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What We’re Reading

November 3, 2017

Racial Equity

At the time they enter kindergarten, many young children face gaps that exist – by income, race/ethnicity, language, and culture – in child outcomes and opportunities, as well as in system capacity and response. Closing these gaps is fundamental to the success of each child and of the United States as a nation. BUILD supports state leaders through tailored technical assistance, capacity building, and peer learning opportunities to support them in doing so. These resources can help build and expand your state’s focus on equity in systems.

  • Child Trends: Policymakers cannot ignore the overrepresentation of black students in special education  In their recent study featured in Education Week, Morgan, Farkas, Hillemeier, and Maczuga got it wrong when they argued that more black children should be identified with educational disabilities and challenged federal policies meant to address overrepresentation by race in special education.
  • National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families:  How Well Are Early Care and Education Providers Who Serve Hispanic Children Doing on Access and Availability?  A new brief identifies gaps in the care that low-income Hispanic families need for their young kids and what’s available, particularly when it comes to center-based providers’ hours of availability. This is critical because quality early care and education programs can help erase the gap that exists between Latino kids and their peers when it comes to school readiness and achievement.
  • Building Movement Project: Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap  This report makes the case that in order to increase the number of people of color leading organizations, nonprofits and philanthropists need to begin shifting the narrative about why this gap exists and what should be done to address it.
  • The 74: San Francisco Failing to Serve Low-Income Students of Color, Report Says  The achievement gap in San Francisco looms as large as 69 points, as judged by proficiency on English tests. In the 2016–17 school year, 83 percent of white students who were not low-income scored at proficient levels, compared with just 14 percent of low-income African-Americans. Slightly more, 22 percent, of low-income Latino students tested at proficient levels.

Early Learning

Children must reach critical health and well-being benchmarks in order to thrive, be ready for kindergarten, and read at grade level by third grade. BUILD knows that families and communities are the primary source of this foundational support for children. We help state leaders create safe, healthy, nurturing early learning experiences for all children – to better support families and communities. This “whole-systems” approach includes an emphasis on: primary and preventive health care, early intervention, and quality early care and education. That is why BUILD Initiative assists states in focusing on standards and assessment, including kindergarten entry assessment; early care and education, with a focus on infant/toddler and pre-K services, programs and policies; and family, friend and neighbor care.

  • National Women’s Law Center: Women and Families Get Crumbs under House Tax Plan, But Will Pay the Bill  This tax plan benefits the super-rich and corporations at the cost of working families. Whatever this plan gives to middle-class families with one hand, it takes away with the other, while cutting taxes for families just like Trump’s—wealthy real estate developers and their heirs. To pay for massive tax cuts for big corporations and the wealthy, Republicans in Congress will take tax benefits away from low-income children, make it harder for workers to pay for child and dependent care expenses, raise taxes on women and families with serious, costly medical conditions, and slash vital programs and services that families rely on for a basic standard of living. Women and families only get crumbs under this plan, but are being asked to foot the bill. They deserve better.
  • Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Cut Taxes Now, Cut Programs Later Would Leave Most Children Worse Off  Congressional Republicans this fall are poised to launch step one of a likely two-step tax and budget agenda: enacting costly tax cuts now that are heavily skewed toward wealthy households and profitable corporations, then paying for them later through program cuts mostly affecting low- and middle-income families. Most children and their families would lose more from the program cuts than they would gain from the tax cuts.
  • New America: New Report Shares Lessons on Pre-K Teacher Compensation Parity Policies  …the median annual wage for pre-K teachers in the United States is only $28,570, as compared to an annual wage of over $50,000 for K-3 teachers. Pre-K teachers are earning near poverty level wages; almost half of our nation’s early childhood educators receive public assistance. These teachers are often paid less than pest control workers and mail clerks.
  • First Five Years Fund: Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Avoids Repeal in House Tax Bill  Today, the House Committee on Ways and Means released the text of its tax reform legislation, which includes maintaining the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC). Despite calls by some to eliminate this valuable credit, the House tax-writing Committee’s decision to preserve the CDCTC is a relief. For tax reform to truly help working families with young children, FFYF is hopeful that lawmakers will come to understand that the CDCTC should be strengthened to reflect the challenges families face paying for child care, and also made refundable to reach the families who would benefit from it most.

Family Support

Parents are their children’s first and most important teachers. Ensuring they have sufficient support to provide nurturing homes and meet basic needs is essential to children’s development. Family support includes home visiting, parent education, family literacy, income and workforce support, family presentation services, and extended paid family leave. BUILD supports states in their efforts to strengthen family support and make it an integral part of the overall early childhood system.

  • Annie E. Casey Foundation: Creating Opportunity for Families  This policy report describes a new approach to reducing poverty, which calls for connecting low-income families with early childhood education, job training and other tools to achieve financial stability and break the cycle of poverty — and recommends ways to help equip parents and children with what they need to thrive.

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