Below is the latest America Forward “Tip Sheet,” a weekly update on Federal activity related to education, workforce development, and other priorities of the America Forward Coalition.
Update: Subsidized Employment Legislation in the Senate
Last week, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Jobs for Economic Recovery Act, major new subsidized employment legislation to spur economic recovery by funding six months of wages and benefits for eligible individuals in new jobs.
America Forward, in coordination with REDF, YearUp, Roca, Per Scholas, Results for America, and other Coalition members and partners, engaged all five of these Senate offices over the past two months to push for legislation. We’re encouraged to share these Senate offices took many of our proposed edits; our collective feedback helped make the bill substantially better for evidence-based and outcome-oriented approaches, and mission-driven businesses and nonprofits (“employment social enterprises” such as Goodwill, YearUp, Roca and many others) that specifically employ and train individuals with barriers to employment.
We signed a letter supporting the new legislation, along with several other members of the Coalition, which you can review here. We hope Congress will enact a version of this proposal as part of a broader economic recovery package.
From the Coalition
National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD): Young Adult Leadership Council
NCLD is recruiting young leaders with learning and attention issues to join their Young Adult Leadership Council — a 2-year leadership fellowship that harnesses the power and voices of young advocates with the shared goal to improve the lives of the 1 in 5 people with learning disabilities and attention issues.
Learn more at: https://ncld.org/yalc.
Opinion: Reimagining Education Means Closing the Digital Divide
Teach for America CEO Elisa Villanueva Beard writes about the inequities that COVID-19 has laid bare, the barriers to education facing students across the country, and what is needed to successfully realize virtual learning, in Education and Career News: “This is a moment where we can build something different for kids. It’s not just an opportunity, it’s an obligation to rethink education and reimagine what’s next. There are three actions we can take now.” Read her full piece here.
Opinion: Black Americans are carrying a heavy burden, and we could use your help with the load
Rea Foster, Executive Director of Teach For America Dallas-Fort Worth, writes about carrying the weight of this moment, and what we can all do to lend a hand, in the Dallas Morning News: “You can take some of the burden for the black people you love by having that difficult and uncomfortable conversation. Talk about race — yes with the people who don’t look like you, but more importantly, with the people who do.” Read her full piece here.
Opinion: Teachers Are Living in a Tinderbox of Stressful Conditions. These Scientific Approaches Can Help.
Sheila Ohlsson Walker, Senior Scientist at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, a Visiting Professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, and former Turnaround for Children Board member, makes the case for constructing optimal, positive learning environments for not only students, but teachers as well, in EdSurge: “To do this, we look to science, which tells an optimistic story about the powerful levers at our disposal to optimize brain health, physical health and well-being at any point in the life span.” Read her full piece here.
Opinion: Youth protesting racism are the civic educators the nation needs
Generation Citizen’s Andrew Wilkes, Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy, addresses the importance of protesting and the spectrum of civic engagement in The Fulcrum: “Young people participating in protests are not uninformed civic participants. Instead, we should see them as innovators within a deeply American civic tradition, calling the country to actualize its potential as an equitable democracy and to undo its ingrained practices of structural racism.” Read his full piece here.
Opinion: 6 Ways to Advocate for Racial Justice From Home
Phyllis Segal, Vice President at Encore.org, writes about ways to take action and advocate for a better world, in Next Avenue: “Like so many others, I’m taking time to learn about the history of race in America, history that neither my children nor I were ever taught in school. But I also feel compelled to take action.” Read her full piece here.
Opinion: Nurse-Family Partnership stands with Minnesota moms to fight COVID, racism, poverty
Jim Welsch, co-chair of the Minnesota Nurse-Family Partnership Community Advisory Board, writes about the critical work of Nurse-Family Partnership nurses supporting first-time, low-income moms as they navigate the convergence of public health crises, in MinnPost: “For nearly 20 years, NFP nurses in Minnesota have been quietly competent. Now, they are on the front lines, bringing their extraordinary interpersonal and professional skills to the sometimes-overwhelming challenges that have affected every Minnesotan.” Read his full piece here.
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