ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY


Many Texans are poor, not because they don't work, but because their work pays too little to raise a family out of poverty. To ensure economic prosperity, Texas public policy must support work, make work pay, and help families build their assets. The most important thing the state can do to enhance economic opportunity is to invest in public education—from early childhood education all the way through higher education.

Recent Economic Opportunity Publications

Texas Lacks Foundation for Long-Term Economic Success (12/18/2002)

The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) has just released its annual Development Report Card for the States, which assesses state economic development capacity. Texas received poor marks in its economic performance and its capacity for future development. CFED warned against the temptation to cut programs as a quick fix for budget problems and recommended continued investment in the economic fundamentals needed for long-term gains.

Policy Page - Proposed Rule Changes Could Limit Child Care for Working Poor Families and the Parents of Disabled Children (12/2/2002)

Proposed amendments to the Texas Workforce Commission's (TWC) child care rules require that low-income parents and the parents of disabled children work at least 36 hours per week to be eligible for a child care subsidy. This major policy change does not reflect the realities facing many working poor Texans who are unable to find a full-time job in a period of economic downturn and places an undue burden on parents of disabled children.

Texas Communities Speak Out on Child Care (10/22/2002)

The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) of Texas recently distributed a community survey to child care advocates across Texas. CDF requested that the Center for Public Policy Priorities(CPPP) analyze the survey and present our conclusions at CDF's Child Care: Because We All Do conference on October 23, 2002 in San Antonio. CPPP's comments on the survey and its findings are included in this Policy Page.

CPPP Comments TWC Sunset (06/26/2002)

Now is the last chance to make your voice heard about Sunset's review of this important state agency.

TANF/Child Care Reauthorization Moves to U.S. Senate (06/20/2002)

Texas' Senators and Senate Finance Committee members need to hear from YOU about the reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant and the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF).

The Texas Child Care Challenge Part III: Child Care Quality (05/23/2002)

This Policy Page is the third in a four-part series summarizing a new report, "The Texas Child Care Experience Since 1996: Implications for Federal and State Policy" that was released in March 2002 by the Center for Public Policy Priorities and the national Center on Law and Social Policy (www.clasp.org). This series and the larger report are part of CPPP's effort to add a Texas perspective to debates concerning Congressional reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) in 2002. This Policy Page will examine variations in child care policies across local workforce development boards. Previous Policy Pages examined funding and access and local control of child care in Texas. The last Policy Page in this series will provide insight into the role and impact of locally generated child care matching funds.

Funding Public Education: Alternative Revenue Sources (05/9/2002)

Testimony before the Joint Select Committee on Public School Finance.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Comment Period Until June 30 (05/2/2002)

The United States Department of Labor is soliciting comments on implementation of the Workforce Investment Act. DOL is particularly interested in the effectiveness of One-Stop centers and the integration of WIA and TANF programs.

Comments Being Heard on TWC Sunset (03/4/2002)

The Texas Workforce Commission and local workforce development boards are under Sunset review. Now is the time to add your perspectives and ideas.

Making Work Pay: The Earned Income Credit (02/19/2002)

The Earned Income Credit (EIC) is a special tax benefit for working people who earn low or moderate incomes. The EIC reduces the tax burden on these workers, supplements their wages, and supports a transition from welfare to work. Workers who qualify for the EIC can get back some or all of the federal income tax taken out of their pay during the year and even get some additional cash. Workers whose earnings are too low to have paid taxes can still get the EIC. Annual benefits can be as large as $4,008, but only about 80 percent of those eligible actually claim the credit. The Child Tax Credit now works towards a similar endâ€"reducing the tax burden of parents by up to $600 annually per qualifying child. Any remainder is then refundable to the parent.

The Texas Child Care Challenge Part II (02/15/2002)

This Policy Page is the second in a four-part series summarizing a new report, "The Texas Child Care Experience Since 1996: Implications for Federal and State Policy" to be released in March 2002 by the Center for Public Policy Priorities and the national Center on Law and Social Policy (www.clasp.org). This series and the larger report are part of CPPP's effort to add a Texas perspective to debates concerning Congressional reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) in 2002. This Policy Page will examine variations in child care policies across local workforce development boards. A previous Policy Page examined child care funding and access in Texas. The two remaining Policy Pages in this series will provide insight into the importance of child care quality and the increasingly important role played by locally generated child care match.

The Texas Child Care Challenge -- Part I: Funding and Access (01/30/2002)

This Policy Page is the first in a four-part series summarizing a new report, "The Texas Child Care Experience Since 1996: Implications for Federal and State Policy" to be released in March 2002 by the Center for Public Policy Priorities and the national Center on Law and Social Policy (www.clasp.org). This series and the larger report are part of CPPP's effort to add a Texas perspective to debates concerning Congressional reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) in 2002. This Policy Page will examine child care funding and access in Texas. Subsequent Policy Pages in this series will discuss variations in child care policies across local workforce development areas, locally generated child care match, and the importance of child care quality.

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