In this edition, you’ll read an opinion piece by Washington state businessmen touting early learning as a crucial investment for our state’s economy. You’ll also find a podcast on federal health care reform’s boost to home visiting programs that pair nurses and other social work professionals with new and expectant families, giving parents support to help them thrive in their role as their children’s first and best teachers.
New research shows that investments in quality early learning
are among the most effective ways to revitalize local and state
economies and create jobs, write guest columnists John Stanton and Bob
Watt. Federal budget committees should consider this an important
The health care reform bill included $1.5 billion to be dispersed over five years for programs known as "home visitation" — services that employ nurses, social workers and other professionals who regularly visit low-income mothers and pregnant women in their homes to provide advice and support for their health and the healthy development of their babies and toddlers. Home visitation, when executed well, should be considered an integral part of strong early childhood education systems.
Despite the recession, states continued to expand early
childhood programs in the 2008-9 school year, according to an annual
survey by the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers
This year, a typical middle-class family in our state will pay
more than 11 percent of its hard-earned income in state and local taxes.
Poor families will pay at an even higher rate. Hundreds of thousands of
small businesses, already struggling in the current economic downturn,
will still have to pay the Business & Occupation tax — a tax on the
sales of their products and services — even when they don't make a
single dollar in profit. Meanwhile, our state's wealthiest citizens will
pay 2.6 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes.
Bill Gates Sr. certainly thinks so, and his I-1077 coalition
feels that the legal context, which has overturned earlier attempts at a
state income tax, has also shifted. An analysis of how we got to the
new initiative campaign.
Are we becoming a nation too fat to defend ourselves? It seems
incredible, but these are the facts: As of 2005, at least 9 million
young adults -- 27 percent of all Americans ages 17 to 24 -- were too
overweight to serve in the military, according to the Army's analysis of
national data. And since then, these high numbers have remained largely