Close to 545,000 Californians may struggle to repay student loans when the federal pause on such payments ends on May 1, the Sacramento Bee reported Wednesday
Based on a study by the California Policy Lab, the Bee reported that those likely to be at risk when the pause ends are people who were “delinquent or in default on any loan in the year before the pause, or if they were delinquent on a pause-ineligible loan during the pause period. “
The repayment pause helped such borrowers get through the pandemic, the newspaper reported. “Put plainly, the pause on student loan payments worked,” Dalié Jiménez, director of the Student Loan Law Initiative at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, told the Bee.
President Joe Biden is reportedly considering extending the pause for a fourth time.
Millions of children fall back into poverty as Covid-era relief expires, experts say
The social safety net buttressing families during the pandemic is fraying, USA Today reported.
Expanded child tax credits, which gave parents as much as 300 a month per child, have been dead for months after Congress voted against extending them. And despite lobbying efforts, the latest spending plan excludes a provision that had allowed all schools to offer universal free meals. The cutbacks are already taking a toll, research suggests, as inflation rises and many parents and schools struggle to meet their children’s basic needs.
For all its turmoil, the pandemic was actually a time of historic drops in child poverty because of the robust social safety net, said Megan Curran, policy director at Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy, as USA Today reported. But as those programs have come to an end, so, too, have the gains.
A month after the beefed-up child tax credit expired, 3.7 million children fell into poverty, according to a study by Curran and her team. The child poverty rate grew from 12.1% in December 2021 to 17% the next month, a 41% increase. Black and Hispanic children experienced the sharpest increases in poverty. The February numbers, released Tuesday, show a continuation of that trend: 16.7% of children remained in poverty.
The most common item purchased with the monthly payments, by low- and medium-income families alike, was food. After just two months of payments last summer, the number of adults who said their children were going hungry dropped by several million.
Parents could earn billions more if Congress helped them get back to work, study says
Affordable child care and universal pre-K could be a big boon for the economy and for parents’ wallets – if Democrats are ever able to pass it, Business Insider reports.
That’s according to a new study from progressive think tank The Century Foundation, assessing the potential impact of Democrats’ proposed legislation. The Build Back Better Act would enact universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds in America and pour billions into slashing the costs of child care.
According to the study, 3 million more parents would either enter the labor force or boost their work hours, as Business Insider reports. Mothers, who have been hardest hit by pandemic-era labor constraints, would get the biggest boost.
“Women are not able to answer the ‘help wanted’ ad if they don’t have steady, affordable child care, because they know they can’t be reliable, productive employees,” Gina Raimondo, the US secretary of commerce, told earlier. Insider. “So they’re not applying for these jobs.”
Those parents returning would lead to a boom in economic productivity – parents’ output would go up by 48 billion annually, according to the report.