School & District Management Report Roundup

Work Flexibility Urged as Key Step For Bolstering Low-Wage Families

By Debra Viadero — July 29, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A new report by the Urban Institute calls for setting national policies so that low-wage working parents will get at least seven paid sick days a year and the right to ask for flexible work schedules so they can better care for their children and help them improve their performance in school.

The recommendations, which were discussed at a July 16 forum hosted by the Washington-based think tank, come in the first of eight essays by institute analysts and economists. The project, which is being financed by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation of Flint, Mich., and the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, is aimed at proposing ways to improve living and educational conditions for low-wage working families.

Noting that one-third of U.S. families with children struggle to make ends meet, Urban Institute analysts contend that policies aimed at helping working parents cope with child-rearing demands are one place to start the effort. In addition to the policy changes on paid sick leave and flexible work schedules, the report calls for expanding federal child-care subsidies for low-income familes and fully funding the federal Head Start program for disadvantaged preschoolers.

“Forty-nine percent of all workers and 77 percent of those in the bottom fifth of the income ladder don’t have paid sick leave,” the paper on child development says. “So, for many low-income families, a sick child who needs to stay home can mean lost wages, even a lost job.”

The national policy the researchers have in mind would guarantee paid sick leave for all employees working at least 20 hours a week. The proposal also would include at least two months of paid parental leave over a 12-month period, reimbursing parents a minimum of 55 percent of their wages. The reimbursements would come from state funds financed by employee contributions.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the July 30, 2008 edition of Education Week

Events

Jobs October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Using Integrated Analytics To Uncover Student Needs
Overwhelmed by data? Learn how an integrated approach to data analytics can help.

Content provided by Instructure
Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Opinion The Pandemic Could Have Unlocked Remote Schooling. It Hasn't
Despite the hopes of education leaders, online learning options aren't meeting families' needs, writes researcher Robin J. Lake.
Robin J. Lake
5 min read
Conceptual Illustration of locks in cyberspace
iStock/Getty
School & District Management Staff Shortages Affect Students, Too. Here's Where Schools Are Shutting Down
A few months into the third academic year in a row disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, at least several dozen school buildings in numerous states have had to shut down due to inadequate staffing.
1 min read
A Brownsville Independent School District bus acts as a WI-FI hotspot for students needing to connect online for distance learning on the first day of class Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in the parking lot of the Margaret M. Clark Aquatic Center in Brownsville, Texas. The bus is one of 20 hotspots throughout the city to help students have access to their online classes as part of the remote start to the school year due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Several shool buildings in different parts of the country have had to shut down in recent weeks due to a lack of available bus drivers.
Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald via AP
School & District Management Opinion We’re Facing a Looming Crisis of Principal Burnout
Caught in the crosshairs of a pandemic and rancorous partisan battles, many principals have never been more exhausted.
David E. DeMatthews
4 min read
Conceptual Illustration of burnt-out leader.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Getty
School & District Management What Teachers Value Most in Their Principals
For National Principals Month, we asked teachers what they love most about their principals. Here's what they had to say.
Hayley Hardison
1 min read
Illustration of job candidate and check list.
Getty