- WAVE3, January 7, 2015: Crisis Phase of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Begins Jan. 12
"The annual program that helps prevent disconnection from utility services for low income residents of Louisville begins Mon., Jan. 12, 2015. LIHEAP, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, is operated by the Department of Community Services' Louisville Metro Community Action Partnership (CAP)."
- CNN Money, January 29, 2015: The growing poverty problem in America's schools
"The share of schoolkids who qualify for free or reduced lunches crossed the 50% threshold in 2013, according to a recent Southern Education Foundation report. That compares to fewer than 32% back in 1989. Students eligible for subsidized school lunches come from families who are in poverty or just above it. A child living with a single parent would qualify if the family's income was less than $28,000. A family of four would receive free or reduced lunches if their income was less than $42,600."
- The Dallas Morning News, January 29, 2015: (Op-Ed) Poverty is not destiny
" Poverty clearly presents great challenges to improving our schools. More local and state funding is warranted, and we’ll continue to strongly advocate for additional wise investment. But we can’t — and we won’t — wait for someone to solve poverty. So much is already within our control, and poverty is not destiny."
- ThinkProgress, January 29, 2015: Texas May Slash Cancer Screenings For Low-Income Women
" This week, the Texas Senate filed a draft budget that would restructure the state’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening program to prevent Planned Parenthood from participating. Abortion opponents have been pushing for the change as a way of continuing to target the national women’s health organization, in an ongoing crusade to cut off funds from abortion providers."
- The Christian Science Monitor, January 29, 2015: $77 billion a year to cut child poverty in half? A bargain, report says.
"When the Children’s Defense Fund went about putting together its latest report on child poverty in America, it did something new: It put a price tag on its proposals. To reduce child poverty by 60 percent in just a few years would cost $77 billion a year, it found."
- Great Falls Tribune, January 29, 2015: Bill to reduce income taxes heard by Senate panel
"But Montana Budget and Policy Center co-director Heather O’Loughlin opposed the bill, saying it’s unfair to low-income workers. Under the measure, the top 1 percent of earners making about $455,000 a year will get a tax break of $1,100 per year, O’Loughlin said. People earning about $27,000 per year will only see a tax cut of $28 annually, she said."
- Deseret News, January 29, 2015: Why bright low-income kids aren't going to top colleges
"Attending a top college can be a life-changer for bright low-income kids. But many of them end up at schools with low graduation rates because they are misinformed about cost and the college experience, according to research from economics professors Caroline Hoxby of Stanford and Christopher Avery of Harvard."
- CBS Denver, January 29, 2015: Program Works To Boost Vocabulary In Low-Income Kids
"Research shows that low-income parents speak with their children less than parents in higher income brackets. By the time those children are three years old, they have heard 30 million fewer words than middle class peers. One non-profit in Colorado, Bright By Three, is trying to level the playing field."
- The New York Times, January 28, 2015: (Op-Ed) Reducing Our Obscene Level of Child Poverty
"But surely we can all agree that no child, once born, should suffer through poverty. Surely we can all agree that working to end child poverty — or at least severely reduce it — is a moral obligation of a civilized society. And yet, 14.7 million children in this country are poor, and 6.5 million of them are extremely poor (living below half the poverty line)."
- The Christian Science Monitor, January 28, 2015: Single parent or poverty? Study looks at which affects good parenting most.
"Income level, rather than family structure, has the greatest impact on whether parents read to their children, eat dinner together, or engage in any number of positive parenting practices, according to a new report put out today by the nonpartisan Council on Contemporary Families."
- PBS Newshour, January 28, 2015: Can a text message help bridge the ‘word gap’ for low income children?
"Susanna Loeb and Ben York at Stanford’s Center for Education Policy Analysis, founded Ready4K!, a program that sends parents of preschoolers in a low-income San Francisco school district weekly tips via text message on how to improve their children’s literacy. The initiative is designed to fit within the lives of families, rather than adding yet another burden."
- NBC News, January 29, 2015: Report: Advantages For Low-Income Latino Kids With Foreign-Born Parent
"A greater share of low-income Hispanic children with a foreign-born parent live with at least one employed parent compared to other low-income children, according to a newly released analysis. Eighty-one percent of low-income Latino children with at least one foreign-born parent live with an employed adult, according to an analysis by Child Trends National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families. That compared with roughly two-thirds of Hispanic children with only U.S. born parents and a similar share for white children, and 54 percent of black children. The nativity of white and black children was not broken down in the study."
- Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, January 28, 2015: GOP lawmakers unveil plan to fight Milwaukee poverty
"Two influential Republican lawmakers proposed a plan Wednesday to fight poverty in Milwaukee's inner city by pushing big changes in the state's schools, tax code and regulations. Many of the proposals are controversial, including creating urban zones without corporate taxes, typical union rules and state markup requirements on retail sales, and a plan to convert struggling public schools in Milwaukee into independent charter schools answering to a new board."
- Deseret News, January 28, 2015: 'Life-changing' program for families battles poverty
"Trueblood says she believes Next Generation Kids, a new Department of Workforce Services program intended to disrupt cycles of welfare dependence, will give her and her son a way out of a life of dependence on public assistance. She said learning about the program's goal of breaking the cycle of welfare dependence 'was really exciting to me to hear that because I don’t want to live like this. I don’t want my son to have to struggle like this.'"
- Swarthmore College Daily Gazette, January 28, 2015: Swarthmore Expands Resources for Low-Income Students
"Swarthmore continues to its efforts to support low-income and other disadvantaged students this semester. Shortly before the semester began, the college published a list of administrators, professors, and staff who share experiences that may resonate with these students. The college has also created a summer bridge program for underrepresented students aiming to pursue a degree in STEM fields, and allowed students with extenuating circumstances to remain on campus over break."
- The Daily Beast, January 27, 2015: How Did the Homeless Survive Last Night?
"In New York City, where one in seven people is a millionaire, more people than ever were left without food or a roof over their head during last night's snowstorm."
- Tallahassee Democrat, January 27, 2015: Fighting hunger is nonstop campaign
"ECHO was started by a group of downtown Tallahassee churches in 1981 to provide a central location to help families and individuals in desperate need of food and other assistance. Jon Hinkle, ECHO's warehouse manager, estimates the organization sees 10 to 12 people each day who need food."
- The Sacramento Bee, January 27, 2015: Sacramento County approves controversial low-income apartments in Arden Arcade
"Sacramento County supervisors voted Tuesday to approve a low-income apartment complex in the heart of Arden Arcade, despite hearing complaints from about a dozen area residents who said it will contribute to traffic congestion and overall decline of the neighborhood."
- Daily Journal News, January 27, 2015: Homes for low-income seniors proposed in Ukiah
"The Ukiah City Council Wednesday unanimously approved moving forward with a plan to build an affordable housing project for seniors next to the Grace Hudson Museum. 'This is a very high-quality, very eco-friendly project,' Project and Grant Administrator Shannon Riley told the council at its Jan. 21 meeting, describing the proposal as having '42 units spread across three, two-story buildings, that will include a community room and outside space for gardens and pets.'"
- VPR, January 27, 2015: Child Care Is Too Costly For Many Low-Income Vermonters, Report Says
"Vermont spent about 15 percent of its state budget on early childhood education in 2013. A little less than half of that expense supported K-3 education, and the rest targeted the needs of younger children. But many working families still cannot afford child care, according to a new report from an early childhood advocacy group. The update on state spending comes from Building Bright Futures, a non-profit that serves as Vermont's advisory council for early education."
- The New York Times, January 26, 2015: Middle Class Shrinks Further as More Fall Out Instead of Climbing Up
"In the late 1960s, more than half of the households in the United States were squarely in the middle, earning, in today’s dollars, $35,000 to $100,000 a year. Few people noticed or cared as the size of that group began to fall, because the shift was primarily caused by more Americans climbing the economic ladder into upper-income brackets. But since 2000, the middle-class share of households has continued to narrow, the main reason being that more people have fallen to the bottom. At the same time, fewer of those in this group fit the traditional image of a married couple with children at home, a gap increasingly filled by the elderly."
- The Huffington Post, January 26, 2015: Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac May Help End Homelessness In America
"ThinkProgress reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- two government-backed mortgage companies whose buying and guaranteeing of risky mortgages contributed to the Great Recession -- are now able to contribute to the National Housing Trust Fund. The fund was created in 2008 to support affordable housing initiatives nationwide but had laid dormant until now, as the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced in December that 'both [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] are financially fit' to contribute."
- The Daily Beast, January 26, 2015: (Blog) NYC’s Low-Income Renters Are Freezing
"Fickle heat is commonplace for most New Yorkers: A boiler in Brooklyn Heights might break one day, and a furnace in Brownsville the next. During the coldest months of 2013 and 2014, New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) fielded over 200,000 heat and hot water complaints. But it’s low-income residents who suffer the greatest burden, their plight worsened by unresponsive landlords and limited resources."
- Bloomberg Politics, January 26, 2015: Why Republicans Are Talking About Income Inequality
"With wages stagnant, concern about wealth distribution increasing, and the president embarking on an aggressive push for the middle class, Republicans aren't just talking about lower taxes and a rising tide lifting all boats. They are making their pitch explicit, with a little help from Democratic rhetoric. They're the right ones to tackle income inequality, they argue, and they won't be afraid to say it."
- Wall Street Cheat Sheet, January 26, 2015: 7 States With the Most People in Poverty
"Just like income and wealth, poverty is not spread evenly across the country either. In some areas of the country, the poverty rate is much higher than the official national poverty rate — which was 14.5%, as of 2013. Using Census data on poverty, we’ve created a list of the states with the highest poverty ratings. You can review this list, as well as a state-by-state breakdown of the poverty ratings across the United States, on the following page."
- Progress Illinois, January 26, 2015: Study: Low-Income Illinoisans Hit Hard Under State's Tax System
"Low-income Illinoisans have the third-highest state and local tax burden in the nation, according to a new study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and the Fiscal Policy Center at Voices for Illinois Children."
- Fact Check, January 26, 2015: Romney’s Poverty Points
"It’s true that 'income inequality has gotten worse.' According to research by Emmanuel Saez, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, post-recession incomes of the top 1 percent of earners grew by 34.7 percent from 2009 to 2012, while incomes of the bottom 99 percent of earners grew by just 0.8 percent. The top 1 percent saw 91 percent of the income gains in the first three years of the economic recovery, according to Saez."
- KXAN, January 26, 2015: Austin gets $5.6M in grants to fight homelessness
"Austin and Travis County will receive $5.6 million in grants to help house the homeless. The money comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money will fund local projects for transitional housing to help homeless people get off the street. Grants also cover services like job training and health care."
- Minneapolis Star-Tribune, January 25, 2015: (Editorial) For public schools, low-income kids are the new normal
"Those are just two examples of what school employees here and elsewhere feel they must do to support learning, because a growing share of their students come from low-income families. In fact, according to a new analysis of federal data, for the first time slightly more than half of all American public school kids are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches."
- Fox News, January 25, 2015: Grassley to hospitals: Explain why you’re suing low-income patients
"Sen. Charles Grassley is calling out nonprofit hospitals who are suing poor patients over unpaid bills and says they could be breaking the law, according to a report by ProPublica and NPR."
- Newark Advocate, January 24, 2015: As Ohio vouchers expand, thousands remain unused
"Even as Ohio’s private school vouchers remain dramatically underused, there appears to be no rush to re-examine their need. The state offers 60,000 EdChoice vouchers for children in struggling public schools, and fewer than one-third were used this school year, according to data released Friday by the Ohio Department of Education.
- Chalkbeat Colorado, January 23, 2015: As Denver Public Schools enrollment booms, poverty rate drops
"In a sharp reversal from the recent past, the number of DPS students from higher-income families is growing faster than the number from lower-income families. The percentage of students from low-income families has been shrinking incrementally for three years now. And DPS and state officials are projecting that the new trend is here to stay for the foreseeable future."
- SF Gate, January 23, 2015: Rich GOP leaders see poverty as key 2016 issue
"This week, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — the 2012 presidential candidate who lambasted the “47 percent” of Americans 'dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them' — announced he intends to make poverty a top issue in his 2016 exploratory effort. And former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who will speak to the 23,000-member National Automobile Dealers Association in San Francisco on Friday, also recently echoed Kashkari’s call for Republicans to battle poverty."
- K5, January 23, 2015: Non-profit prepares low-income young adults for tech jobs
"Kinney is one of the latest graduates of Year Up, a non-profit which helps prepare low-income young adults, ages 18-24, for corporate careers. The group provides a stipend during the one-year, intensive training program."
- The Democrat & Chronicle, January 23, 2015: (Op-Ed) The "Other" Anti-Poverty Task Force
"There is a much larger, and potentially more effective task force already at work addressing Rochester's disturbing poverty numbers: you. You, the parents who teach your children the importance of helping those less fortunate, and find opportunities to do so. You, the senior citizen on a fixed income who diligently sends $10 checks to your local mission every month."
- The Washington Post, January 21, 2015: Americans overwhelmingly want paid sick time, even if it lowers their wages
"A 2014 survey of 4,507 Americans by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 81 percent support paid sick leave legislation of the type Obama is proposing. The survey found majority support across all demographic and political groups, with even 70 percent of Republicans supporting such a law."
- Fox News Latino, January 22, 2015: As Latinos nationwide rise out of poverty, those in Nebraska fall deeper into it
"According to an analysis conducted last fall by the Pew Research Center, the national poverty rate among Hispanics fell from 25.6 percent in 2012 to 23.5 percent a year later. At the same time, Hispanics earned 3.5 percent more money. The rosy national numbers are in stark contrast to rising poverty levels among Nebraska’s Hispanic population. Nearly 28 percent of Nebraska Latinos live in poverty — up from 20 percent in 2000, according to federal estimates."
- New Republic, January 22, 2015: Study: Poor Boys Are More Likely to Fight, Lie, and Steal If They Live in Mixed-Income Housing
"Local governments are increasingly promoting mixed-income housing as a tool for fighting poverty, on the assumption that economic integration gives low-income children a better chance at overcoming poverty. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, for instance, has set a target of building 200,000 affordable housing units in the city, and he wants them to be distributed throughout mixed-income and more affluent neighborhoods."
- Green Bay Press-Gazette, January 22, 2015: Walker seeks drug tests for welfare recipients
"Gov. Scott Walker wants people who apply for unemployment, food stamps and other assistance programs to be drug tested. In turn, the state will offer free treatment."
- The Olympian, January 22, 2015: Low-income housing development slated for vacant lot in downtown Olympia
"The Low Income Housing Institute of Seattle is trying to buy a vacant lot in downtown Olympia for a subsidized housing development. However, some say more low-income housing is a bad idea for downtown, and the city wants the developer to consider another site."
- New York Daily News, January 22, 2015: Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty may disband, hand off services to other groups: sources
"The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, whose CEO was busted for theft last year, is looking to dismantle its services and hand off programs to other groups, sources said."
- The Washington Post, January 21, 2015: As U.S. test scores lag, study shows violence, poverty, teen pregnancy are high
"U.S. student performance on international exams has fallen compared to other industrial nations in recent years, a fact policymakers and others often cite in arguing that U.S. public schools need rapid reform in order to maintain their global competitiveness. But now two organizations are out with a new study that challenges that narrative by comparing the United States to eight other nations on a raft of socioeconomic measures. The upshot of the report is that the single-minded focus on test scores has led policymakers to overlook other important trends that affect U.S. public education, including high levels of economic inequality and social stress. Schools can’t be expected to solve these larger problems on their own, argue the study’s authors, the Horace Mann League and the National Superintendents Roundtable."
- Demos, January 21, 2015: (Blog) Poverty Among K-12 Students Up More in Private Schools Than Public Schools
"The Washington Post and the New York Times picked up a Southern Education Foundation report about the increasing levels of low-income students in public schools. Here, I supplement that report with my own calculations from the American Community Survey. The 2000-2013 ACS data shows that the rise in poverty among K-12 students is a general economic phenomenon affecting private and public school students alike. In fact, the private school poverty rate rose faster over this period than the public school poverty rate."
- The Week, January 21, 2015: Want to end poverty in America? It's pretty simple.
"In short, if you’re poor in America, the economy works in a fundamentally different way than if you have means: rather than giving you opportunities to build up savings and capital, it treats you as an unending source of regular small-bore profit, bleeding you for what little you have."
- CBS Moneywatch, January 21, 2015: Low-income loans didn't cause the financial crisis
"What caused the housing bubble and collapse of the financial system? Many fingers have pointed to a lack of regulation, financial innovation that didn't live up to its promises of risk-sharing and risk-reduction, and low interest rates from the Fed, which created an excess of liquidity. Another cause that's often cited says the financial crisis was the result of government pressure to make subprime home loans to those at the lower end of the income scale. But recent work from the National Bureau of Economic Research provides no support for that claim."
- UChicago News, January 21, 2015: Parents’ reliance on welfare leads to more welfare use by their children, study finds
"In a new study published recently in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Mogstad and his co-authors at University of California, San Diego, and the University of Bergen in Norway investigated family welfare cultures in the context of Norway’s Disability Insurance System. From 14,722 parent-child observations, they have found strong empirical evidence that reliance on welfare in one generation is likely to cause greater welfare use in the next generation. The findings also serve to highlight that reforming the welfare review process can have a long-lasting effect on both the current and future generations."
- The Navajo Post, January 21, 2015: Advocates: New Mexico among worst for child poverty
"New Mexico continues to rank near the bottom in child poverty and the state has been slow to recover economically and stop the dwindling of resources, a new report said. The New Mexico Voices for Children on Tuesday released its annual New Mexico Kids Count report, which also faulted state lawmakers for not presenting any new anti-poverty initiatives to help one of the poorest states."
- Design & Trend, January 21, 2015: Study: Poverty And Ethnicity Linked To Asthma In Children
"The researchers found that as the children's family's annual income went down, the risk of having an emergency asthma attack increased. Also, children from very low income families had the highest risk of being diagnosed with asthma."
- Newsroom Jersey, January 21, 2015: Any Gas Tax Increase Should Include Tax Credit for Low-Income New Jerseyans
"As New Jersey policymakers close in on a deal to boost New Jersey’s transportation funding, a bold solution that raises at least $1 billion a year is essential if New Jersey wants to take advantage of one of its greatest economic assets – its location – and rebuild a strong state economy. Equally essential, policy experts and advocates said on a press conference call today, is offsetting the disproportionate impact a gas tax increase would have on low-income households by strengthening a key tax credit for working families – the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)."
- The Oregonian, January 21, 2015: How much would a single parent gain under $15 minimum wage? Less than $50 a month
"At first, it might seem like raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Oregon — as activists have suggested — would put more than $1,000 a month in a full-time worker's pocket. But a new analysis by Oregon's nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office suggests the figure would be much smaller, at least for a hypothetical single parent with two children. The actual increase under a $15.10 minimum wage, once lost food stamps and tax refunds are taken into account, would be just $49 a month."
- Providence Journal, January 21, 2015: One in five children in R.I. living in poverty, Kids Count report says
"A new report finds that more than one in every five children in Rhode Island was living in poverty in 2013, a rate that is little improved since the end of the recession and is worse than the rest of New England. The report, put out by Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, says 21.5 percent of children younger than 18 live below the federal poverty level. That’s 44,923 of the state’s 208,700 children, according to the report."
- WTNH, January 21, 2015: Connecticut to award funds to help the chronic homeless
"he state of Connecticut is awarding $1.1 million to 15 private, nonprofit agencies that provide services to 176 people who’ve experienced chronic homelessness. The agencies provide in-home supportive services, including referrals to mental health, substance abuse, dental and medical treatment, employment services, budgeting, landlord and tenant mediation and daily living skills."
- WDEL, January 21, 2015: AG Denn proposes $36.6 million plan for impoverished, crime-stricken Delaware communities
"Attorney General Matt Denn on Wednesday unveiled a plan to use more than $36 million from bank settlements connected to the 2008 financial crisis by investing the money in Delaware's impoverished and crime-stricken communities. Denn has proposed using funds acquired by Delaware through nationwide settlements with Bank of America and Citi to resolve allegations of of actions contributing to the financial crisis on initiatives involving substance abuse, affordable housing, prison reentry, community policing, education at high poverty schools and community policing."
- The Macon Telegraph, January 20, 2015: Report: Low-income students are majority in Georgia
"The percentage of low-income students in U.S. public schools now make up the majority, according to the latest data collected by the National Center for Education Statistics. A report prepared by the Southern Education Foundation found that Southern states made up 12 of the 14 states with the highest rates of low-income students."
- The Portland Tribune, January 20, 2015: (Op-Ed) Low-income housing options needed
"Housing affordability has become a national kitchen-table conversation. Wages have not kept up with basic living expenses like child care and transportation, but most especially housing. Today an estimated 51 percent of all Americans make a significant sacrifice in their household budgets to afford the roof over their head according to the MacArthur Foundation."
- CBS San Francisco Bay Area, January 20, 2015: SFMTA Votes To Give Free Muni Rides To Disabled, Low-Income Seniors
"The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors voted unanimously Tuesday to waive the Muni fee for riders with disabilities and for low- to moderate-income seniors, many who live with fixed incomes and struggle to afford public transportation as the cost of living in the city increases."
- USA Today, January 19, 2015: Van Jones on teaching 100,000 low-income kids to code
"That challenge inspired Jones to create Yes We Code, an initiative of his Rebuild the Dream organization that aims to teach 100,000 low-income kids to write code. Prince promoted the initiative in July by headlining the Essence Festival in New Orleans where Yes We Code held its first hackathon."
- The Huffington Post, January 18, 2015: (Blog) Poverty and Public Schools -- And One Solution Already Proven and Paid For
" But there is one that is proven, paid for, and possible for every child in this country and that is school breakfast. It's a federal entitlement for low income kids yet barely half of them receive it. It is exempt from sequestration's automatic budget cuts and enjoys a long track record of bipartisan support. A change as simple as moving breakfast from the cafeteria before school begins, to the classroom or "after the bell" enables us to reach many more children."
- The Orlando Sentinel, January 18, 2015: Free money? Bigger, better EITC is as close as it gets
"If you're among the tens of thousands of Central Florida workers planning to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit this year, there's good news: It will be both easier to qualify and more generous in how much money you get back. The EITC, a federal initiative to encourage Americans to work, is also expected to top last year's collective return of well over a half-billion dollars to residents in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties alone — a sum likely to have a positive ripple effect on the local economy."
- The Star Press, January 17, 2015: Mentors can help low-income college students
"Increased economic opportunity resulting in less poverty is within reach thanks to a statewide mentoring program helping low-income students stay in college. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) is providing mentors to 21st Century Scholars, low-income students who receive state funding for post-secondary education. Despite this significant financial assistance, only 33 percent of scholars earn an associate's degree within three years or a bachelor's degree within six years. The state average for all full-time students is 42 percent."
- The New York Times, January 16, 2015: Percentage of Poor Students in Public Schools Rises
"Just over half of all students attending public schools in the United States are now eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, according to a new analysis of federal data. In a report released Friday by the Southern Education Foundation, researchers found that 51 percent of children in public schools qualified for the lunches in 2013, which means that most of them come from low-income families. By comparison, 38 percent of public school students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunches in 2000."
- The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 16, 2015: Washington U. in St. Louis Plans to Double Percentage of Low-Income Students
"Washington University in St. Louis plans to double its share of students eligible for Pell Grants by 2020, a university spokeswoman wrote in an email to The Chronicle. The private college says it will spend roughly $25-million per year to double its percentage of Pell-eligible students, from 6 percent to 13 percent. The college has been criticized for years for its lack of socioeconomic diversity. Most recently, The New York Times’s Upshot column highlighted that lack in a list of the nation’s most-accessible elite colleges."
- The Washington Post, January 16, 2015: (Op-Ed) Best state: Delaware, for tax fairness
"One tiny state earns the dubious distinction of being least regressive: Delaware, by ITEP’s estimation, is home to the fairest tax system in the nation. 'It looks so close to being flat, but you still do have the bottom 20 percent paying more than any other income group as a share of income,' says Meg Wiehe, ITEP’s state tax policy director."
- PBS Newshour, January 16, 2015: New report shows majority of U.S. students are low-income
"The majority of students in U.S. public schools are low-income for the first time in at least five decades, according to a new report by the Southern Education Foundation. The report measured poverty among students by the number of those that qualified for free and reduced lunch. Nationwide, 51 percent of students met that measure for the 2012-2013 school year."
- Bloomberg News, January 16, 2015: New Fed Advisory Board to Focus on Needs of Low-Income Americans
"The Federal Reserve Board said it will create a new advisory council to get input from those with consumer- and community development-related expertise to do more to gauge the needs of lower-income Americans."
- RH Reality Check, January 15, 2015: Lawsuit: Pennsylvania Unlawfully Delaying Health Coverage for Low-Income Women
"Two women’s health groups along with a state resident on Tuesday filed a class action lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), alleging that the department systematically delayed enrolling low-income women for comprehensive health coverage. The case, Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Mackereth, alleges that 85,000 women are affected by the department’s delay."
- Watchdog, January 15, 2015: NCLB rewrite: A ‘missed opportunity’ to help low-income students
"Local education needs are being ignored in a proposed rewrite of the federal No Child Left Behind law, an education policy expert says. Association of American Educators member Tracie Happel is a second grade teacher at Northside Elementary in La Crosse, Wisconsin, which has a high number of students from disadvantaged families. Students from low-income families don’t learn like other students, Happel said. 'They have very different needs and world experiences,' Happel said in an interview with Watchdog.org. 'When we’re forced to teach to a test, we can’t spend much time on the other areas in their lives that they need.'"
- MLive, January 15, 2015: (Op-Ed) New strategies needed to break cycle of poverty
"Poverty’s grip on American society – worse than a quarter-century ago – is so profound that it is unlikely that many of the children raised in the poorest households will find success later in life. In fact, 42 percent of children born to parents at the bottom of the income ladder stay there. With more than half of Michigan’s young children – including 8,662 in Kalamazoo County – growing up in low-income households today, we must take a coordinated approach to help young families and improve their children’s odds for a brighter future, according to a new Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation."
- The Atlantic, January 14, 2015: How Nurses Can Help Low-Income Mothers and Kids
"Nurse Family Partnership works like this: It pairs a low-income, first-time mother with a trained nurse, who counsel her throughout the pregnancy and until her child's second birthday. The nurses visit the mothers frequently in their homes and offer guidance on everything from nutrition during pregnancy to breastfeeding to caring for a newborn and child development. In many instances, the nurses also play the role of social worker to help the mothers apply for government assistance, if they qualify; navigate tricky family dynamics; or escape abusive relationships. And they mentor young mothers as well, encouraging them to finish their educations, apply for better-paying jobs, and set themselves on a path to financial stability, so they can support their families."
- U.S. News & World Report, January 14, 2015: Low-Income, Minority Youths Missing From Summer Work
"Nationwide, millions of young people are in a state of limbo, neither working nor in school. During the summer months, their struggle to find a job is particularly difficult, as fewer than half of those who apply for youth employment programs are enrolled, according to a new report from JPMorgan Chase. The report details a picture that adds to the national conversation about the skills gap – the mismatch between employer needs and worker skills. Over the past 12 years, the report found, there has been a roughly 40 percent decline in summer youth employment, a problem low-income and racial and ethnic minority youths are significantly more likely to face."
- The Washington Post, January 14, 2015: (Blog) How state tax systems unfairly burden low-income earners
"State taxes favor those with the highest incomes. That’s according to a new report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy report, which finds that on average the bottom fifth of earners pay proportionally twice as much of their incomes in state and local taxes as the top 1 percent. Such systems that are skewed toward the poor are also less stable in the long run, given the decades-long trends of growing income inequality, the report’s authors argue."
- The Salt Lake Tribune, January 14, 2015: Utah’s tax burden hits 20-year low, rich-poor gap widens
"Utah’s tax burden is at its lowest point in 20 years. But poor and middle-class Utahns pay nearly twice as much of their earnings for tax as do the wealthiest 1 percent. That is according to two reports released Wednesday, one by the Utah Foundation and the other by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy."
- Goshen News, January 14, 2015: Program designed to provide musical instruction to low-income students
"The workshop was organized by Horizon Education Alliance and several partners including Conn-Selmer Inc., Elkhart Community Schools and Goshen College. El Sistema is a music education program developed in Venezuela in 1975 by José Antonio Abreu and is geared toward providing music instruction to students from low-income or under-served communities."
- The New York Times, January 13, 2015: Study Finds Local Taxes Hit Lower Wage Earners Harder
"When it comes to the taxes closest to home, the less you earn, the harder you’re hit. That is the conclusion of an analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy that evaluates the local tax burden in every state, from Washington, labeled the most regressive, to Delaware, ranked as the fairest of them all. According to the study, in 2015 the poorest fifth of Americans will pay on average 10.9 percent of their income in state and local taxes, the middle fifth will pay 9.4 percent and the top 1 percent will average 5.4 percent."
- TakePart, January 13, 2015: Low-Income Housing Funds Are Drying Up All Over America
"When Baltimore opened its public housing wait list for the first time in a decade last fall, more than 70,000 people applied for 25,000 spots. It was the same scenario in Pittsburgh—more than 13,000 residents jumped at the opportunity to get on a list capped at 6,000. In the District of Columbia, which closed its wait list in 2013, more than 72,000 people are in line for just 14,000 Section 8 housing vouchers."
- The Huffington Post, January 13, 2015: How Obama's College Proposal Could Really Help Low Income Families
"Last week, President Barack Obama announced a plan that, if approved by Congress, would dedicate about $60 billion over 10 years to allow students to go to community college for free. While the plan has its share of critics, it could have a huge impact on families that are teetering on financial instability, supporters told HuffPost Live on Tuesday."
- Las Vegas Sun, January 13, 2015: Program will help low-income families buy homes
"The state Board of Finance today approved the sale of $40 million in bonds to help low- and middle-income families buy their first homes. CJ Manthe, administrator of the state Housing Division, said the program could help an estimated 350 families finance homes."
- Danbury News Times, January 13, 2015: Higher standard deduction, other breaks for older taxpayers
"There is also a small tax credit for low-income seniors, which Perlman says is not widely used. 'It might be helpful for someone who neither contributed to the Social Security system nor ever married.'"
- Mansfield News Journal, January 13, 2015: Housing project for homeless and low-income proposed
"A Pennsylvania-based real estate development firm is seeking tax credits for a 40-unit housing project that would increase options on Mansfield’s south side for low-income residents. The proposal, centered on the former SG Roy Clifton Scouten U.S. Army Reserve Center armory at 271 Hedges St. and nearby property, would include housing for 12 homeless people."
- The Boston Globe, January 12, 2015: Ikea plans donations to fight homelessness
"The 'Welcome Home Bags' will include items such as bedding, dishes, and cookware to help homeless people land on their feet. The housing supply store, which also plans to give jobs to homeless people, said it had committed to the donations in several meetings with charities in Boston and South Shore cities and towns."
- The New York Times, January 12, 2015: New Rules to Limit Tactics on Hospitals’ Fee Collections
"The Obama administration has adopted sweeping new rules to discourage nonprofit hospitals from using aggressive tactics to collect payments from low-income patients. Under the rules, nonprofit hospitals must now offer discounts, free care or other financial assistance to certain needy patients. Additionally, hospitals must try to determine whether a patient is eligible for assistance before they refer a case to a debt collector, send negative information to a credit agency, place a lien on a patient’s home, file a lawsuit or seek a court order to seize a patient’s earnings."
- NewsWorks, January 12, 2015: Five Philly schools make Pa. 'high progress' list for low-income schools
"Five schools in Philadelphia made the cut for a 'high progress' designation, based on increases in achievement in math and reading across all student in the schools. Four Philadelphia district schools – Lankenau High School, Philadelphia Military Academy at Elverson, Juniata Park Academy and Eliza B. Kirkbride School – earned spots along with one charter school, Freire Charter School in Center City. Across the state, 16 schools made the 'high progress' list. School leaders attribute that progress to a variety of factors, from a rebooted school day to getting better equipment."
- First To Know, January 12, 2015: How New Orleans Became to First US City to End Veteran Homelessness
"On Independence Day, First Lady Michelle Obama issued the Mayor’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in local communities by the end of 2015. The city of New Orleans did the first lady one better and completed the task by the end of 2014."
- Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, January 11, 2015: President Obama’s Plan to Make Community College Free Draws Praise, Skepticism
"When President Barack Obama announced an ambitious new plan to make community college free this past Friday during a speech at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, his remarks drew an enthusiastic applause. And it drew praise in certain sectors of higher education because of its emphasis on boosting student access and success. 'The president’s proposal certainly fits into that category,' said Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges. 'This is an exciting day for the nation’s community colleges.' But among policymakers, analysts and college access advocates, the plan—known formally as America’s College Promise—drew skepticism about its workability and practicality. It also drew questions about the extent to which the plan would truly benefit the students who need it the most and why the president doesn’t focus more on finding ways to fund the Pell Grant program that helps low-income students pay for college."
- Greenwich Time, January 11, 2015: Report: State's poorest contribute more than richest to tax coffers
"Connecticut's poorest residents pay more than 20 percent of state tax revenue, nearly twice what top earners contribute. According to a new report by the state Department of Revenue Services, the 725,202 households that earn up to $48,000 a year generated $3.5 billion to state and local governments, while the 4,003 households with incomes of more than $2 million paid $1.9 billion."
- Honolulu Civil Beat, January 11, 2015: (Op-Ed) Is the Earned Income Tax Credit Really a Solution to Poverty?
"The federal Earned Income Tax Credit, enacted in 1975, has been called the most effective federal program for poverty relief. According to a report by the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, it lifts more families out of poverty than any other federal policy, and as a result, is linked to positive social outcomes such as improved education, increased participation in the work force leading to improved earnings and financial security, and better health (particularly for infants). In Hawaii, 110,000 returns claimed an aggregate credit of $239 million in 2013, or $2,175 per return."
- USA Today, January 10, 2015: The poorest county in each state
"In many of these counties, residents struggled with low educational attainment and limited job opportunities. In the five years through 2013, the percentage of adults who had attained at least a bachelor's degree was below the comparable national figure of 28.8% in 45 of the 50 counties. There were exceptions. In Washington and Wyoming's poorest counties, nearly half of the adult residents had attained at least a bachelor's degree."
- The Boston Globe, January 11, 2015: Savings program gives local students a head start on college
"FUEL — an acronym for the organization’s old name, Families United in Educational Leadership — is a Boston-based college savings program that matches within a certain range the amount each family saves for a student’s education. But it does much more than that, teaching low-income families — many of whom are immigrants — how to navigate the higher-education process, from finding the right school to paying for it. Through a series of monthly workshops, the program, which partners with schools and community organizations in Lynn, Chelsea, and Boston, focuses on helping the entire family, not just the student."
- Inside Higher Ed, January, 9, 2015: An Intimate Education
"In a policy climate enamored with technology and distance learning, the Freedom and Citizenship Program at Columbia University stands out for its commitment to books and teachers. For the past six years, low-income, mostly minority, high school students have arrived on Columbia University’s campus to take a three-week intensive seminar based on the Columbia College Core Curriculum. These students return to campus throughout the academic year to research a contemporary political issue, such as immigration and prison reform. As Casey Blake, the American studies professor who directs the program explains: 'The goal is not only to introduce the students to the centuries-old debate about the meaning of freedom and citizenship but also to prepare them for lives as active, engaged citizens.'"
- Newsday, January 9, 2015: State review of low-income utility programs may help PSEG customers
"Long Island ratepayers are expected to benefit from a new Public Service Commission review of programs to help low-income customers avoid electric service shutoffs, following a year in which more than 16,000 Long Islanders had their electricity turned off. At a commission hearing Thursday, the agency pointed to an increase in customers with overdue bills and an increase in terminations across the state in citing a need for improved programs to help those least able to afford soaring electric rates."
- The National Law Review, January 9, 2015: OIG Provides Leeway for Copay Assistance to Low-Income Patients
"Earlier this week the OIG released an advisory opinion stating that a nonprofit organization’s proposed arrangement to provide copayment assistance to financially needy patients would not result in civil monetary penalties or administrative sanctions, even though it could potentially generate prohibited remunerations under the anti-kickback statute."
- Columbus Business First, January 9, 2015: Homeport to invest $9M to renovate low-income apartments for seniors near OSU, Short North
"Homeport, a nonprofit housing developer, plans to renovate 59 low-income apartments for seniors and families in Columbus' Short North and the area around Ohio State University this year."
- Missourian, January 9, 2015: Low-income families encouraged to apply for refurbished computers
Low-income families with children can once again apply for a refurbished computer in the 12th annual Homes for Computers donation event next month. Columbia partners with the Voluntary Action Center and Downtown Optimist Club to provide unused or unwanted computers through the Homes for Computers program."
- Time, January 8, 2015: Obama Cuts Mortgage Insurance Premiums to Help Low-Income Home Buyers
"The White House announced on Wednesday plans to reduce government mortgage insurance premiums in an effort to make homeownership more affordable for low-income buyers. President Obama is scheduled to talk about the policy in a speech Thursday in Phoenix, Arizona."
- The Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2015: (Op-Ed) How ObamaCare Harms Low-Income Workers
"The primary purpose of the Affordable Care Act was to make health insurance affordable for people with modest incomes. Yet as the employer mandate begins to kick in for 2015, the law is already hurting some of the people it was intended to help. By this time next year, we may find that many workers who earn within a few dollars of the minimum wage have less income and less insurance coverage (as a group) than they did before the mandate began to take effect."
- Syracuse.com, January 8, 2015: Alarmed by rising utility shutoffs, NY regulators launch review of low-income assistance programs
"Responding to a sharp rise in the number of households that are unable to pay their utility bills, New York regulators today launched a proceeding to look at whether more can be done to help low-income customers. Some 291,278 customers -- more than one out of every 25 served by regulated utilities -- had utility service terminated this year as of Nov. 30, the state Public Service Commission reported. That's a 14 percent increase over the full year in 2013."
- Chattanooga Times Free Press, January 8, 2015: Haslam releases details of plan to help low-income Tennesseans get health coverage
"Gov. Bill Haslam's administration has released its detailed plan to expand the state's Medicaid program under what the governor calls 'market-driven' reforms that would help more than 200,000 low-income Tennesseans get health coverage."
- Lincoln Journal Star, January 8, 2015: Low-income women would get family planning and health services under bill
"A family-planning and preventive health screening for women is the subject of a bill introduced Thursday by Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist. The family-planning component would allow Nebraska to join a number of other states that provide family-planning services to low-income women."
- RH Reality Check, January 8, 2015: Medicaid Pay Bump Expires, Worsens Health Care Landscape for Low-Income Patients
"Many primary care doctors who see Medicaid patients this year will get a fee cut averaging nearly 43 percent, a drop that could threaten access to care for low-income Americans and the success of one of the Affordable Care Act’s key features. The Affordable Care Act, which has led to lower rates of uninsured U.S. residents over the past two years, expanded Medicaid by instituting changes to the public insurance’s eligibility criteria that are by now well known—for example, removing the federal ban on childless adults from the program and raising the annual income level over which people no longer qualify."
- Nation Swell, January 7, 2015: How Can One Nonprofit Solve Two Big Problems Facing Both Veterans and Low-Income Kids?
"Bob Kincaid, co-founder of the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Get Veterans Involved (GVI), has found that it’s possible to kill two birds with one stone. His nonprofit helps two groups — veterans who struggle when they return from service, and elementary school kids in need of mentors — at the same time. How is that possible? While veterans train for new jobs or attend college, the organization pays them to visit local elementary schools each week."
Community Action Agencies were established to fight the War on Poverty in 1964. Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership, located at 357 Constitution Way in Idaho Falls serves the nine eastern Idaho counties with services to help low-income individuals become independent and self-sufficient. EICAP is one of over 1,000 Community Action Agencies in the United States that provide services to every county in the nation.