptcy and more," said Alan W. Houseman, executive director of CLASP. "With the lingering effects of the recession, low-income people's need for legal assistance is growing," Houseman said.
- Nov 18, 2011 | CQ Senators Introduce Bill to Strengthen Child Abuse Reporting Laws Rutledge Hutson, the director of child welfare for the Center for Law and Social Policy, lauded Casey's bill, saying more needs to be done to clarify what can sometimes be a complicated chain of command for reporting and reacting to child abuse. "Children cannot protect themselves, and we all have a moral duty to step in when we see or suspect they are experiencing harm," Hutson said. "That's part of being a community."
- Nov 18, 2011 | Houston Chronicle Too Many Texas Children Live in Poverty In this pivotal moment, America should recommit itself to helping vulnerable children meet their potential. Unfortunately, the focus in Washington is on how to cut services that help children in order to preserve tax breaks and maximize income for wealthy Americans and corporations.
- Nov 10, 2011 | Miller-McCune Improved Poverty Metrics Show Aid Does Help "It was Reagan who made the crack about the war on poverty 'and poverty won,' and I think to some degree, there is that popular perception," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst with the Center for Law and Social Policy. "It is in part because the official poverty measure doesn't capture what are two of the largest anti-poverty programs, particularly for families and children at this point."
- Nov 08, 2011 | Huffington Post New Supplemental Poverty Measure Doesn't Change Reality The new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) released yesterday morning by the Census Bureau tells us that millions more are poor than what the standard poverty measure shows, but without government intervention poverty would be much worse.
- Nov 07, 2011 | The American Independent Women Would Be Disproportionately Affected by Tax Plans Proposed by Cain, Perry, Experts Say "It would be horrifying to lose [the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit]," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at CLASP. "That would particularly affect women. We have a basically progressive tax code. If we go to a flat code, it would significantly hurt low-income workers."
- Nov 03, 2011 | Dekalb Daily Chronicle Displaced Workers Finding Edge Through Education According to a June 2011 study by CLASP, unemployment among workers with a high school diploma or equivalent is at 9.7 percent, compared to the unemployment rate of 4.5 percent among workers with a bachelor's degree or higher. The same study shows that the number of adults ages 25 and older are anticipated to enroll in college at twice the rate as traditional age students from 2009-2019.
- Nov 02, 2011 | Great Falls Tribune Supercommittee Must Not Shortchange Children Cutting services like Medicaid, early childhood education, school lunches, K-12 education, Pell Grants, hunger relief and child care - or reducing the impact of the Child Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit, will chip away at the crucial investments that we have made in the health, education, safety and future of our kids.
- Oct 27, 2011 | Texas Watchdog High Poverty, Low Welfare Use in Texas Texas, which ranked 9th in poverty and 45th in welfare use, is among several states - Alabama and Arkansas are two others - where poverty is much higher and public assistance much lower than the national average, a story about the reports by Stateline today says. And while that might make taxpayers smile, the numbers have social welfare advocates wringing their hands raw. The findings might indicate there is less real need for public assistance, or it might mean those states are doing a bad job reaching the people who need government help, Elizabeth Lower-Basch with CLASP told Stateline.
- Oct 27, 2011 | Stateline States With Highest Poverty Levels Don't Always Have the Most On Welfare Elizabeth Lower-Basch with CLASP, says a state can have lower-than-average rates of use of public assistance either because they have less need, or because they do a poor job of reaching those in need - or some combination of the two.
- Oct 24, 2011 | The New Republic Cut Job Training, Pell Grants? GOP Says Yes We Can Many of the programs that Republicans would potentially open up to cuts, such as the Employment Training Administration, have been proven to connect dislocated workers and disadvantaged youth to the labor force and build skills for better jobs. As Neil Ridley, a senior policy analyst at CLASP, explained, these are vital programs that "provide value and have a return, especially for low-income adults."
- Oct 06, 2011 | Jurist Florida Drug Testing Policy Is Harmful to Needy Families Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst for CLASP, argues that Florida's drug testing policy for receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance is harmful to the people the policy is designed to help.
- Sep 27, 2011 | The Huffington Post Rick Scott Backs Drug Tests for Welfare Beneficiaries, Public Workers and Himself Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a policy analyst with CLASP, said applicants who didn't take a drug test may not have had the money to pay the upfront cost. "People typically don't apply for cash assistance until they're down to their last resources," Lower-Basch said. "They may, even if drug free, choose to keep the power on for a month, or to put gas in their car, rather than paying for the test."
- Sep 20, 2011 | AM 1200 WCHB Implications of the Recent Poverty Data CLASP senior policy analyst Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt Bryant discusses the recently released 2010 poverty data and implications for youth and the black community with Detroit's Mildred in the Morning on AM 1200 WCHB.
- Sep 19, 2011 | The Nation Fighting Poverty Now There are many good people and groups which have been fighting to end poverty for decades. They offer 10 concrete, savvy and strategic ideas about "what works," including subsidized child care and career pathways to jobs. Idea no. 9: Paid Sick Days. "A day missed from work can mean a loss of a day's wages and sometimes a job," says Jodie Levin-Epstein, deputy director of CLASP, who has worked on poverty reduction for over 20 years. "Paid sick days make a big difference to low income families."
- Sep 15, 2011 | The Grio Why the New Poverty Numbers Should Be a Wake-Up Call Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual poverty data. Not surprisingly, given the nation's economic condition and the lack of jobs, the report reveals poverty has increased. Overall, the poverty rate rose to 15.1 percent. Among blacks, 27.4 percent now live in poverty. Median household income fell by 2.3 percent to $49,445. For blacks, the drop was even more precipitous, falling from $33,122, to $32,068, a 3.2 percent decrease. This means that more families are trying to make ends meet with fewer and fewer resources.
- Sep 15, 2011 | To the Point America and the Ravages of Poverty CLASP senior policy analyst Kisha Bird discusses on KCRW's To the Point the recent release of 2010 poverty data and implications for young people in America.
- Sep 14, 2011 | Chicago Tribune Health Insurance, Poverty: Numbers of Poor, Uninsured Increase Census Figures Show The recession and high unemployment also took a bite out of family income. Median family income in the United States dropped 2.3 percent from 2009 to $49,445. Since the recession began in 2007, median household income has declined by 6.4 percent. "How many more have to fall into poverty before we say enough?" said Alan Houseman, executive director of the Washington-based CLASP.
- Sep 13, 2011 | Huffington Post To Grow the Economy, We Must Pay Attention to Child Poverty Every day we hear about another economic indicator, another predictor about whether the economy is up or down, in recovery or in decline. But we don't hear about a more pressing indicator of our national health: the poverty status of our children. We don't see the faces of the many children who face tougher odds on the path to adulthood because more and more of them are growing up poor.
- Sep 13, 2011 | Huffington Post Poverty Reduction: The Invisible Hand of Government Poverty data released today tells a cold truth about a rich nation that could do better. The U.S. is now home to 46.2 million poor people according to the latest Census Bureau report on income, poverty and health. That's about one in seven or 15.1 percent and the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published. The big numbers muscle out an important back story: without government programs, poverty levels would be even worse.
- Sep 09, 2011 | Grist Two Good (and Overlooked) Ideas in Obama's Jobs Plan Work sharing is another excellent and perpetually overlooked idea. Dean Baker over at the Center for Economic and Policy Research has been beating this drum for a while. See also this report from Neil Ridley at CLASP and this nice summary from Dan Froomkin. The idea is that allowing people to cut back on hours or share jobs rather than get laid off helps avoid the devastating economic and psychological impacts of unemployment. It particularly helps young and low-level workers, who are the first to go. It also allows workers to retain their skills.
- Sep 06, 2011 | WTHR News Hoosiers Still Struggling Amid High Unemployment Roughly a third of unemployed workers have been out of a job for a year or longer. CLASP found that a third of all part-time workers had their 40-hour work week cut, or they can't find full time jobs.
- Sep 06, 2011 | McClatchy High Unemployment Doesn't Have to be the New Normal The old truths about a dynamic labor market in which the young and unemployed could quickly find jobs have given way to a grim new reality - weak job growth and high levels of prolonged unemployment. This shift threatens to transform far too many of America's once productive workers into permanently unemployed or unemployable people.
- Sep 06, 2011 | Anderson Independent Mail Census: Area Government Workers Average More in Pay For more than 125 years, Americans have celebrated Labor Day. Here are some other details about Labor Day, by the numbers. Statistics provided by the U. S. Census Bureau, U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and CLASP.
- Sep 06, 2011 | The Columbian In Our View: America's Backbone More and more people are finding themselves chronically unemployed, a condition that worsens over time as once-productive workers slip closer and closer to being unemployable. As Evelyn Ganzglass of the CLASP wrote, "The longer people are unemployed, the less employable they become because their skills decline and they lose connections to networks that may help them find jobs."
- Sep 06, 2011 | The Rick Smith Show Unemployment and Subsidized Jobs CLASP Senior Policy Analyst Elizabeth Lower-Basch labor discussed unemployment, subsidized jobs and assistance for low-income families with the Rick Smith Show.
- Aug 31, 2011 | KPFK Radio State Trends in Drug-Testing TANF Recipients CLASP Senior Policy Analyst, Elizabeth Lower-Basch, discusses with Los Angeles' KPFK Radio state trends in drug-testing TANF recipients.
- Aug 25, 2011 | Stateline Drug Tests Ordered for Florida Welfare Applicants Florida was the only state this year to order testing of all welfare recipients for illegal drugs at their own expense, but at least one other state is planning a similar law. Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at CLASP, says measures like Florida's are based on stereotypes, not evidence, and don't save money as often touted.
- Aug 24, 2011 | In These Times New Drug Tests Target the Poor A February report from the Washington D.C.-based CLASP found that proposals to drug-test TANF recipients are based on stereotypes, not evidence. "People want to attribute their poverty to poor choices and not to our economy, even though we're coming out of one of the worst economic recessions," said CLASP's Elizabeth Lower-Basch.
- Aug 23, 2011 | The Gadsden Times Alabama Legislators Consider Welfare Drug Testing The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 32 states considered proposals this year focused on drug testing of welfare or food stamp recipients. Florida was the only state to enact a law mandating testing for welfare applicants, according to CLASP in Washington.
- Aug 22, 2011 | Grand Forks Herald Study Predicts Decrease in ND High School Grads Washington-based CLASP projects the number of high school graduates in the state will decrease 15.4 percent by 2020. The policy center maintains fewer high school students could have negative effects on the state. Fewer high school graduates translate to fewer college students. "If the state is going to continue to have a strong economy, it must fill jobs," CLASP's Vickie Choitz said.
- Aug 22, 2011 | Valley News Live Officials Disagree on ND Student Trend Washington-based CLASP projects the number of high school graduates in North Dakota to drop more than 15% by 2020. The center analyzed the most recent number of high school graduates in the state and the number of students behind them to make its projection.
- Aug 22, 2011 | Washington Post Who's Responsible for the Great Falls Windfall? Economic inequality continues to rise in this nation. Wealth continues to be concentrated in the hands of fewer people. The government should enact policies that provide more people with opportunity to move up the economic ladder. It certainly shouldn't be an active participant in transferring wealth from the masses to an elite few.
- Aug 19, 2011 | Florida Times-Union College Education: Demand Increases By 2020, the demand for college-educated workers will grow faster than the supply of high school graduates. That's one of the latest findings from a study compiled by CLASP and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.
- Jul 23, 2011 | CNNMoney Debt Ceiling Impasse Imperils Safety Net The federal government supports myriad safety net programs, such as unemployment insurance, tuition grants, food stamps, child care subsidies and housing assistance. That's not to mention the nation's massive health insurance programs: Medicare and Medicaid. "If the federal government defaults, people who depend on assistance for food and housing and other basic needs could find themselves in an immediate crisis," said Jodie Levin-Epstein, deputy director at the Center for Law and Social Policy, an advocacy group for low-income Americans.
- Jul 15, 2011 | Dayton Daily News Ohio Colleges Recruit More Out of State One of the fastest-growing populations on college campuses nationwide, older students now account for more than a third of those enrolled in colleges and universities. Yet, financial aid and other support for this group is lagging. "We are not seeing policymakers keep up with the changing population," said Vickie Choitz, CLASP senior policy analyst. "We feel like they are headed in the opposite direction."
- Jul 13, 2011 | Kansas City (MO) Star Colleges to Counteract Dwindling Ranks of High School Graduates Overall, fairly flat national high school graduation rates until 2020 are predicted by the Center for Law and Social Policy and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. "We know from history and from studies such as these that post-secondary education provides enormous economic benefits to individuals and their communities," said David Russell, Missouri higher education commissioner. "We need to graduate 4,000 more students each year if we are to meet our state's future workforce needs."
- Jul 12, 2011 | Newsradio KTOK Not Just Kid Stuff Anymore CLASP senior policy analyst Vickie Choitz discusses "Not Just Kid Stuff Anymore: The Economic Imperative for More Adults to Complete College" on Local Perspectives with Reid Mullins on Oklahoma City's KTOK radio station.
- Jul 07, 2011 | Albany (NY) Times-Union Easier Job Search Likely for College Graduates While the number of high school graduates nationwide is expected to remain flat between 2010 and 2020, in New York it will decline by 15 percent, according to the report by the Center for Law and Social Policy and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. The number is a reflection of an aging population. And while the sour economy has some questioning the value of a college education, the numbers suggest that a degree will pay off in the near future. By 2018, the demand for college-educated workers will increase by 16 percent while those with a high school diploma will see a relatively flat job market.
- Jul 03, 2011 | The Columbus Dispatch Ohio Faces Shortage of Skilled Workers A new study from a Washington policy-research group predicts that Ohio will struggle to find skilled workers to fill new jobs during the next decade, a projection that is in line with Ohio universities' expectations that the number of high-school graduates will fall. The report by the Center for Law and Social Policy, which advocates for low-income people, says the number of Ohio high-school graduates is expected to decline 9.3 percent from 2010 to 2020, while national numbers are expected to hold constant.
- Jul 01, 2011 | Diverse Issues in Higher Education College Enrollment Pool Increasingly Turning to Adult Learners The report, "Not Just Kids Stuff Anymore: The Economic Imperative for More Adults to Complete College," finds that the demand for college-educated workers is expected to rise 16 percent by 2018. Yet, what has traditionally been a reliable source of workers-high school graduates-are expected to diminish over the next decade.
- Jun 30, 2011 | Huron Daily Tribune Access to Post-Secondary Education More Important Than Ever A new brief, "Not Just Kid Stuff Anymore: The Economic Imperative for More Adults to Complete College," released by the Center for Law and Social Policy and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, demonstrates why, in light of this trend and the changing economy, ensuring more adults have access to and complete college is critical for the nation's continuing economic competitiveness. By 2018, the demand for college-educated workers will rise 16 percent, while demand for other workers will stay flat. At the same time, nearly two-thirds of jobs in 2018 will require some post-secondary education or training.
- Jun 30, 2011 | Hartford Business Journal CT Faces Bumpy Decade Tapping Youthful Labor More grim news for Connecticut employers already struggling to land youthful talent: The state's aging population will churn out fewer young, skilled faces over the coming decade to sustain its workforce, a fresh policy study says. In turn, that will put a premium on plying older workers with the post-secondary education and training that employers will demand by 2020, according to the study's producer, the Center For Law & Social Policy (CLASP) in Washington D.C.
- Jun 30, 2011 | The Hartford Examiner Is the Anticipated Decline in CT High School Graduates Cause for Concern? The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) have just published a report (the link is below) that could concern high school students, and also their parents, their teachers, and potential employers in Connecticut over the next 10 years: projected graduation figures show that Connecticut high school graduations will decline by as much as 10 percent over the next 10 years.
- Jun 29, 2011 | Memphis Business Journal Report: Tennessee Can Expect Flat High School Graduation Rate Tennessee is one of 39 states that will experience less than a five percent increase in the number of high school graduates in the next nine years, according to the report from the Center for Law and Social Policy and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.
- Jun 29, 2011 | eCampus News College-Ready Teens in Short Supply The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Center for Higher Education Management (NCHEMS) released a paper June 22, titled "Not Just Kid Stuff Anymore: The Economic Imperative for More Adults to Complete College." The paper finds that with a declining number of high school graduates entering postsecondary education, adult access to and completion of college is critical to maintaining the nation's economic competitiveness.
- Jun 29, 2011 | Youth Today The Economic Imperative for More Adults to Complete Community College in D.C. Washington, D.C.'s projected high school graduation rate is expected to decline by 24 percent from its 2010 level during the same time period, according to a new report from the Center for Law and Social Policy and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. This is worse than the trend in any other state. The report states that ensuring that more adults have access to, and complete college, is critical for the United States' economic competitiveness.
- Jun 29, 2011 | The Hartford Courant High School Graduate Numbers Shrinking A Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization says that nationally the number of high school graduates will remain flat between 2010 and 2020, but in Connecticut that number will decline by 10.1 percent. Vicky Choitz, a senior policy analyst for the Center for Law & Social Policy, said the trend is based on "simple demographics" and could present problems for employers who will need educated and skilled employees.
- Jun 23, 2011 | Atlanta Journal-Constitution New Research Paper: Demand for College-Educated Workers Will Rise by 16 Percent by 2018 "Our public policies have an important role to play by making postsecondary education more accessible for adult and nontraditional students, including by protecting funding for federal aid, especially Pell Grants, and improving policies to expand access and completion for an undergraduate population that looks much different today than 20 years ago," said Vickie Choitz, a senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Jun 10, 2011 | The Huffington Post Paid Sick Days Laws Could Become Contagious It may be time to say, "As Connecticut goes, so goes the nation." Any day now, Connecticut's governor is expected to place his John Hancock on a bill that will make Connecticut the first state in the nation to enact a minimum standard for paid sick days. That sends "an important signal to the other 49 states," as state House Speaker Christopher Donovan noted when the bill passed.
- Jun 06, 2011 | The Florida Times-Union Advocates for Poor: Florida Welfare Drug-Testing Measure Based on Stereotype The Washington, D.C.-based Center for Legal and Social Policy wrote in a February study that tests in Michigan, the only state to have ever randomly tested its recipients, showed 10 percent failed. Of those, only 3 percent were for so-called "hard" drugs, such as cocaine. Both rates were "consistent" with the state's general population, according to the report.
- Jun 05, 2011 | The Argus Leader Federal Push May Restrict Welfare Checks States already are trying to administer programs in an era of diminishing resources, said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy, an advocacy group for low-income people. Making them police TANF benefits would be another expense. Benefits might be withdrawn at casino or liquor store ATMs, but that does not mean the money is being spent in those establishments, she said.
- May 25, 2011 | Latin American Herald Tribune Latinos in the US Can Be a Force in Modernization of Labor Laws Jodie Levin-Epstein, with the Center for Law and Social Policy, said at the conference that "it's hard to believe that in this great nation things like we read in these accounts (in the NCLR brochure) are occurring."
- May 11, 2011 | The Chronicle of Higher Education Congressional Panel Weighs Potential Impact of Merging Federal Job-Training Programs Evelyn Ganzglass, director of work-force development at the Center for Law and Social Policy, voiced concern that consolidation could cut valuable programs; although some overlap, they aren't necessarily duplicating services, she said. "Out in the field, these programs really are working together," Ms. Ganzglass said. "You have to look at the contribution of all of them working together, and we haven't had those kinds of evaluations."
- May 09, 2011 | The Washington Independent Welfare Drug-testing Bill Headed to Florida Gov's Desk A February report (PDF) from the Center for Law and Social Policy found that legislative proposals to drug-test TANF recipients are based on stereotypes, not evidence
- May 09, 2011 | The New York Times Unemployed Mother's Day A recent study of public job-creation efforts for low-income parents by LaDonna Pavetti, Liz Schott, and Elizabeth Lower-Basch and co-published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Center for Law and Social Policy showed that several states used fiscal stimulus funds effectively to this end.
- May 09, 2011 | Daily Kos This Week in the War on Women Proposals for mandatory drug testing of TANF recipients are based on stereotypes and not evidence. Proponents often claim that drug testing will save money; however, this is based on a false assumption that many applicants will be denied benefits. Random testing is a costly, flawed and inefficient way of identifying recipients in need of treatment. Better alternatives exist and are already being implemented to address drug abuse among TANF beneficiaries and ultimately reduce their barriers to work. Moreover, universal random drug testing may well be unconstitutional.
- May 09, 2011 | The Grio A Long, Hot, Jobless Summer in Store for Teens For the last four summers, America's teens have been employed in record low numbers, and this summer is gearing up to be no different. The number of teens working has declined precipitously over the last decade, falling from 45 percent in 2000 to 26 percent in 2010, a major employment crisis for youth.
- Apr 25, 2011 | Fox News As Obama Turns to Deficit Reduction, Supporters Ask Where Are the Jobs? Alan Houseman, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), an advocate for low-income families, criticized the GOP plan for cutting domestic programs that helps the county's most vulnerable. "Many workers, especially those with the least skills and education, have lost jobs that will not return even when the economy begins creating more jobs,"
- Apr 12, 2011 | YES! Magazine The Budget Agreement: No Occasion for Back-Patting While it is important that Congress averted a government shutdown that would have closed national parks and museums, shut down construction projects, and left phones ringing unanswered at social security, these spending cuts are no occasion for back-patting. Last week's fight was over a small slice of the budget. This approach fosters the erroneous perception that reducing the deficit and growing jobs can only be achieved by slashing programs that build roads, pay police officers and teachers, ensure the medicine we take is safe and effective, train unemployed workers for new jobs, and provide education assistance for low-income people.
- Apr 07, 2011 | Trust Law Pro-Choice Demonstrators Join Budget Battle Today Alan W. Houseman, executive director of CLASP, the Center for Law and Social Policy , called Ryan's proposal cynical and Orwellian for describing itself as a way to strengthen the social safety net when it in fact slashes it. "At the same time, the budget proposal cuts taxes for the richest households and sets an arbitrary cap on revenues below the levels needed to meet the nation's priorities," Houseman said in a press statement Tuesday.
- Apr 07, 2011 | AARP Bulletin New Program Cuts Hours Instead of People, Helps Older Workers Overall, "work sharing is a way to reduce the human costs of a recession," said Neil Ridley of the Center for Law and Social Policy, a research and advocacy group for low-income people. "Just as unemployment insurance keeps people from falling into poverty, work sharing also helps keep people out of poverty due to job loss."
- Mar 31, 2011 | The Washington Post Wonkbook: Perhaps There Won't Be a Shutdown, After All? Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior analyst with the Center for Law and Social Policy, said other programs administered at the state level, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (formerly known as welfare) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), should continue as well.
- Mar 30, 2011 | Huffington Post What Happens To The Social Safety Net If The Government Shuts Down? Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior analyst with the Center for Law and Social Policy, said other programs administered at the state level, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (formerly known as welfare) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), should continue as well. "We expect them to continue providing people with these benefits," Lower-Basch said. "I don't think we need to panic people about these programs."
- Mar 07, 2011 | The Washington Post How Boehner is Playing the Democrats By taking such a large collection of programs hostage, the GOP can be quite certain to win many more fights than it would if each reduction were considered separately.Begin with the outrageous $1.1 billion, 15 percent cut from Head Start, a program that offers preschool education to roughly 965,000 poor children. According to the Center for Law and Social Policy, this would knock 218,000 kids out of Head Start and force 16,000 classrooms to close.
- Mar 07, 2011 | The Delaware County Daily Times Business Titan Urges Congress to Boost Early Education Funding A bill introduced by Sen. Bob Casey to create an Early Learning Challenge Fund has support from the chairman emeritus and former CEO of mutual fund giant, Vanguard. The bill is endorsed by the Center for Law and Social Policy and other organizations.
- Mar 07, 2011 | The Huffington Post Don't Cut Off Your Knows House leadership is taking action that will cut off our nose to spite our face. The House-passed Continuing Resolution, which would fund the government through the remainder of FY 2011, includes drastic cuts to adult, dislocated worker and youth programs under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Chopping job training programs is counterproductive to an effective recovery, especially at a time when the number of unemployed and underemployed is at historically high levels and nearly 14 million people are struggling to find work.
- Mar 01, 2011 | UPI School Districts Do Homework on Funding Danielle Ewen, director of childcare and early education policy at the Center for Law and Social Policy in Washington, told Education Week the proposed cuts would be one of the largest in the history of the program. Some programs would almost certainly have to close classrooms and make big cuts in quality and hours of service, such as going from five to four days."We've been trying hard to let people know this is real," she said.
- Feb 22, 2011 | Education Week Advocates Push Back Against Proposed Education Cuts Over the weekend, several early-childhood advocacy organizations held an audio-conference to explain to their members what these cuts would mean. There were over 1,000 people registered for the call, according to Danielle Ewen, the director of childcare and early-education policy at the Center for Law and Social Policy, in Washington.The proposed cuts would be one of the largest in the history of the program, Ewen told me. "We've been trying hard to let people know this is real," she said.
- Feb 17, 2011 | South Florida Business Journal Study: Florida Lags in Getting Stimulus Funds to Needy Families Florida lagged behind many smaller states in getting federal stimulus assistance to needy families, according to a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Center for Law and Social Policy.
- Feb 14, 2011 | Mother Jones The GOP Plot to Destroy Legal Aid Linda Perle, who directs legal services at the Center for Law and Social Policy, counters that LSC-funded lawyers never really pursued a left-wing agenda as the critics claimed. "What was said about legal services was never true. And it's not going to be true if the restrictions are removed," she says. "It will just be easier for legal services lawyers to provide justice to their clients."
- Feb 11, 2011 | Womens eNews Missouri Welfare Drug-Testing Bill Moves to Senate Missouri's State Senate is about to consider whether to subject welfare recipients to drug testing. Numerous other states have said no to the idea and an anti-poverty group has re-released a report calling it a waste of money.
- Feb 11, 2011 | The Christian Science Monitor Among Obama's Tough Budget Cuts: Money to Help Needy Pay For Heat Reports suggest that President Obama's federal budget, to be released next week, will propose cutting in half the budget for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. It's one of many popular programs on the chopping block.
- Feb 07, 2011 | Press TV Pathways to Prosperity for Students Pathways to Prosperity, a report released Feb. 1, 2011, by researchers at Harvard Graduate School of Education explores the merits of a dual education system that prepares students for either college or middle-skill jobs. In this news clip, CLASP senior policy analyst Vicki Choitz discusses the merits of middle-skill job training.
- Feb 04, 2011 | Huffington Post Recession Caused First-Ever Decline in Child Support Payments: GAO "I think it's clear that the decline in collections isn't due to a failing on the part of child-support enforcement administrators, but due to the economy," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy, an advocacy group for lower-income Americans. "It would have been a bigger drop without the extended unemployment insurance benefits, which helped many noncustodial parents meet their obligations."
- Feb 04, 2011 | American Work Force Radio America Work Force Radio Explores Paid Sick Day Laws Andrea Lindemann, policy analyst with the Workforce Development team at CLASP, spoke to America Work Force Radio about paid sick days laws in the cities of San Francisco, Milwaukee, and Washington D.C., as well as the national fight for the passage of the Healthy Families Act.
- Jan 25, 2011 | Columbia Daily Tribune Welfare Drug Testing Bill Awaits Debate A 2009 report from the Center for Law and Social Policy called drug testing for welfare recipients an expensive, unreliable way to address substance abuse issues. Testing hurts children, the report said, because it deprives already poor families of needed help.
- Jan 07, 2011 | The St. Louis American New Report Presents Strategies to Close Disparities It's old hat to talk about how too many of our young black men don't live up to their potential," said Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt, We Dream A World author and senior policy analyst at the Center for the Law and Social Policy.
- Dec 21, 2010 | The Huffington Post Senate Earmark Battle Clobbers Funding for Child Care "We know that the recession took families that were middle class and put them into the position where they needed help with child care," said Danielle Ewen, director of child care and early education at the Center for Law and Social Policy. "They can't go to work if they don't have safe place to put their kids. If families can't go to work, that means we can't get out of the recession."
- Dec 10, 2010 | The Grio A New World for Black Men and Boys by 2025 Here we sit at the dawn of 2011 a nation divided... a nation weakened because black males not able to participate fully in the American dream. Solutions to the problem exist -- it is really about whether we have the will and the heart to implement those solutions fully. The solutions cost, no doubt. But what costs us more in the long run...
- Dec 08, 2010 | CNNMoney.com Tax Deal: Rich Aren't the Only Ones Who Benefit Provisions in the $800 billion deal, including the payroll tax holiday and child tax credit, will greatly assist ordinary Americans. Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP says that extending the lower threshold established by the Recovery Act means that a mother of two earning the minimum wage could keep claiming a credit of $1,725, rather than see it fall to $263. "A thousand dollars is a significant amount of money if you are at the minimum wage," she said.
- Nov 25, 2010 | C-SPAN State and Federal Approaches to Poverty Reduction Jodie Levin-Epstein, CLASP's deputy director, joins C-SPAN's Washington Journal to discuss strategies for reducing poverty.
- Oct 26, 2010 | Diverse: Issues in Higher Education Think Tank Program Focuses on Nontraditional Learners CLASP Workforce Development Director Evelyn Ganzglass says that historically more emphasis has been on helping low-income students just coming out of high school become better prepared for college admission and graduation.
- Oct 22, 2010 | The Huffington Post Bottom Line: Let's Truly Invest in Children Early childhood education promises much for many. Is it early intervention, designed to identify and treat physical and developmental delays before school entry? Is it pre-kindergarten services for four-year-olds, two hours a day to provide learning-related skills prior to kindergarten entry? Is it child care, run by that nice lady down the block, to provide a place for children while their parents work?
- Oct 15, 2010 | Sacramento Bee Child Care Cuts Force Families to Waiting Lists Danielle Ewen, director of child care and early education at CLASP, said most states have some form of "transitional" subsidized child care for former welfare recipients.
- Oct 01, 2010 | CNNmoney.com Latest Unemployed: Stimulus-Subsidized Workers "They are just joining the millions of other people looking for permanent work," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Sep 30, 2010 | NPR's Marketplace Stimulus Jobs Program Faces Expiration "Almost all of the money that went to this went directly into wages," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP. "There was very little overhead, so there was a lot of job creation."
- Sep 30, 2010 | Huffington Post Linda McMahon: 'We Ought to Review the Minimum Wage' With a lower minimum wage, "You'd have even more people who were poor even though they were working than you already do," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Sep 29, 2010 | Pacifica Radio Tens of Thousands Jobs Threatened as Federal Job Creation Program Expires It's really heartbreaking that this is a program that worked and got a lot of support from both Republicans and Democrats at the state and local level, and it's a shame that Congress couldn't figure out how to continue it, said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Sep 20, 2010 | The New York Times For Needy Families, a Needy Program The needy-families program was not designed to deal with the effects of a major recession; the size of the safety net that states provide is not effectively tailored to the number of individuals who are in free fall. As Elizabeth Lower-Basch of CLASP points out, relatively few low-wage workers qualify for unemployment benefits, and aid for needy families is not taking up the slack.
- Sep 17, 2010 | The Philadelphia Inquirer Poverty Rates Hit 15-Year High Elizabeth Lower-Basch, an senior policy analyst at CLASP added, "It doesn't take the Census Bureau to tell you a lot of people are hurting in this country because of the recession."
- Sep 16, 2010 | CNNmoney.com Lifelines for the Needy Disappearing But it could have been even worse had it not been for the federal stimulus program. The Recovery Act kept more than six million Americans out of poverty last year, and reduced the severity of poverty for another 33 million people. "It really makes a difference between getting to the end of the month or not," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Sep 16, 2010 | The Huffington Post Make Kids' Brains "Too Big to Fail" In 2009, the number of those officially poor is the highest ever recorded - a total of 43.6 million according to the Census Bureau data released September 16th. That includes 3.7 million of us who became poor just in 2009, reflecting a 1.1 percent jump from 2008. These numbers may get a yawn from some analysts since the metrics are readily explicable: The Great Recession built up poverty and as it ebbs, so too, will the rate. Any comfort is likely taken without knowledge of two important discoveries about poverty.
- Sep 16, 2010 | The Grio Record Number in Poverty Hits African Americans Hard I am not one for cliches, but they say when America sneezes, the African-American community gets a cold. This hackneyed expression is born out in U.S. Census Bureau poverty data released today. As anticipated, the data show the largest number of people living in poverty since the Census began keeping track 51 years ago, and the highest rate since 1994. A record 43.6 million people in this nation live in poverty, and of that 9.9 million are African-American. Between 2008 and 2009, African-Americans experienced a 1.1 percent rise in the number of individuals living in poverty, with 26 percent of African-Americans now under the federal poverty line.
- Sep 14, 2010 | MSNBC Anticipated Poverty Data Jodie Levin-Epstein, CLASP's deputy director, talks with MSNBC's midday anchor Tamryn Hall about the projected increase in poverty.
- Sep 02, 2010 | The American Prospect Care for the Caregivers Danielle Ewen, director of child care and early education at CLASP, offers a list of changes that could make CCDBG an even more powerful program for both providers and children: a new emphasis on provider contracts to guarantee a steady income stream; community-based centers for infant and toddler care that focus on providing a range of social and economic support services; and, of course, much more money.
- Sep 02, 2010 | McClatchy Little Labor for Low-Skilled Workers The harsh truth is that far too many of today's workers lack the skills necessary to compete for 21st-century jobs. This presents a pressing problem because many of the jobs that evaporated with the sinking economy aren't coming back, and positions that are being created require more skills than a significant percent of the current workforce has.
- Aug 27, 2010 | The Washington Post Danielle Ewen on Child Care and Early Education Policy On the Early Learning Challenge Fund: "It acknowledges that we have a class disparity in our system where families can't afford to buy quality, it says the responsibility here is for the states to help build quality, to invest in quality, to get teachers better education and training and then salaries commensurate with that experience, to make sure the facilities children are in really meet their needs from a broad developmental perspective, which means that they have dress up areas, and lots of art materials, and multiple books for every child and lots of play space both indoors and outdoors so the children can run and grow and play and laugh."
- Aug 17, 2010 | The Huffington Post 'No Precedent' for Proposed Cut to Food Stamps "I do believe [the Democrats] are sincere in not wanting these cuts to go into effect, but I'm concerned that, when the time comes, they won't be able to find a way to put the money back," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at CLASP. "There's no precedent for this."
- Aug 10, 2010 | Palm Beach Post Hypcritical Scott is Reverse Robin Hood "In a time of tight state budgets, it is perverse to spend limited funds in pursuit of a small number of substance abusers who are not identified through screening processes, rather than on providing actual services," noted a CLASP report.
- Aug 03, 2010 | Womens eNews Lifesaver Job Funds at Risk for Low-Income Women "Anecdotal evidence suggests that the states used the program to help many low-income women, who have a difficult time making ends meet even in times of prosperity, let alone the past recession when the national unemployment rate climbed to over 10 percent," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Jul 29, 2010 | The New York Times Job Training Alone Doesn't Create Jobs A recent article in the New York Times series, The New Poor, focused on unemployed workers who are, after training, still scrambling for employment. The article examined federally financed training programs and reported that many who complete these programs still struggle to find jobs. The New York Times published reader responses to the article, including a letter to the editor by Evelyn Ganzglass, CLASP director of workforce development, noting that job training alone does not create jobs and workers with the most education and training are less likely to be unemployed in the first place.
- Jul 15, 2010 | BET.com Addressing Childhood Poverty Would Greatly Improve Adult Outcomes for Black Children In this opinion piece, CLASP senior policy analyst Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt discusses high rates of poverty among black children, writing that improving adult outcomes for such children requires addressing their poverty early in life.
- Jul 14, 2010 | City Limits Obama Must Make Youth a Priority In this op-ed, CLASP Director of Youth Policy Linda Harris says a multibillion-dollar federal initiative is needed to bring disconnected youth back into the mainstream - not just for their sake, but for ours, too.
- Jul 09, 2010 | CNNMoney.com A Stimulus Program Even a Republican Can Love The fastest-growing segment of the emergency fund is the subsidized jobs program. States have already put $615 million to work, according to CLASP. CLASP expects states to fund a total of 200,000 jobs before the program expires. "This provdes a low-risk way for employers to hire. Employers will do their best to keep people," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Jul 06, 2010 | The Washington Post Uninsured Virginians May Lose Free Dental Care Although many Americans take dental health for granted, it can be critical for people trying to get back on their feet or out of poverty. Advocates say that low-income Virginians' more serious dental needs keep them in pain, at risk for more serious health problems and possibly unemployed. "Employers don't want to hire people with dental-care needs," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Jul 01, 2010 | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Jobless Rate Dips, but So Do Jobs Unemployment figures released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor come as more than 2 million jobless workers are losing unemployment benefits following Congressional inaction on a proposal to extend them. "The economic recovery is fragile. Too many families are struggling," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Jun 30, 2010 | The American Prospect Getting Low-Income Students to Graduate In Washington state, another program shows why low-income students don't finish college and what can be done to help them reach a beneficial point in their post-secondary careers. As Julie Strawn, Senior Fellow at CLASP, wrote in a Prospect special report last year, the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training initiative found three reasons low-income students don't finish. They tend to lack confidence, be under prepared, and face higher costs, not just for courses but because many need to support families while attending school.
- Jun 24, 2010 | San Francisco Chronicle Time Running out on Subsidized Jobs for Parents The House and Senate versions of the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act would provide an additional $2.5 billion in funding and extend the deadline for another year. This provision has not been the target of criticism because it would be paid for and not increase the deficit, said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Jun 23, 2010 | The Washington Post Administration Broadens Effort to Fight Homelessness "The administration does call for some added vouchers, which is terrific. But even if it's fully funded by Congress, it still would only reach a small fraction of those who are potentially eligible for housing subsidies," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Jun 22, 2010 | The Indianapolis Star Grandparents Are Parents Again "A growing body of research tells us kinship care is a good thing. Research shows children living with relatives tend to have more positive perceptions and feelings about their placement," said Tiffany Conway Perrin, a senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Jun 14, 2010 | The Philadelphia Inquirer Advocates Say Poor Need Available Free Cell Phones "That the poor don't have cell phones is not as incongrous as it sounds. Because they don't require contracts and deposits, the cell phones - especially prepaid ones that allow customers to buy minutes when needed - are often cheaper than land lines, which is important for poor people whose credit is too battered to allow them more traditional phone service," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Jun 10, 2010 | The Huffington Post Criticisms of an Improved Poverty Measure Go from Spin to Soap You don't need to be a "West Wing" fan to recognize the political verite in an episode that included a discussion about the nation's poverty measure. On the show, White House staffers acknowledge that a modernized poverty measure would improve policy decisions but decide to scrap the idea anyway because they consider it too politically risky. The show echoed the real world, where politics has repeatedly trumped good policy and the status quo has remained firmly in place. After all, what president would want to risk an increase in the poverty rate that could result from a new measure?
- Jun 02, 2010 | Diverse: Issues in Higher Education Experts Explore Black-White Divide in Youth Employment "One critical but missing component necessary to closing the Black-White divide is a political and public will to make the sorts of investments that would eliminate the need to come back to the same questions 'decade after decade' of why young men of color and disconnected youth aren't thriving," said Linda Harris, director of youth policy at CLASP.
- May 29, 2010 | Dayton Daily News Fewer Parents Eligible for Child Care Subsidies "Ohio has made significant cuts to its Early Childhood programs over the past few years, as a result many families who are eligible for help cannot get it and they make difficult choices between child care, food, housing, heat and other costs," said Danielle Ewen, director of Child Care and Early Education at CLASP.
- May 24, 2010 | New York Times Cuts to Child Care Subsidy Thwart More Job Seekers In 2000, only one in seven children whose families met federal eligibility requirements received aid, according to an analysis by CLASP, which advocates for expanded programs. In 2003, the Bush administration found that in the smaller group of children eligible under more restrictive state criteria, only 30 percent received subsidized care.
- May 06, 2010 | USA Today Mother's Day Brings College Degree for Some Single Moms "Federal welfare laws since 1996 have emphasized jobs more than education," said Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, a senior policy analyst at CLASP. A few states, including Maine and Kentucky, have created incentives for college-going welfare recipients. But, she said, many states are cutting services, such as tutoring and transportation, that are often critical to single parents.
- Apr 20, 2010 | AlterNet My Middle-Class Existence Hangs by the Thread of Subsidized Childcare "People need to appreciate that funding quality child care isn't just a work support issue, it's also a child development issue. If we don't invest in early childhood care and learning, kids will arrive at school unprepared to learn. It will affect the number of children with special needs. It will affect graduation rates. It goes to the heart of what our public education system is all about", said Danielle Ewen, director of child care and early education at CLASP.
- Mar 31, 2010 | NPR Should Welfare Recipients Get Drug Testing? Michigan, the only state to have imposed random drug testing on welfare recipients, found that 10 percent tested positive for illicit drugs, with 3 percent testing positive for hard drugs such as cocaine. "These rates are consistent with the general population," according to CLASP.
- Mar 21, 2010 | Womens eNews At Welfare Hearings, Calls to Help Single Mothers Advocates for overhauling TANF point to a paper written by Elizabeth Lower-Basch of the Center for Law and Social Policy, a national anti-poverty nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., as their agenda.
- Mar 12, 2010 | Inside Higher Ed From Training to a Job "We are in a new economy, yet we continue to use the same old methods and tools of helping people connect to jobs and navigate careers," said Vickie Choitz, a senior policy analyst at CLASP. "This is why we call for a new approach to career navigation systems. It's why we call for recommendations that the federal government should enact because this is a national economic imperative."
- Mar 09, 2010 | The Huffington Post Senate Drops Funding for Summer Jobs Programs and Enhanced Subsidies for Families with Children Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at CLASP, said advocates will pressure Democrats to reintroduce the TANF funding before the enhanced program expires in September. She said the fate of state summer jobs programs is less certain.
- Feb 25, 2010 | USA Today Work Share Program That Cuts Jobs v. Hours Could Grow "The (work share) program has played an important role during this recession, and it should be available to workers in more states," says Neil Ridley, senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Feb 17, 2010 | Slate Will Obama Help You Get Decent Child Care There's even more money-$1.6 billion-for increasing child care subsidies for low-income parents. Besides Head Start, this program that helps parents on the lower end of the economic ladder get affordable care is pretty much the closest we've come to a systemic government approach to child care. Yet it's so underfunded that it assists only, at most, one in seven children who need help. That means that more than 16 million others qualify for assistance and don't get it, according to research by CLASP.
- Feb 02, 2010 | McClatchy Washington Bureau Jobs Funding Set to Expire Before It Has Chance to Work As the ranks of the unemployed continue to swell, more states want to use TANF Emergency Fund money for subsidized job programs that hire TANF recipients and TANF-eligible adults for up to a year. States were slow to seek the money initially because many state legislatures adjourned shortly after passage of the stimulus bill. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services didn't make application forms for the money available until July, said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at the CLASP.
- Feb 02, 2010 | Youth Today GAO Faults Labor on Quality, Delays of Evaluations The Youth Opportunity grants, also known as YO! grants, were meant to enable local agencies to collaborate to get youths in high-poverty areas re-engaged in education and employment. "If you're going to make expenditures on research and development, there has to be a certain level of transparency and requirements that these research studies find their way out into the public domain to fuel what needs to go on," said Linda Harris, director of youth policy at CLASP. "This is a population that we need to learn as much as we can about how we accelerate their learning and connections and movement."
- Jan 31, 2010 | The San Francisco Chronicle Employers Wanted: Federal Funds up for Grabs Nearly a year ago, the federal government, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, gave states a big pot of money to pay employers in the public, private and nonprofit sectors to hire low-income parents. The program reimburses up to 100 percent of the employee's wages. Yet only a few counties - including San Francisco and Los Angeles - have launched large-scale programs and even in those places, many employers are unaware of them or unwilling to participate.The program got off to a slow start because many state legislatures recessed shortly after the recovery act was passed. Forms to apply for funds were not available until July, and a funding question was not answered until fall, according to Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Jan 20, 2010 | The Montgomery Advertiser Poverty Reduction Expert Challenges Alabama "We should refuse to accept the perception that Alabama is always going to be poor," said Jodie Levin-Epstein, deputy director of CLASP.
- Jan 11, 2010 | The New York Times A Meager Existence on Food Stamps A recent article in the New York Times safety net series focused on Americans who are living on nothing but food stamps. The article analyzed state data and reported that 6 million Americans receiving food stamps reported that they have no other income. The New York Times published reader responses to the article, including a letter to the editor by Elizabeth Lower-Basch noting the poor response of Temporary Assistance in the recession.
- Jan 04, 2010 | The Press Democrat New Program Will Bring 400 Jobs to Sonoma County Residents Hundreds of low-income Sonoma County residents will get jobs this year with the federal government paying their wages through September. People eligible are legally able to work in the United States, receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and have minor children. People who are not on TANF but who have minor children are also eligible if their income is less than 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.The subsidized employment program is funded by the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which passed in February and was meant to right a staggering national economy. The nine-month program is expected to place about 400 people - many of them welfare recipients - in prevailing wage jobs at non-profit organizations, public agencies and private companies. "These programs have been quite successful in helping people build a track record so they have recent employment and contacts in the labor market," said Evelyn Ganzglass, director of workforce development at CLASP.
- Jan 04, 2010 | Huffington Post Paid Leave Makes Horse Sense It's time for Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to pony-up to the value of vacation for two-legged workers.
- Dec 18, 2009 | Inside Higher Education New Approaches to Job Training Thomas Hilliard, senior policy analyst at CLASP, offered a number of revisions the organization would like to see in a new version of the law that were echoed throughout the meeting by representations from other think tanks and associations. Chief among the recommendations, he argued that connections between workforce development and adult education systems should be strengthened so that the teaching of basic skills, such as reading and writing, is better integrated with occupational-specific training.
- Nov 18, 2009 | The American Prospect The Graduation Gap Stephan and her two co-authors attribute the private two-year colleges' success to the fact that they offer more structured programs, monitor student progress more closely, and have more intensive advising. Julie Strawn, senior fellow at CLASP, reports a similar conclusion.
- Nov 18, 2009 | The American Prospect Ideas from the Other Washington Although widely viewed as gateways to the American dream, community colleges face relatively low completion rates. This quandary challenges our national commitment to economic mobility.
- Nov 14, 2009 | SouthCoastToday.com Early Childhood Education is Economic Issue Partners in Early Childhood and Economic Development held a conference last week to discuss early education programs as an economic issue. Danielle Ewen, director of Child Care and Early Education at CLASP, said public and private partnerships are important and there is a need for better data about outcome, impact and providers in early child care.
- Nov 14, 2009 | The Huffington Post Peaceful Revolution: Congress: Include Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act in the Recovery Package! In more than half of the states, workers who are looking for part-time work are denied unemployment benefits just because they are working part-time and not full-time. Most states also deny benefits to workers who had to leave their jobs because of compelling family needs, such as a spouse's mandatory job transfer, to care for a sick family member, or to avoid domestic violence. As you would expect, women are disproportionately affected by these restrictions.
- Nov 12, 2009 | Mobile Press-Register Study Adjusts Poverty Rates "We really just wanted to provide this information to states to advance the dialogue on the need for a modern measure," said Dorothy Smith, a legal fellow at CLASP, referring to the CLASP report, Measure by Measure: the Current Poverty Measure v. the NAS Measures.
- Nov 11, 2009 | McClatchy Newspapers Obama Urged to Turn Succesful State Job Program National As job losses continue to slow the nation's economic recovery, labor experts and economists are urging Congress and the Obama administration to boost funding for a little-known program that 17 states are using to avert layoffs and keep workers in their jobs. Neil Ridley, senior policy analyst at CLASP, said work sharing should be an option in every state, though it will not work for all employers.
- Nov 04, 2009 | The Sacramento Bee California May Have the Nation's Highest Poverty Rate California has long had one of the nation's higher poverty rates, as calculated by the federal government for decades on a formula tied to food prices. But it may actually be the highest in the nation under one proposed new way of calculating it.
- Oct 01, 2009 | Progress Illinois Legal Aid Safety Net Stretched Thin Across the United States there is a vast, unmet need for legal services for low-income Americans. The Legal Services Corporation recently released a report on what they call the "justice gap," the difference between need and available services. Their report shows that legal aid clinics turn down approximately half of potential low-income clients due to insufficient funds. Their findings are supported by research published this July by CLASP which suggest that less than 20 percent of the legal needs of the lowest-income Americans are currently being met.
- Sep 18, 2009 | Education Week (subscription required) Early Education Issue Returns to Spotlight The recent release of the U.S. Census Bureau's statistics on poverty has highlighted the need for increased action on childhood poverty and early-education. Although progress is being made on these issues in some states and at the federal level, due to the current economic troubles, many states are only able to increase funding to one early-childhood program by making cuts to another, according to Danielle Ewen, the director of child care and early education at CLASP.
- Sep 13, 2009 | Amarillo.com Poverty Level Rises in Region The U.S. Census Bureau released its annual poverty report last week. Included were some disturbing statistics, most notably the fact that the official U.S. poverty rate rose from 12.5 percent to 13.2 percent. "This report says that one of every eight of us was living in poverty last year. The story here is that for a very rich nation we start out with a high poverty rate," said CLASP deputy director, Jodie Levin-Epstein.
- Sep 09, 2009 | The Kansas City Star The Flu is Coming to Work, too As another flu season approaches, and with it the added threat of a possible H1N1 epidemic, officials are concerned that current sick-day policies are only going to exacerbate the problem. In the current economic climate, many workers will come to work ill because they feel they cannot afford not to. One problem, according to CLASP, is that the majority of private-sector workers no longer have paid-sick days.
- Sep 02, 2009 | Washington Employment Law Blawg Shared-Work Programs: A Little Used Alternative to Layoffs In today's economy, many employers are faced with the challenge of retaining their employees but reducing costs. According to CLASP, even if economic growth resumes, the job market is not likely to fully recover until mid-2010 or beyond. Shared-work programs offer employers an alternative to layoffs. These programs enable employers to reduce workers' hours while allowing these employees to retain their benefits and to be partially reimbursed for lost hours.
- Aug 24, 2009 | Citylimits.org New Jobs Programs Aims for Unemployed 'Stimulus' Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst at CLASP, was more circumspect. "I think these programs are definitely helpful," Lower-Basch wrote in an e-mail. "But given the overall size of the local labor market, and the depth of the recession, I don't think anyone thinks these programs on their own are going to make a dent in the overall unemployment rate."
- Aug 21, 2009 | The Economist The Recession May Have a Lasting Effect on Young People Young people always have lower levels of employment. They may forsake work to focus on their studies, hardly a bad thing, or be willing to wait for the right job. But they are also less experienced job hunters, less mobile, less skilled and often the first to be fired. Since 2000 they have had an especially hard time. The main federal effort to help the young, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), has historically failed to reach many of the 3.5m-5m young people who are neither in school nor working. Linda Harris, director of Youth Policy at CLASP, would like a broad overhaul of WIA.
- Aug 12, 2009 | Education Week (subscription required) Proposed College Loan Savings Would Aid Early Ed Congress is considering a significant new investment in early childhood education programs and school facilities, paid for by a major ... overhaul of the federal student-loan program. Danielle Ewen, director of Child Care and Early Education at CLASP, called the measure "a great first step."
- Aug 02, 2009 | The Omaha World Herald Job Program Aimed at Youth The purpose of summer jobs programs is not to take the kid who has it all together, but to prepare the kid who hasn't got it all together yet so that, as a result of this experience, they will have learned something and are able to be a more functional, productive member of society. -- Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt, senior policy analyst, CLASP.
- Jul 27, 2009 | Associated Press Colorado Task Force Looks For Ways To Reduce Poverty Jodie Levin-Epstein, deputy director of CLASP, told lawmakers that Colorado is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to dealing with poverty. She said people who are trying to get out of poverty are stymied by poverty measures that are based on life in the past century, when moms stayed at home and husbands were the breadwinner. She said lawmakers have failed to take into account the cost of health care, transportation and tax policies that make it difficult for families to escape poverty.
- Jul 26, 2009 | The Washington Post D.C. Weighs Welfare Cut As Budget Gap Looms Some experts say that after the changes that began in the 1990s, there aren't many easy cases left among welfare recipients. "Most of the people who could work have been working and aren't anywhere near the welfare office at this point," said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst for CLASP.
- Jul 26, 2009 | Worcester Telegram Companies And The State Team Up For A Surprising Payroll Plan Work sharing, sometimes also known as short-time compensation, has long been used in Europe. California established a work sharing program in 1978. A temporary national program began in 1982, followed by permanent changes to federal laws in 1992 that allow work sharing, according to CLASP.
- Jul 17, 2009 | Philadelphia Business Journal N.J. Bill Would Help Workers Whose Hours Are Shortened Currently, 17 states participate in work share programs. With the state of the economy it's likely other states will begin offering them in the future, said Neil Ridley, senior policy analyst at CLASP.
- Jun 26, 2009 | Huffington Post Michigan: Surging Unemployment Shrinking Safety Net For the last 12 years state welfare agencies have seen it as their goal to discourage people from receiving welfare assistance, said Elizabeth Lower-Basch, a senior policy analyst with CLASP. She called Michigan a "worrying" case and said that although welfare rolls are increasing in other states, "the percentages are still low."
- Jun 17, 2009 | Inside Higher Education Getting To The Finish Line The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced more than $6.4 million in grants to national policy organizations for efforts to identify why so many young Americans drop out of college. The grants include $1.5 million for CLASP.
- Jun 16, 2009 | Education Week (subscription required) Preschool Programs Tread Thin Budget Ice While some funding streams are holding steady, states are cutting other funding sources, such as state child care subsidies, that are used to pay for full-day, full-year preschool programs, said Danielle Ewen, director of Child Care and Early Education at CLASP.
- Jun 08, 2009 | City Limits Riding Training Trends, Students Are Transformed Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, a senior policy analyst at CLASP, says that as a result of welfare reform laws and the 1998 Workforce Investment Act, there's been less and less education and training available for the poor, especially as funding has dwindled. A recent study by CLASP found that the share of people in WIA programs who'd received education or training services fell from 84 percent in 2000 to 54 percent in 2006.
- May 08, 2009 | Forbes Paid Leave And Parity For Part-Time Workers With more women in the paid workforce and hours on the rise for men and women, families are feeling the strain of balancing work and family responsibilities. Today, more than 70 percent of children live in households with a working single parent or two parents who work. This means most families do not have a stay-at-home parent or anyone available to provide care if someone gets sick.
- Feb 22, 2009 | C-SPAN Provisions in Economic Stimulus Bill to Help Low-Income Families Elizabeth Lower-Basch, senior policy analyst with the Workforce Development team at CLASP, joins C-SPAN's Washington Journal to discuss provisions in the economic stimulus bill to help low-income individuals and families.