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PPC Joins WITF Smart Talk Road Trip to York County School of Technology 

During CTE month, PPC was a proud sponsor of a special WITF Smart Talk Road Trip, broadcasting live from the York County School of Technology last week.

More than 200 students from career and technical centers across the region were in attendance and engaged in the discussion to ask questions about their education and future. Not every student chooses the same path after graduation, but it was clear listening to students who participated on the panel and the audience that the CTE path is the right option for them.

The experience underscored our commitment to advocating for this crucial component of K-12 education in Pennsylvania. More students need access to career and technical education, which is why we're advocating for an additional $25 million in this year's state budget to support CTE.

Catch the entire broadcast, and learn more about CTE in Pennsylvania by reading our latest report.


Federal Stopgap Budget Passes, Full Spending Plan Passage Looks Bleak

The U.S. Senate passed, and President Biden signed a continuing budget resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through March 11 – the third such passed by Congress since the start of the 2022 fiscal year. The continued reliance on short-term budget resolutions means the Biden Administration must operate under the budget of the previous administration passed in December of 2020. Unlike the budget reconciliation process, which requires only a majority of Senate votes to pass, appropriations legislation to set the federal budget needs 60 votes in the Senate. Hyper partisanship and a focus on foreign affairs have set President Biden's social spending plan, the Build Back Better Act, on the back burner while Congress also seeks to address the pandemic and inflationary issues at home.

We continue to work with our national partners on the next steps, including whether critical pieces of the Build Back Better Act on child care, pre-k, and child and maternal health will move forward in Congress as individual pieces of legislation or amended into smaller packages of bills.

President Biden will present his first State of the Union address tonight, where he will address the top issues facing Americans and describe his proposals to solve those problems.


Thriving PA Spotlight: WIC

Thriving PA's policy priorities include ensuring children have access to nutrition for their growing bodies and minds. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a key component to ensuring infants and toddlers, and pregnant and postpartum mothers have access to healthy nutrition.

Watch the campaign's latest video – participation in Pennsylvania's WIC program has declined significantly in recent years, and Thriving PA is working to reverse that trend. By increasing participation in the WIC program, children and families across the commonwealth will have more access to the nutritional supports they need to thrive.

Learn more at ThrivingPA.org, and follow the campaign on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter


Register For a Virtual Conversation on Modernizing WIC

Please join us for a virtual conversation featuring health care providers and policy and research experts on March 16 from 12-1 p.m, Optimizing Family Health Through WIC Modernization, focusing on improving WIC policy in the commonwealth.

Hosted by PolicyLab at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Thriving PA, panelists will include: 

  • Brian Dittmeier, JD, senior director of public policy at the National WIC Association
  • Berry Kelly, MBA, director of the Bureau of Community Nutrition Services (CNS) and State WIC director at the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control
  • Laura Stephany, MPPM, health policy manager at Allies for Children
  • Aditi Vasan, MD, MSHP, faculty member at PolicyLab and pediatrician and health services researcher at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
  • Danielle Cullen, MD, MPH, MSHP, faculty member at PolicyLab and assistant professor of pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine at CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine (moderator)

Learn more and register today!


In Case You Missed It...

  • Last week our partners at the Georgetown Center for Children and Families recently released a report, Millions of Children May Lose Medicaid: What Can Be Done to Help Prevent Them from Becoming Uninsured?, about the implications of the end of the Public Health Emergency and with it, the disenrollment freeze for Medicaid that has been in place since the beginning of the pandemic. Nationally, about half of the child population now has their health insurance coverage through Medicaid or CHIP (in Pennsylvania, this number is just about 46%). The report estimates that at least 6.7 million children are likely to lose their Medicaid coverage and are at considerable risk of becoming uninsured for some time. However, states can be taking steps now to prepare in advance for the eligibility redetermination process that will need to occur. Learn more about PPC's advocacy on this issue in our recently-released Medicaid and CHIP enrollment fact sheets by congressional, PA House, and PA Senate districts.
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Education indicates scores for the 2020-21 school year on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSAs) are to be released this week – likely Thursday, March 3, months after they were expected to be posted in the fall of 2021. After foregoing the exams in the spring of 2020, districts were given flexibility last school year with the option of administering them either during the standard spring timeframe or when school resumed this fall – by September 30, 2021. Flexibility was also given in waiving the student requirement to take the PSSAs. The department has indicated that only about 71% of students took the exam for the 2020-21 school year compared to a 97% rate during typical years. House Republican leadership has been pressuring the department to release the scores, despite concerns that the results might not be valid or representative. Stay tuned for more detail in our next e-news edition.
  • PPC's policy director Rachael Miller discusses our recently-released State of Child Welfare report with the York Daily Record. Often, child welfare calls are related to poverty issues, not abuse. More federal and state funding is needed to ease these burdens and prevent government intervention before it's required.
  • A Capitolwire story on Governor Wolf's child welfare budget proposal quoted PPC President and CEO Kari King saying the proposed targeted investments from the administration can support children and families in the long term after one-time federal COVID-19 pandemic stimulus funds are gone.
  • The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) released its new field survey brief: Saved But Not Solved: America's Economy Needs Congress to Fund Child Care. Key findings include two-thirds of respondents have experienced a staffing shortage affecting their ability to serve families with 52% of those with staffing shortages being forced to serve fewer children. State-specific data is expected to be released later in March.
  • Start Strong PA and Trying Together recently released Policy Brief: Overview of Non-Traditional Hour Child Care, which highlights the need in the child care sector to find policy solutions that include non-traditional hour care (NTH) to help families working NTH access high-quality care for their children.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
200 North Third Street 13th Floor
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
(717) 236-5680

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