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No, generous unemployment benefits are not driving the labor shortage

Conventional wisdom blames the current labor shortage on overly generous federal unemployment benefits. Such benefits can pay nearly as much as an hourly worker’s salary but are taken away upon accepting a job, making it reasonable to believe they could discourage a return to work. However, recent research shows that the impact of these benefits is likely small.

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Reopening schools requires doing less, better

The appointment of Miguel A. Cardona as the 12th Secretary of Education and the passing of the American Rescue Plan of 2021 does make it feel like spring, in fact, has sprung. The possibility of equitable school environments for our nation’s children appears tangible, however, recovery must attend to more than filling holes with intent to return to a “new normal.”

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Three fallacies and the truth about vaccines

Connecticut’s Public Health Committee recently heard public testimony regarding HB6423 and SB568 —  bills that would remove the religious exemption (the medical exemption would rightfully remain in place) from vaccination in order to attend school.  The religious exemption allows parents to effectively opt their children out of vaccines. In doing so, these families can still send their children to Connecticut’s schools, daycares, colleges, and camps.  This places other children at risk of contracting vaccine-preventable illnesses, and it is imperative the Connecticut legislature remove this exception.

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Trump’s reaction to defeat further confirms urgency for school focus on social emotional skills 

Imagine what would happen if a preschooler didn’t “use their words” when they got upset about sharing, instead stomping around yelling while adults simply observed in silence. Think about what the school climate would feel like if a student punched another during recess while others watched without seeking help.  Now consider the actions – and inactions – by Trump Jan. 6 as the electoral vote counts occurred at the U.S. Capitol.

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Don’t delay getting currently available vaccines for you and your children

Here in Connecticut, things are getting better. Our COVID-19 statistics are continuing to hold steady with an infection rate just under 1%, and we are holding strong in Phase 2.  As you introduce normal things back into your daily routine or make your back-to-school list, please remember to get yourself and your children caught up on any outstanding vaccinations.