High-quality early learning programs have been shown to boost educational outcomes for children, reduce rates of incarceration and lower health-care costs, according to research from economist James Heckman, winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Discussions about vaccinations occur regularly within legislatures across the nation. Policymakers aim to protect public health while scrutinizing conflicting information and heeding concerns of constituents, including parents who want options for their children.

Secure and successful elections have always relied on the cooperation and coordination of election officials, poll workers and voters.  The 2016 election elevated the role that State and local government’s information technology department staff play in supporting secure voting experiences.  The U.S. Election Assistance Commission, or the EAC, recently kicked off Cybersecurity Awareness Month by livestreaming a roundtable discussion in their Washington, D.C. office.

According to a report conducted in 2016 by the Learning Policy Institute (LPI), many states are facing a growing teacher shortage. The report states that between 2009 and 2014, teacher education enrollment dropped by 35%. Beyond a shortage in the supply of newly educated teachers, the Learning Policy Institute attributes a large part of the shortage to high levels of attrition. U.S. attrition levels are estimated to be around eight percent annually, with teachers in high poverty and high minority schools being more likely to leave the profession early. Many factors contribute to the decision to leave teaching behind, including administrative support, wages, and professional learning opportunities.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in July signed into law one of the nation’s most comprehensive paid family leave programs, offering workers paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child or for the serious medical condition of the employee or his or her family member. The legislation, which will take effect in 2020, offers eligible workers 12 weeks of either parental or medical leave, or 16 weeks for a combination of both. Only four other states guarantee paid family leave: California, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island, with New York’s program beginning in 2018. The District of Columbia also approved a paid family leave program this year to take effect in 2020.