Mario Koran, San Diego Unified Sends Parents Who Can’y Pay for School Bus Rides to a Collections Agency, Voice of San Diego, November 8, 2017. [“California is one of a dozen states that allows school districts to charge parents fees for bus rides to school.”]
Radley Balko, Mississippi judge resigns after barring mother from seeing newborn because of unpaid court fees, Washington Post, October 26, 2017. [“The mother has been forbidden from any contact with her newborn for 14 of the 18 months the child has been alive.”]
Dylan Matthews, Senate Democrats have a plan that would cut child poverty nearly in half, Vox, October 26, 2017. [The American Family Act of 2017 would dramatically expand the child tax credit.]
Katie Hamm, Ivanka Trump’s Child Tax Credit is a Ploy to Pass Tax Cuts for the Rich, Talk Poverty, October 26, 2017. [One thing is clear, “[the] credit is clearly designed to help make the Trump tax plan…more politically palatable.”]
Huntington, Clare, Early Childhood Development and the Law (October 5, 2017). Southern California Law Review, Vol. 90, No. 755, 2017 [Abstract below]
Early childhood development is a robust and vibrant focus of study in multiple disciplines, from economics and education to psychology and neuroscience. Abundant research from these disciplines has established that early childhood is critical for the development of cognitive abilities, language, and psychosocial skills, all of which turn, in large measure, on the parent-child relationship. And because early childhood relationships and experiences have a deep and lasting impact on a child’s life trajectory, disadvantages during early childhood replicate inequality. Working together, scholars in these disciplines are actively engaged in a national policy debate about reducing inequality through early childhood interventions.
Despite the vital importance of this period, the law and legal scholars have been largely indifferent to the dynamics of early childhood development. Doctrine and legislation are rarely developmentally sensitive, lumping children into an undifferentiated category regardless of age. The legal system thus misses key opportunities to combat inequality and foster healthy development for all children. And most legal scholars do not engage with the wealth of interdisciplinary research on early childhood, nor are they part of the interdisciplinary dialogue and policy debates. As a result, that conversation does not include the voices of lawyers and legal scholars, who are uniquely positioned to add critical insights.
Remedying this stark disconnect requires doing for law what scholars have done in other disciplines: creating a distinctive field. Accordingly, this Article proposes a subdiscipline of early childhood development and the law. The new field crystallizes a distinctive interest that the legal system must attend to and charts a path for legal scholars to follow for years to come. As with the dawning of fields such as juvenile justice, domestic violence, and elder law, early childhood development and the law will be a focal point for research within the legal academy, a vital bridge to scholars in other disciplines, and an important means for bringing lawyers and legal scholars to the heart of emerging policy debates
New Article: Leslie Book, Meeting Taxpayers Where They Live: Improving US Refundable Credits While Reflecting the Lives of the Working Poor, forthcoming J. Tax Administration (SSRN Oct. 2017). Abstract below:
This paper looks at the American experience in using tax law to deliver benefits to low and moderate-wage workers. First, examining two recent court cases where individuals improperly claimed the earned income tax credit, this paper explores some of the challenges to both taxpayers and tax administrators associated with using the tax system to deliver benefits that are dependent on levels of attachment to children and the presence of earned income. The paper then explores two approaches to improve compliance. One approach is a proposal in a recent Heritage Foundation policy briefing recommending that only parents with legal custody of their children should be entitled to receive the earned income tax credit. The state of California, in adopting the other approach, excludes self-employment income from its definition of earned income in its state earned income tax credit. Both measures fail to reflect characteristics of the lives of the working poor, including a growing reliance on multi-generational living arrangements and shared care of children and a surge in nontraditional employment associated with the gig economy.
Despite the problems with the proposals, they reflect genuine compliance concerns. This paper concludes with recommendations to address those compliance concerns that will likely serve the goal of improving integrity, while also ensuring the law and administration of the law reflects the lives of lower-income Americans who increasingly rely on the tax system to meet basic needs and support their families.
Annie Lowrey, America’s Child-Poverty Rate Has Hit a Record Low, The Atlantic, October 5, 2017. [“It fell thanks to government policies, not the expansion of the economy…”]
Michael Hiltzik, Time’s up: As CHIP expires unrenewed, Congress blows a chance to save healthcare for 9 million children, LA Times, September 29, 2017. [“Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price voted twice against expanding CHIP as a Georgia state legislator.”]
Heather Long, By age 3, inequality is clear: Rich kids attend school. Poor kids stay with a grandparent, Washington Post, September 26, 2017. [“Only 55 percent of America’s 3 and 4-year-olds attend a formal preschool”]