Category Archives: Policy Research

Will tomorrow’s housing market be hurt by today’s cuts to children’s budgets?

I have my policy research hat on this morning. An article in today’s WaPo reports increased numbers of school districts turning to a 4-day school week in response to shrinking budgets.

This quickly brings to mind a report released this week by expert scholars at the Urban Institute. In a series of essays, the experts attempt to answer the question:

How can solutions to our national and state budget crises fit the facts about children in the United States?

Some key quotes:

“The nation’s budget reflects the nation’s priorities.  Ours makes it clear that children, investment, and, more generally, posterity rank low.”  Eugene Steuerle

“Today’s children will be tomorrow’s workers, replacing the baby boomers and their echo. An objective assessment of their prospects points to the conclusion that, without a significant investment in today’s children now, many of tomorrow’s workers will lack the skills needed to compete successfully in the increasingly competitive global economy.”  — Robert Reischauer

“Unfortunately, the investment in the youngest children is probably far too low. Total public spending per child in elementary school is double that per child under age three, even though research suggests that spending on child development, health, and nutrition in these early years can cost-effectively prepare them for school and help avert later high public cost.” — Olivia Golden

They also discussed the issue in a forum on CSPAN yesterday.

So now speaking as a realtor, I ask: we have huge challenges in today’s housing market. If these kids represent future homeowners, and we are shortchanging them, what does this mean for our future real estate market, an important engine of our economy?

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