In case you missed this opportunity: Earlier this week, the Network for Public Education sent out an action alert urging Congress, during this lame-duck session, to take one step that would reduce child poverty by roughly 10 percent and help 1.7 million children.
If you missed the earlier request, please take a moment now to send the Network for Public Education’s letter to your U.S. Senators and your Congressional Representative. Right now members of Congress are negotiating to take the one action researchers say would do the most to ameliorate child poverty in the United States: make the Child Tax Credit fully available to the poorest families with children.
You will remember that Congress significantly reduced child poverty temporarily in 2021 by expanding the Child Tax Credit as part of the American Rescue Plan. But the changes were terminated at the end of 2021.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains: “The current Child Tax Credit has a major design flaw: millions of children are prevented from receiving the full credit because their families’ incomes are too low.” The Child Tax Credit phases in with taxable income. A home health aide making $15,000 annually cannot collect the full $2,000 per child, while married families with children—families whose income is as high as $400,000 annually—can collect the full tax credit per child.
Decades of research show that child poverty is the primary driving force behind educational opportunity gaps. As educators, we know that public schools alone cannot close opportunity gaps.
Please do send the Network for Public Education’s action letter right now. Ask your U.S. Senator and your Congressional Representative to vote, as part of tax policy, to make the Child Tax Credit fully refundable to the poorest families with children. Then share this request with your friends and colleagues.
Here are two resources for more information: