ISSUE 157 | May 18, 2022
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
School nurses assume increasing workloads amid high student ratios 
School nurses function within a growing workforce shortage as well as an expanding population of students with behavioral and chronic health conditions.

Pending legislation could reduce the nurse-student ratio in Pennsylvania, while setting requirements for psychologists, counselors, and social workers.

Locally, The Moses Taylor Foundation has identified school-based health care as a priority issue.   

PA is one of 20 remaining states using federal minimum wage of $7.25 
Twenty-one states raised their minimum wages at the start of 2022.

These rates were all above the federal minimum wage already, with 11 resulting from state legislation and 10 from automatic inflation adjustments.

Five other states have increases pending for 2022 – these rates already above the federal limit as well. 

Crisis worker shortage looms as 988 hotline launch nears
Pennsylvania’s 988 hotline is scheduled to launch in July, with intentions to direct people in crisis to resources in one of 13 crisis intervention centers.

Leadership at these centers struggle to find degreed professionals willing to work evenings and weekends for $16-$19 per hour, however.

Call volumes are currently steady at about 500 per month per center, with likely increases after the 988 launch.   

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
New Mexico facilitates economic mobility with free childcare 
New Mexico is offering free childcare to residents at 400 percent of the poverty level.

The assistance will extend through June 2023, with the goal of helping more parents return to work shed the burden of poverty.

Childcare workers are also supported through a stipend program that pays up to $2,000 per semester to students enrolled in an early childhood program at a local college or university. 

Chicago Public Schools offering students therapy and mentorship
Choose to Change is a $7.5-million program funded by Chicago’s public school district.

It will serve 1,000 disconnected youth, victims of trauma, and individuals engaged in the juvenile justice system.

Two nonprofits are partnering with the school to offer weekly mental health sessions. 

Baltimore establishes pipeline for techical jobs 
Baltimore’s Retrain America initiative allows targeted students to study programming languages and problem-solving for four months.

Participants earn $250 per week of training, followed by six months of placement as paid apprentices.

Companies through with the apprenticeships operate then offer full-time employment.

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