Obama Wants to Expand Failing Head Start Program

President Obama’s fiscal year 2016 budget proposal includes an expansion of the Head Start program that aims to provide early childhood education for low-income families.

“The Budget expands access to high-quality care for tens of thousands of additional infants and toddlers through Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, and provides over $1 billion in additional funding for Head Start to make sure children are served in full-day, full-year programs that research shows lead to better outcomes for children,” according to a White House fact sheetof the budget.

However, a 2012 study by the Department of Health and Human Services does not support the administration’s claim that Head Start helps children. There were some initial benefits for participating children, but their gains were erased by the time the children reached third grade. Developmental domains, elementary school experiences, health and language development all failed to see widespread gains by the third grade.

“In summary, there were initial positive impacts from having access to Head Start, but by the end of 3rd grade there were very few impacts found for either cohort in any of the four domains of cognitive, social-emotional, health and parenting practices,” the study said. “The few impacts that were found did not show a clear pattern of favorable or unfavorable impacts for children.”

Read the rest at The Washington Examiner…

Advocate Jared Quoted by One News Now on the Minimum Wage

Advocate Jared Meyer was quoted by One News Now on the minimum wage’s effect on unemployment.

“The real minimum wage is zero dollars an hour, because businesses can always choose to not employ workers anymore or not expand,” he points out. “So increasing the minimum wage, though it’s often done with the best of intentions, harms low-skilled or young workers the most.”

You can find the full piece here.

If you’d like to book Jared or any other Advocate, please contact Young Voices.

How Uber Saves Lives

This weekend, after boozy Super Bowl parties, people will have more options to get home safely because of rideshare companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar.

A new report issued by Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving shows that booming ridesharing services are not just convenient and affordable — they are lifesavers. Opponents of ridesharing will now have a more difficult time claiming that it puts the public at risk.

Ridesharing saves lives because people use it as a designated driver (drivers who partner with the companies are held to strict zero-tolerance alcohol policies) instead of trying to drive themselves home after they have had too much to drink. As the report states, “when people have more options, they make better, safer choices.” In a survey of 807 individuals conducted by Benenson Strategy Group, 88 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that “Uber has made it easier for me to avoid driving home when I’ve had too much to drink,” and 78 percent said Uber has made it less likely that their friends drive after drinking.

The survey results are supported by other data. Uber’s entry into Seattle was associated with a 10 percent decrease in drunk driving arrests. Controlling for outside factors, after uberX launched in cities across California, monthly alcohol-related crashes decreased by 6.5 percent among drivers under 30 (59 fewer crashes per month). This decline was not observed in California markets without uberX. When drunk driving decreases, it benefits everyone who shares the road.

The report shows that demand for Uber rides peaks right around bar close, the same time drunk driving accidents reach their highest levels. To ensure that everyone has access to a safe trip home, rideshare companies use dynamic pricing to better match the supply of drivers with the demand for rides. Though many detest this business model, which increases prices when demand exceeds supply, it is crucial to enticing more drivers to get out on the road during times of high demand.

Read the rest at the Washington Examiner…