On February 6, Julie Kashen, TCF’s director of women’s economic justice and a senior fellow, and her colleague Levi Bohanan, a policy entrepreneur at Next100, submitted written testimony to the Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee, a part of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and Labor. In that testimony, a version of which can be read below, Kashen and Bohanan applaud the subcommittee for their interest in promoting the right to equitable, high-quality care for all families and supporting early educators; outline the principles that undergird any policy that would successfully provide that right; and describe why the Child Care for Working Families Act meets those criteria, and deserves the subcommittee’s support.
Despite the current $2 billion annually granted to students with demonstrated financial need through the Cal Grant, California’s primary need-based student aid system, a great deal of financial need remains unmet for low- and medium-income Californians. Expanding the current Cal Grant system to meet a larger portion of this need and reduce the student debt burden affecting Californians has become a priority for lawmakers and policy experts, with several research papers, statewide working groups, and legislative proposals all underway in the past three years. However, how exactly to equitably overhaul the system over the course of several years—the likely time frame needed to build to the scale of the investment required—has remained an open question.
Today is the twenty-seventh anniversary of the signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which guarantees individuals twelve weeks of unpaid, job-guaranteed time to care for their new children, seriously ill relatives, or own serious illnesses or military leave. In addition, today, women are actually half the paid workforce: According to the most recent jobs report out of the U.S. Department of Labor, women now hold half of all payroll jobs. Since that number excludes domestic workers and farmworkers, the total number is likely higher. This is only the second time this has happened since 2010, and is a monumental indicator of progress in economic gender equity.
In late December 2019, Congress and the White House signed off on a budget that included at least one major victory for manufacturing communities across the country: the Defense Manufacturing Communities Support Program (DMCSP), authorized by the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)—which, before December, was not assured funding—was awarded $25 million in the 2020 budget.
American policy on Israel and Palestine has long been stymied by contradictions. In particular, the United States professes a goal of fostering peace, but enables the processes that perpetuate conflict. This contradiction is at the heart of Washington’s sharp loss of credibility as an honest broker in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, a loss that damages U.S. standing in the Middle East at large.