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Policy group: Lawmakers should boost family aid, child care, education support

By: - January 8, 2020 11:42 am

In a new report, Iowa Policy Project calls on lawmakers to strengthen several key programs to help low-income families make ends meet and train for jobs.

IPP said its previous studies have shown showed about one in five working families in Iowa don’t make enough to pay for basic needs. The new report, “Strengthening Pathways to the Middle Class: The Role of Work Supports,” calls on lawmakers to:

  • Change Iowa’s Child Care Assistance program to make sure low-wage workers who get a raise or a promotion don’t lose child care aid. This is called the “cliff effect” and lawmakers in both parties have mentioned it as a serious issue they hope to address.
  • Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to support low-wage worker and reduce poverty.
  • Expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to cushion the loss of Child Care Assistance.
  • Expand of the universal preschool program.
  • Increase state supplemental aid, which has averaged 1.8% per-pupil spending growth from FY2011-20.
  • Limit tuition growth and increase state support of the community colleges and regents institutions.

The Iowa Policy Project was founded by former Democratic state Rep. David Osterberg and former Iowa Federation of Labor president Mark Smith.

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