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Federal income taxes: “They don’t take them to be mean.”

April 2, 2013
A few weeks ago I spent the morning at Jackson Street Elementary School in Northampton, Massachusetts. My daughter is enrolled at Jackson Street in Jen Reed’s Kindergarten class, where I’ve – happily – volunteered in the past. But during this last visit I was with the “big kids” – the fifth graders. My host was Mary Cowhey, Jackson Street’s Title I math instructor. Mary asked me to teach about the federal budget in order to build students’ math and civic capacity. After all, there are a lot of “big numbers” in our nation’s budget and you and I are intimately connected with all of them. In a...
Jo Comerford's picture

#DemocracyDay with Rock the Vote!

March 22, 2013
Many people forget that young people rallied for and fought hard to lower the voting age to 18-years-old. On March 23, 1971, this demand became a reality; Congress proposed the 26th Amendment, which lowered the minimum voting age to 18, and a majority of states ratified it soon after. Today Rock the Vote, educators, politicians, and students commemorate the anniversary of the 26th Amendment with Democracy Day. Our annual Democracy Day celebration not only celebrates the passage of the 26th Amendment, but also recognizes Rock the Vote’s Democracy Class program. Democracy Class is a 45-minute...
Caitlin Maguire's picture

Congresswomen Hold Press Conference on How the Ryan Budget Would Impact Women

March 20, 2013
Yesterday I had the opportunity to take part in a press conference held by several Congresswomen on what the budget proposed by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) would do to women and their families (that’s me standing in front of the flag!). We’ve previously highlighted the ways the Ryan budget would harm women , like dismantling Medicaid and repealing the ACA; deeply cutting funding for programs like child care, Head Start, education and job training; and providing lavish tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations. The event, held by Representatives Donna F. Edwards (D-MD), Doris...
Katherine Gallagher Robbins's picture

Why I Like Paul Ryan, But Not His Budget

March 20, 2013
Years ago, I attended an event on economic policy where now-Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), was speaking. After the event, I introduced myself to him and shared that I was a former Hill staffer. I told him that, while I disagreed with nearly everything he had said regarding economic policy, I knew from a mutual friend that he was still a good guy. His response was pure Paul Ryan: he threw his head back and laughed. That was the day I joined the Paul Ryan Fan Club. While I don’t agree with him on policy issues, any elected official who can laugh with a...
Randi Schmidt's picture

Immunizing our Viejitos for Democracy!

February 6, 2013
While traditional political campaigns were out knocking on doors this autumn to get out the vote, health care providers in one of America’s poorest (and most remote rural, Hispanic, Native American) counties tried a novel approach to civic participation: we vaccinated thousands of our elders for democracy. Rio Arriba County covers a geographic area the size of Massachusetts, but claims only 41,000 residents: approximately seven people per square mile. Ten to twelve thousand foot peaks make roads impassible in inclement weather. Many of Rio Arriba’s elders are retired subsistence farmers and...
Lauren Reichelt's picture

No Teachers With Guns, No Police in Schools

January 12, 2013
On December 30, 2012, President Obama said he doubted arming school police with guns will prevent future school shootings , but then January 11, 2013's EdWeek hints that he may yield to local law enforcement officers and communities if it has "bipartisan" support. While President Barack Obama said recently that he would be skeptical that more guns would be an answer to school safety , his administration is considering paying to add police officers to secure public schools, in part because it may be an area of agreement among lawmakers of all stripes. SIGN THE K12NN PETITION TO DROP THIS VERY...
Cynthia Liu's picture

We Can Avoid the "Fiscal Cliff" Without Turning Our Backs on Our Most Vulnerable

December 4, 2012
Like most voters, Latinos cited jobs and the economy as their greatest concern in the days leading up to the election . The pressing importance of these issues led to an historic turnout of Hispanic voters in the 2012 election and overwhelming support for President Obama’s reelection. In the post-election period, Latinos are looking to our nation’s leadership to pursue policies that spur economic growth and keep us on the path to recovery. That progress, however, will be in jeopardy if our nation falls off the dreaded fiscal cliff on January 2, 2013, the day that deep spending cuts...
Janet Murguia's picture

Girls Rule.

November 15, 2012
Ladies, we are having a very good year. This election, a record number of women—binders and binders full of them—ran for office, and…best of all… won . In the new Congress, we will have 20 female Senators, up from 17. We will have the first openly gay senator, Tammy Baldwin, in Wisconsin. We will have the first Asian-American woman in the Senate, Mazie Hirono, and the first Hindu in Congress, Tulsi Gabbard. Last I checked, 81 women had been elected to the House, while a few races were still being counted. New Hampshire will have the nation's first all-female delegation. (Feel free to express...
Katrina Alcorn's picture

Federal Cuts to Education? We Say Kids, Not Cuts

November 15, 2012
My home state is California, and we just successfully survived our own state version of the "fiscal cliff" when it comes to education. Here, they were called the "trigger cuts." If Proposition 30 -- essentially part of the June 30, 2012 budget passed by the legislature that needed the people's thumbs up at the ballot box -- hadn't gotten that thumb's up, K-14 education would've seen $6 billion in "trigger cuts" starting in January, 2013. In our state alone. It was a nailbiter. I advised everyone to hedge their bets with a Yes on 30-38-39 vote (as did State Superintendent of Instruction Tom...
Cynthia Liu's picture

Post-Election 2012– Teaching Kids How to Respectfully Disagree

November 7, 2012
This morning, amidst the windy chill before the season’s first snow, the children standing in line at our neighborhood bus stop kept warm as they kicked around one topic of banter among them: politics. It started when one very vocal boy said “I’m so mad Romney lost. I hate Obama.” Then a girl chimed in, “He’s the only person in the world named ‘Barack.’” Timidly, a younger boy added, “I’m glad about Obama.” Then the opinions really started flying between the children, as the big yellow elementary school bus pulled up to our corner. The spirited, but not unique, conversation got me thinking...
Homa Tavangar's picture

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