In this edition, you’ll find coverage about the urgent need for the U.S. Senate to extend critical Medicaid matching funds that Washington and many other states need to maintain health care for kids and families. You’ll also read an opinion piece in favor of Initiative 1098, which would generate $1 billion a year for education and health care through a modest income tax on high-income earners, while cutting taxes for small businesses and middle class households. The Children's Alliance has endorsed I-1098. Read more here.
Gov. Chris Gregoire hasn't given up efforts to convince
Congress to approve extra Medicaid money that would send nearly $500
million to Washington state. Washington could be more than $30 million
in the red come January if Congress doesn't add a provision back into
the federal jobs bill that would send extra Medicaid money to the
Initiative 1098 is sorely needed. Today, taxes fall most
heavily upon those who have the least, while those who have the most
hardly pay anything. The numbers are startling: According to the
Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, families in the lowest income
bracket pay 17.3% of their income in state and local taxes. That’s
nearly a fifth. But the top one percent - which encompasses the
millionaires and the billionaires - only pay 2.9%.
The Education Department’s recent Listening and Learning Tour
materials include a great resource and argument for the effort to
integrate pre-kindergarten with early elementary grades. The slides lay
out the reasons behind the PreK-3rd movement, explaining why we need to
create better transitions between pre-k and elementary school, including
that third grade is now seen as a critical turning point in a student’s
education and that investment in quality early learning needs to be
sustained by a K-12 education of similar quality.
What’s missing from the 2010 edition of the Department of
Education’s Condition of Education (COE) report that came out last week?
Data on the condition of early education. The most significant news
from the COE report came from this year’s special section, which focused
on high-poverty schools. The COE report found that in 2008, 17 percent
of all schools were high poverty (based on free and reduced priced lunch
program data), almost a 42 percent increase from the 1999-00 school
More than 5 million Americans under the age of 19 with a
pre-existing medical condition cannot be denied coverage by insurance
companies beginning as early as September under a key provision of the
health care reform law. Covering consumers with pre-existing health
problems has long been a point of contention and figured prominently in
the national health reform debate.
The rate of children living in poverty this year will climb to
nearly 22%, the highest rate in two decades, according to an analysis by
the non-profit Foundation for Child Development. The foundation's Child
and Youth Well-Being Index tracks 28 key statistics about children,
such as health insurance coverage, parents' employment, infant mortality
and preschool enrollment. Read more about the Child and Youth Well-Being Index.
U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd helped launch the Senate's Children
Caucus in 1983. The then-freshman senator, recently divorced and
childless, was an unlikely advocate. And children, a nonvoting
constituency whose needs were hardly at the forefront of the national
agenda, were an unlikely cause in Congress. Yet the caucus created the
framework for a crusade that would champion early childhood education,
funding for child care programs and the Family and Medical Leave Act,
the landmark 1993 law that allows workers unpaid time off to care for a
new baby or a sick relative.
May was National Foster Care Month, and it’s prompted State
Senator Claudia Kauffman to reflect on her experiences with the child
welfare system that is charged with protecting thousands of Washington’s
most vulnerable children. In 2007, Sen. Kauffman sponsored legislation ─
Senate Bill 5830 ─ to establish evidence-based and research-based
home-visitation programs for parents to hone parenting skills and
improve outcomes for children.