Student loans

Many Californians may struggle with student loans when repayment break ends – Lake County Record-Bee

Nearly 545,000 Californians could struggle to repay their student loans when the federal pause on such payments ends May 1, the Sacramento Bee reported Wednesday.

Based on a California Policy Lab study, the Bee reported that those likely to be at risk when the break ends are people who were “defaulted or defaulted on a loan during the year prior to the break, or if they were in default on an ineligible loan break during the break period.”

The repayment break has helped these borrowers weather the pandemic, the newspaper reported. “Clearly, the pause in student loan repayments has worked,” Dalié Jiménez, director of the Student Loan Law Initiative at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, told Abeille.

President Joe Biden is reportedly considering extending the hiatus for the fourth time.

—EdSource staff

Millions of children fall back into poverty as Covid-era relief expires, experts say

The social safety net that supports families during the pandemic is unraveling, USA Today reported.

The expanded child tax credits, which gave parents up to $300 a month per child, died months after Congress voted against extending them. And despite lobbying efforts, the latest spending plan excludes a provision that had allowed all schools to provide universal free meals. Budget cuts are already taking their toll, research shows, as inflation rises and many parents and schools struggle to meet their children’s basic needs.

For all its turbulence, the pandemic has actually been a time of historic declines in child poverty due to the strong social safety net, said Megan Curran, director of policy at the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at the University of Columbia, as reported by USA Today. But as those programs ended, so did the earnings.

A month after the enhanced Child Tax Credit expired, 3.7 million children fell into poverty, according to research by Curran and his team. The child poverty rate rose from 12.1% in December 2021 to 17% the following month, an increase of 41%. Black and Hispanic children have experienced the largest increases in poverty. February figures, released on Tuesday, show a continuation of this trend: 16.7% of children remained in poverty.

The most common item purchased with the monthly payments, by low- and middle-income families, was food. After just two months of payments last summer, the number of adults saying their children were hungry has dropped by millions.

—Karen D’Souza

Parents could earn billions more if Congress helps them get back to work, study finds

Affordable child care and universal pre-kindergarten could be a boon for the economy and for parents’ wallets — if Democrats ever get to pass it, Business Insider reports.

That’s according to a new study by progressive think tank The Century Foundation, assessing the potential impact of the Democrats’ proposed legislation. The Build Back Better Act would enact universal pre-kindergarten for 3- and 4-year-olds in America and pump billions into reducing child care costs.

According to the study, 3 million more parents would enter the workforce or increase their working hours, as Business Insider reports. Mothers, who have been hardest hit by pandemic-era work constraints, would get the biggest boost.

“Women are unable to respond to the ‘help wanted’ ad if they don’t have stable, affordable childcare, because they know they can’t be reliable, productive employees,” previously said Gina Raimondo, US Secretary of Commerce. Initiated. “So they’re not applying for those jobs.”

The return of these parents would lead to a boom in economic productivity – the output of parents would increase by $48 billion a year, according to the report.

—Karen D’Souza