Tag: Children’s Action Alliance

Children’s Action Alliance — Essential workers making poverty wages

| March 2, 2021
Children’s Action Alliance — Essential workers making poverty wages

While the state of Arizona is making strides toward increasing teacher pay, one group has been noticeably left behind, early childhood educators. A new report out by the Berkeley Center for the Study of Child Care Employment highlights that early childhood educators in Arizona are still lagging far behind. The field is largely made up of women and often women of color, and despite the fact that we ask them to provide care to our most vulnerable citizens, they often make poverty wages. During the COVID pandemic, it has become clear that child care is an essential service, yet the policy response at the state and federal level has largely ignored the educators themselves. Unfortunately, this was an existing problem that has only been made worse in the last 12 months. According to the report “The burden of school closures and parents continuing to work falls on child care providers. We need to be properly recognized through appropriate funding, PPE, and support systems. The government is largely ignoring the particularly unique burden that is put on child care during this pandemic.” 

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Children’s Action Alliance — Healthcare.gov will re-open for a special enrollment period

| February 9, 2021
Children’s Action Alliance — Healthcare.gov will re-open for a special enrollment period

The Biden administration has announced that it will reopen the federal ACA Marketplace for a special enrollment period in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. From February 15 to May 15, Arizonans will be able to shop for affordable, comprehensive health insurance coverage at healthcare.gov.  

The Affordable Care Act Marketplace (or “exchange”) serves as a critical source of health coverage for Arizona families. In 2020, over 153,000 Arizonans enrolled in health care through the Marketplace.  

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Children’s Action Alliance — Urge Senate Education Committee to support SB1376 for Youth Mental Health Programs

| February 2, 2021
Children’s Action Alliance — Urge Senate Education Committee to support SB1376 for Youth Mental Health Programs

More and more states are requiring mental health education in schools as young people are increasingly vulnerable to depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental illness. Today, Arizona has an opportunity to join the movement with SB1376 and to help more students – students like Briana.

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Children’s Action Alliance — Governor Ducey’s proposed budget – The good, the bad and more tax cuts

| February 2, 2021
Children’s Action Alliance — Governor Ducey’s proposed budget – The good, the bad and more tax cuts

Last spring when the COVID pandemic began, the legislature passed a basic “skinny budget” so they could rapidly end the legislative session and return home. At that time, with large portions of the economy shutting down and thousands of Arizonans losing their jobs, state budget experts were predicting a $1.1 billion shortfall for the fiscal year and an even larger shortfall for the coming fiscal year. But, unexpectedly, instead of ending fiscal year 2020 with a shortfall, the state’s ending balance was more than $370 million. This was largely due to an infusion of federal dollars, including about $396 million in federal COVID relief dollars that Governor Ducey used to pay for state agency operations that normally would be paid with state general fund dollars. Increased federal unemployment payments and two rounds of stimulus checks also contributed to what the governor’s budget projects is a $1.1 billion ending cash balance for the current fiscal year and a projected $923 million revenue surplus, after the governor’s spending proposal, for the coming fiscal year.  

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Children’s Action Alliance — Latest Stimulus Bill Provides Much-Needed COVID Relief for Transition Aged Foster Youth

| January 26, 2021
Children’s Action Alliance — Latest Stimulus Bill Provides Much-Needed COVID Relief for Transition Aged Foster Youth

Thanks to the advocacy of thousands of young leaders throughout the nation, including Fostering Advocates Arizona, the latest federal stimulus package, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, contains much-needed COVID relief for young people transitioning from foster care.

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Children’s Action Alliance — State of the State

| January 12, 2021
Children’s Action Alliance — State of the State

This week, the Arizona legislature begins its work for the year at a time when many Arizona children and families are struggling to meet their basic needs during this health and economic crisis. Recently released data by the U.S. Census Bureau shows 1 in 6 Arizona households with children (16%) said they had only slight confidence or no confidence at all that they would be able to make their next rent or mortgage payment on time. Increasing numbers of Arizona households with children are also reporting they do not have health insurance and/or do not have enough food to eat, and communities of color are disproportionately suffering.

That is why it will be so critical for lawmakers to focus their work on helping families achieve financial stability, and keeping children healthy and safe during these difficult times.

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Children’s Action Alliance — Brighter days ahead

| December 29, 2020
Children’s Action Alliance — Brighter days ahead

With the kind of year 2020 has been, the Children’s Action Alliance team and I want to focus on brighter days ahead. Our thoughts continue to be with everyone who has been impacted by the COVID pandemic and economic downturn; especially families who are struggling to meet their basic housing, food, and health care needs. We have hope for a brighter future as we look back on the things, you and CAA have accomplished this year.

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Children’s Action Alliance — It’s Time for Arizona to Step Up for Kin, During the Pandemic and Beyond

| December 22, 2020
Children’s Action Alliance — It’s Time for Arizona to Step Up for Kin, During the Pandemic and Beyond

Kinship families are the backbone of Arizona’s child welfare system and kinship families are struggling. These two statements have never been truer than they are today in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Each year in Arizona, thousands of relatives provide loving homes for children in foster care, and many, many more step-in to care for children informally and prevent their entry into foster care.

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Children’s Action Alliance — Arizona’s drop in K-12 enrollment could mean lost funding for public schools

| December 22, 2020
Children’s Action Alliance — Arizona’s drop in K-12 enrollment could mean lost funding for public schools

Arizona Department of Education reported 50,000 fewer students attending public schools than last year. This number far exceeds the number of families who have formally opted for homeschooling for 2020-2021. The unfortunate reality is that many children may not be in school at all during the pandemic. Losing a year or more of education has significant consequences, both for the students and the public schools they attended.

Students in Arizona who are impacted by deep economic and racial disparities are now experiencing compounding gaps in learning. Studies have shown, educational attainment, particularly in childhood, is crucial for long-term success. The pandemic will affect Arizona’s children’s long-term economic well-being, and by extension, the Arizona economy as a whole.

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Children’s Action Alliance — Urging lawmakers for safety at and access to the state Capitol in 2021

| December 8, 2020
Children’s Action Alliance — Urging lawmakers for safety at and access to the state Capitol in 2021

As we find ourselves barreling toward 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to infect individuals, claim lives, and devastate communities. Despite this, our state’s leaders have yet to take meaningful steps to curb the spread of the virus – let alone to ensure safety and transparency in the coming legislative session.  

Last week, CAA and the AZ Center delivered a letter to lawmakers urging them to adopt common-sense safety protocols in advance of opening day at the Capitol. Over 50 health and human service organizations, faith groups, trade associations, and community advocates joined us in making this urgent request. We asked the legislature to:

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