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EconomicPolicyInstitute

Growth of charter schools has increased inequality in education

In a new EPI report, Rutgers University professor Bruce Baker finds that charter school expansion has exacerbated inequities in education. In his study of 11 city school systems, Baker finds, in most cases, the non-charter public schools have received fewer resources due to charter school expansion. Also, he finds that many leading charter operators have been charged with conflicts-of-interest and financial malfeasance. Baker recommends communities hold charter operators publicly accountable and consider the cost and benefits to the community and to the greater public good.

TRADE

U.S. trade policy—time to start over

In a searing indictment of U.S. trade policies, EPI’s Jeff Faux writes that Washington’s fixation with trade agreements has diverted attention from the more important question of how to put American workers back on the historic track of rising wages. Faux calls on Trump to announce an indefinite freeze on any new trade negotiations until he commits to a comprehensive agenda for making American workers competitive and balancing our trade with the rest of the world.

OVERTIME

Overtime proponents challenge Trump to raise wages

Millions of workers should have gotten a raise on December 1st—the day that should have marked the implementation of the Department of Labor’s updated overtime rule, but last week a judge in Texas put the rule on hold in an ill-reasoned decision.  EPI’s Ross Eisenbrey spoke at a media event along with Senators Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer, Patty Murray, Al Franken, and other members of Congress who read stories from workers who would have been eligible to get overtime pay if the rule had gone in to effect. Several speakers called on President-elect Trump to support the updated rules.

MINIMUM WAGE

A $15 minimum wage is an essential part of achieving shared prosperity

On Tuesday, thousands of working people across the country participated in a demonstration in favor of a $15 minimum wage. EPI’s president Lawrence Mishel released a statement on increasing the minimum wage to $15. “A bold proposal such as $15 is needed to lift the earnings of the bottom third of the workforce, generate robust wage growth overall and fuel economic growth.”

IN THE NEWS
Reuters
The Washington Post quoted Lawrence Mishel on the recent deal between President-elect Donald Trump and Carrier. “It basically violates the notion of ‘The free market knows best,’ ” said Mishel. “It's an unusual thing for a Republican, that's for sure.” | "This could be the first big test of whether Donald Trump can keep his campaign promises" »
Reuters
The American Prospect featured EPI’s recent report on charter school expansion. | "The Right Way to Assess Charter Schools" »
Reuters
CBS Moneywatch cited EPI’s report critiquing Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan, noting that the plan is unlikely to lead to much new investment. | "A potential pothole in Trump’s infrastructure plan" »
Reuters
The Christian Science Monitor spoke to EPI’s Ben Zipperer about the Fight for $15 movement. “It’s been pushing companies to increase their low-skilled and entry-level wages and also changed the conversation about national policy.” | "How the Fight for $15 movement could survive the Trump era" »
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