Most governmental funding proposals so far have focused on providing emergency stabilization to prop up the childcare industry, so it can serve parents who need it in the short term and continue to exist once the pandemic is over. In April, the federal CARES Act allocated $3.5 billion to states for childcare—a paltry figure compared to a $58 billion bailout the airline industry received, for instance. Each state was, however, given the flexibility to decide how to allocate that federal chunk (from paying childcare providers’ salaries, to covering tuition fees for qualifying families, to setting up family care programs), as well as its own emergency state funds. The Congress then went on recess, without delivering any follow-up financing, in the form of the long-promised HEALS Act or otherwise. … [Read more...] about How the government failed working parents—and which policies could help
What does the federal government do
Education is a system shrouded in secrecy. Parents don’t know which schools are best for their kids, most educators can’t learn the tricks of their best colleagues, and students usually get feedback after they take a test. Now that the Department of Education has promoted their resident technology guru, Jim Shelton, to the number two spot in the organization, he’s bringing his tech chops to fix our education system with a little dose of Silicon Valley meritocracy and a heap of transparency. … [Read more...] about The Man Who Wants To Fix Education’s Secrecy Problem
But in Flint, Michigan, there is hope for what happens when a government does right by its citizens and its children. Because Michigan’s leaders put aside politics, ego, and self-interest, and tackled an issue with the next generation in mind, every child that suffered through the Flint Water Crisis will have more opportunities to succeed and the city will be stronger for it. We can and we should learn from this moment as we manage the current and future crises. We should hold our leaders accountable, and we should push them to do more, and then do some more. Don’t stop with this settlement; help fight for the people in Flint who have never stopped fighting for their community. For the sake of our kids, we can’t afford not to. … [Read more...] about We just secured a $600 million settlement for Flint. Now comes the hard part.
Talks in Congress about a new COVID-19 relief package broke down in early August, creating additional instability and uncertainty for schools just as the new academic year gets underway. Although the $13.5 billion in K-12 emergency relief funding approved in March can be used for technology—along with a host of other priorities that have become increasingly urgent amid the pandemic—much more help is needed. Lawmakers have proposed various ideas, including allowing districts to use federal E-rate funds, traditionally reserved for schools and libraries, to purchase Wi-Fi hotspots that can be loaned to students. Regardless of the approach, what matters most is that we solve the problem once and for all—and that we do it now. … [Read more...] about Our students can’t wait any longer. We must bring the internet to everyone
“It’s not just business as usual, but being innovative in setting up a forest in a way so that as wildfire passes through it, it doesn’t reach the incredible level of intensity and destruction that we’ve been seeing,” he says, noting that forest managers will also have to adapt as the climate continues to change. Other parts of the country will also have to adapt to new stresses from climate, from hurricanes in the Southeast to pest infestations in the Midwest to new diseases in the Rockies. … [Read more...] about These are the companies leading the trillion trees effort in the U.S.