Oct 18 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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.
Oct 01 | 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.
Sep 30 | 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 | Governing
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 24 | 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 23 | 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 | 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 20 | 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 19 | 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 19 | 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 17 | 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 | 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 12 | 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 09 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 31 | 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 28 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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.
Mar 01 | 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.
Feb 28 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 21 | 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 20 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 21 | 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 17 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 31 | 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 22 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 13 | 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 12 | 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 | 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 | 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 10 | 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 05 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 09 | 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 07 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 27 | 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 | 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 26 | 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 | 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 26 | 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 | 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 10 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 21 | 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 02 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 06 | 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 04 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 15 | 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 14 | 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 | 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 13 | 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 09 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 29 | 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 | 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 23 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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.
May 09 | 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 | 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 | 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 07 | The Huffington Post
Don't Cut Off Your Knows
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke knows it. Education and training are central to our nation's economic competitiveness. In fact, he recently urged that budget deliberations recognize the benefits of programs that equip workers with needed skills -- even when we must grapple with difficult decisions around balancing state and federal budgets.
Apr 25 | 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 | 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 | 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."
Apr 07 | 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.
Mar 31 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 07 | 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 01 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 11 | 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 07 | 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 | 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.
Feb 04 | 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."
Jan 25 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 30 | 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 29 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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."
Feb 02 | 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.
Jan 31 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 18 | 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 14 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 26 | 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 17 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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.