Diane Ravitch opens the discussion about whether Gates will turn to housing as a way to improve educational outcomes with my piece!
We talked with the godfather of asset building, who himself comes from a philanthropic family, to get the inside story of how top foundations got behind one the most innovative policy movements in decades.
From the Whitehouse Press Office:
Washington, DC – Tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) will hold a press conference to announce their plans to introduce bipartisan legislation to reform our nation’s prison system. The legislation would build on reforms that have proven successful at the state level to reduce prison spending and overcrowding, and to help inmates become productive members of society upon re-entry.
Prison reform has been reported to be among the top areas for bipartisan legislative action in this Congress, with Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) recently listing it as one of his top three priorities. Both Cornyn and Whitehouse serve on the committee.
EVENT: Sens. Cornyn and Whitehouse Announce Bipartisan Prison Legislation
WHEN: Tuesday, February 10, 2014
WHERE: Senate Radio-TV Gallery
The nation’s top think tanks are reeling in more billionaire backers than ever before, and this trend underscores how the wealthy see these institutions as key players in shaping public policy.
Nowadays, if you really want to buy influence, you make political donations for sure, but you may give even more money to think tanks, which excel at framing the terms of public debates and putting specific ideas on the national agenda (or knocking other ideas off).
Recently, we caught up with Kollin Min, senior program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the Pacific Northwest region. We wanted to find out how his division, and the Gates Foundation as a whole, is working on housing, and how better linking this issue to education could raise student achievement, both in the Pacific Northwest, and possibly, across the nation.
Where did we get the idea that the Gates Foundation is growing more interested in housing nationally? There have been a several signs, including a grant to the DC Council on Large Public Housing Authorities for $150,000 in 2013 and another $50,000 in 2014 for “a national convening on the topic of how housing authorities and public school districts can more effectively partner to improve the educational outcomes for children residing in public housing or receiving federal housing subsidies.”
From the Whitehouse Press Office:
Washington, DC – Today President Obama released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2016. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, released the statement below applauding the President’s proposal:
“The President’s budget would take significant steps toward a fairer tax system while also making major investments in our nation’s transportation infrastructure. This is particularly important in Rhode Island, where we have some of the oldest roads and bridges in America and where new construction projects could provide badly needed jobs. I’m also glad to see that the proposed budget would implement several policies I’ve been fighting for in the Senate, including the Buffett Rule for tax fairness and an Automatic IRA program to help millions of Americans save for retirement. From tax credits for working families to paid sick leave, the President’s budget includes many bold proposals to help middle-class families succeed. I look forward to debating the details of these and other provisions in the Budget Committee in the weeks ahead.”
Nonprofits and funders on the side of improving access to housing and financial assets for low-income people are closely watching a showdown in the Supreme Court on “disparate impact.”