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HHS OIG — Not All Children in Foster Care Who Were Enrolled in Medicaid Received Required Health Screenings

March 4, 2015 Comments off

Not All Children in Foster Care Who Were Enrolled in Medicaid Received Required Health Screenings
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General

Nearly a third of children in foster care who were enrolled in Medicaid did not receive at least one required health screening. Furthermore, just over a quarter of children in foster care who were enrolled in Medicaid received at least one required screening late. Moreover, ACF’s reviews do not ensure that children in foster care receive the required screenings according to State schedules.

Expanding Early Care and Education for Homeless Children

March 4, 2015 Comments off

Expanding Early Care and Education for Homeless Children
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families

Ensuring the early learning and development of our country’s youngest children is essential to ACF’s work. Supporting the well-being of these young children and their families is an urgent task and one that is critical to improving the long-term educational outcomes of children nationwide.

Several federal policies and programs are in place to strengthen the ability of early care and education (ECE) providers to serve young children experiencing homelessness. Whether you are in a Head Start program, early childhood program, or work at the state level on early childhood systems and services, the resources listed below will assist you in ensuring that these young children are prioritized for services that support their learning and development.

  • The Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Family Shelters is specifically designed to guide family shelter staff as they create a safe and developmentally appropriate environment for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
  • The Guide to Developmental and Behavioral Screening for housing and shelter providers addresses the importance of developmental and behavioral screening, how to talk to parents, where to go for help, and how to select the most appropriate screening tool for the population served as well as the provider implementing the screening.
  • The Early Childhood and Family Homelessness Resource List contains ACF resources and links to national organizations working to end homelessness.

Digital divide: Improving Internet access in the developing world through affordable services and diverse content

March 4, 2015 Comments off

Digital divide: Improving Internet access in the developing world through affordable services and diverse content
Source: Brookings Institution

In his latest paper, Darrell West argues that it is especially important to make progress on digital access, particularly in the cases of India and China. In these countries, an estimated 2 to 4 billion people have no Internet access, comprising over half of the world’s disconnected populace. Addressing barriers to connectivity in this part of the world will make it easier for the unconnected to use digital services, bring them into the technology era, and give them access to valuable tools for economic development and social integration.

From this research, it is clear that zero rating programs—waiving data caps for people who lack the financial resources for expensive data plans—represent effective ways to expand access by bringing impoverished people into a diverse and competitive digital world and drive demand for local content and services. These approaches help to address the affordability challenges that exist, especially in many parts of the developing world.

Policies that promote telecommunications competition help reduce access charges and thereby enable more people to use Internet services. And if people can access a wide range of digital content through multilingualism or their local languages, it will promote greater literacy and show people the social, economic, and civic benefits of Internet connectivity. With these kinds of changes, it is possible to narrow the digital divide and bring digital benefits to billions of people around the world.

Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States

March 4, 2015 Comments off

Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Immigration has a significant impact on many aspects of life in the United States, from the workforce and the classroom to communities across the country. As such, many seek to know more about those who were born abroad and now make their lives here, whether as naturalized citizens, legal permanent residents, refugees and asylees, international students and others on long-term temporary visas, or unauthorized immigrants. In 2013, approximately 41.3 million immigrants lived in the United States, an all-time high for a nation historically built on immigration. The United States remains a popular destination attracting about 20 percent of the world’s international migrants, even as it represents less than 5 percent of the global population. Immigrants accounted for 13 percent of the total 316 million U.S. residents; adding the U.S.-born children (of all ages) of immigrants means that approximately 80 million people, or one-quarter of the overall U.S. population, is either of the first or second generation.

This article seeks to provide the latest data in one easily accessible resource, bringing together some of the most frequently requested current and historical facts and figures about immigrants and immigration in the United States. It answers questions such as: How do today’s top source countries compare to those 50 years ago? How many visas does the Department of State issue? How many people gained green cards last year? How many unauthorized immigrants are in the United States? How many children live with immigrant parents? What jobs do immigrants hold? How many unauthorized migrants have been deported?

The Power of the Purse: The Contributions of Hispanics to America’s Spending Power and Tax Revenues in 2013

March 3, 2015 Comments off

The Power of the Purse: The Contributions of Hispanics to America’s Spending Power and Tax Revenues in 2013
Source: Partnership for a New American Economy

The Partnership for a New American Economy’s new report, “The Power of the Purse: The Contributions of Hispanics to America’s Spending Power and Tax Revenues in 2013,” highlights the important role that both native and foreign-born Hispanics play as consumers and taxpayers, as well as their contributions to Medicare and Social Security programs.

Key findings include:

  • Hispanic households, both native and foreign-born, account for a large portion of America’s overall spending power. In 2013, Hispanics had an estimated after-tax income of more than $605 billion. That figure is equivalent to almost one out of every 
10 dollars of disposable income held in the United States that year. Foreign-born Hispanic households made up a sizeable portion of that figure: We estimate their spending power totaled $287 billion that year.
  • The growing earnings of Hispanic households have made them major contributors to U.S. tax revenue. In 2013, Hispanic households contributed more than $190 billion to U.S. tax revenues as a whole, including almost $67 billion in state and local tax payments. Of this, foreign-born Hispanics contributed more than $86 billion in tax revenues nationwide. That included almost $32 billion in state and local taxes and more than $54 billion in taxes to the federal government.
  • In some states, Hispanics now account for a large percentage of spending power and tax revenues overall. In both Texas and California, Hispanic households had more than $100 billion in after-tax income in 2013, accounting for more than one of every five dollars available to spend in each state that year. In Arizona, a state with a rapidly growing Hispanic population, their earnings after taxes accounted for almost one-sixth of the spending power in the state. In Florida, Hispanics contributed more than one out of every six dollars in tax revenue paid by residents of the state.
  • Hispanics, and foreign-born Hispanics in particular, play an important role sustaining America’s Medicare and Social Security programs. In 2013, Hispanic households contributed more than $98 billion to Social Security and almost $23 billion to the Medicare’s core trust fund. Foreign-born Hispanics in particular contributed more than $46 billion to Social Security, while paying in more than $10 billion to the Medicare program. Past studies have indicated that in Medicare in particular, immigrants draw down far less than they put in to the trust fund each year, making such tax contributions particularly valuable.

Older Women Workers and Economic Security

March 3, 2015 Comments off

Older Women Workers and Economic Security (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau

How and why does the gender wage gap vary by age? How do earnings for older women differ by race and ethnicity? What is the impact of the gender wage gap and caregiving responsibilities on women’s lifetime earnings and their retirement savings? What can be done to tackle the gender wage gap and improve women’s lifetime earnings?

Legalized Tax Fraud: How Top US Corporations Continue to Profit Through Offshore Tax Havens

March 3, 2015 Comments off

Legalized Tax Fraud: How Top US Corporations Continue to Profit Through Offshore Tax Havens
Source: U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget (Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, today called on America’s leading corporations to stop sheltering profits in the Cayman Islands and other offshore tax havens. He also urged them to stop lobbying Congress for additional tax breaks as the Business Roundtable, an organization representing some of the largest corporations in the country, is expected to do tomorrow.

Sanders issued a new report that provides a fresh glimpse into the far-reaching corporate tax avoidance strategies of large and profitable companies represented by the Business Roundtable, including what he calls the “legalized tax fraud” of sheltering profits in offshore tax havens.

The report shows for the first time how more than 50 percent of the companies represented by the Business Roundtable are collectively holding more than $1 trillion in profits in offshore tax haven countries where it is not subject to U.S. taxes.

The report also shows that several of the companies have been profitable for years but pay nowhere near the 35 percent income tax rate that nominally applies to corporate profits. In fact, according to a report last year by the Government Accountability Office, the effective tax rate for large, profitable corporations was just 12.6 percent in 2010, a figure that Sanders is asking the GAO to update today. The report also points out that a number of huge corporations – including General Electric, Boeing, Duke Energy and Verizon – not only have paid nothing in federal income tax in recent years, they received refunds from the IRS.

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