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.
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."
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 | 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 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 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 | 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 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 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.