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Todd Murphy, New Director of Communications

Child-Todd Todd-Murphy

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is a veteran newspaper and magazine writer and editor and communications strategist. Before joining the Institute in January 2015 he was a senior communications specialist with Oregon Health & Science University, serving as the lead communications strategist for the OHSU Brain Institute. Before that he was a media and communications consultant for education nonprofits, including Chalkboard Project. Murphy has worked more than 25 years in newspaper and magazine journalism, including the Louisville Courier-Journal, and the Portland Tribune, where he reported on education and was also Managing Editor. He holds BA degrees in Journalism and Economics from South Dakota State University.

President Obama Proposes Expansion of Child Care Subsidies

23OBAMA-1421950110100-master675After referencing his plan in his State of the Union Address, President Obama has released a fact sheet detailing the key components of the proposal. You can also read more about the proposal from The New York Times.

Key components of the proposal include:

  • All families with incomes up to 200 percent of poverty (about $40,000 a year for a family of three) and children under age four would be able to receive child care assistance so parents could work or attend school or job training, within ten years. This measure would expand access to high-quality child care to 1 million more children, for a total of 2.6 million children receiving child care assistance each month, by 2025.
  • To receive the additional funding, states would be required to develop plans for building the supply of high-quality care for infants and toddlers and ensure that provider payment rates are sufficient to cover the cost of high-quality care and that parent copayments are reasonable.
  • Resources would be provided to help states achieve the objectives of the reauthorization law, which include ensuring children’s health and safety, improving the quality of care, and making the system more family-friendly.
  • Innovative strategies for addressing unmet child care needs would be encouraged through $100 million in competitive grants available to states, territories, tribes, and communities.  Funding would be awarded to grantees to develop, implement, and evaluate promising practices for helping families with challenges finding high-quality child care, particularly families in rural communities, families who have children with disabilities, and parents who work non-traditional hours.

3 maps that show where Oregon is on policy goals

3rd-grd-reading-mapThe Statesman Journal has published some of the data-based snapshots of Oregon's progress towards third-grade reading achievement, kindergarten readiness, and minimizing income inequality. From the article: "The Oregon Legislature doesn't officially convene for two weeks, but already the policy questions lawmakers plan to tackle are clear. Early childhood education, transportation, income inequality and, likely, tax reform will dominate the conversation for the next several months."

Read more

Policy Brief: Advancing Birth-to-Third-Grade Success

Campaign policy brief 2015 imageThe Ready for School Leaders’ Panel and the Children’s Institute are poised to make a significant impact for Oregon’s youngest and most vulnerable children in the 2015 Legislative Session. Advancing Birth-to-Third-Grade Success, our 2015 policy brief, makes the case for the critical investments and policy changes in 2015 that are strongly supported by research and support on-track health and development, kindergarten readiness, and third-grade success.

Table Rock solid: Elementary school praised for keeping attendance up

Table-Rock-ElementaryIn today's Mail Tribune, Table Rock Elementary's success around school attendance is featured. You can read more about the school's effective strategies in our new report, Showing Up, Staying In, about tackling chronic absence.

Read the Mail Tribune article

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