Posts Under: Policy

Budget Blast: Official Trump Education Budget Leaves Students in the Rearview

The President’s official budget proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 was officially released yesterday. The proposal closely matches with an earlier version leaked to the Washington Post last week and provides all the details missing from the March “skinny budget.” While education stakeholders have been preparing for deep cuts since the release of the skinny budget and last week’s sneak peak, the official release was still staggering. Education Department funding under the proposal would be slashed by $9.2B, or 13.5 percent, overall for FY18. The recent spending agreement for FY17 has the Education Department funded at $68.2B. Cuts of this magnitude will be devastating for students, families, and schools who rely on a strong public education system to prepare children to be successful citizens and participants in the next generation workforce. For all of the focus and priority given to job training and economic development by President Trump, this proposal s ...

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Alternative Data Has Proven Effective as Next-Generation Data for Mainstream Use in Credit

More than 50 million Americans don’t receive credit scores because of insufficient or nonexistent credit information. Consider what this means – nearly 15 percent of the adult population can’t get a mortgage, rent a car or use a credit card. But this barrier, which limits personal economic power and holds back our economy, is increasingly being broken-down by the use of new, alternative data sources and modeling techniques.

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Budget Blast: Trump FY18 Budget Proposal Would Gut Education & Skills Training

On Wednesday, the Washington Post obtained a leaked version of President Trump’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 education budget proposal. Set to be officially released next week, the proposal would, among other items, significantly reduce investments in skills training and adult basic literacy and eliminate ed tech investments under ESSA’s Title IV. The proposal would shift some of those funds to new investments in school choice, including expanding charting schools and vouchers for private and religious schools. more

Productivity Remains Key for Prosperity and Good Policy Remains Key to Raising Productivity

Gavyn Davies writes in an April 30, 2017 Financial Times piece that “there have been some signs that productivity growth may be starting to recover from the low points reached a few years ago.”  Davies notes that Jan Hatzius from Goldman Sachs shows somewhat improving labor productivity growth starting in 2016 – Hatzius used official data and numbers from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) purchasing manager’s index.  And Juan Antolin-Diaz is slated to publish work in the Review of Economics and Statistic next month showing an increase in trend productivity growth from 0.3% in 2012 Q2 to 0.7% now.  Davies himself, however, concedes that these numbers are tentative.

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Budget Blast: Shutdown Averted but Congress Skimps on Ed Tech

A government shutdown has been averted and the resulting agreement to fund the government through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2017 was nowhere close to President Trump’s proposal for FY2018. Title I will receive a net increase in funding by $100M and state grants for special education will go up $90M. Disappointingly, the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant program under Title IV of ESSA received a staggeringly low appropriation of only $400M. In addition, the agreement would allow the funds to be distributed in a competitive manner from states to local districts. Established as a formula grant program of $1.6B when the law was passed, the low appropriation would be impractical to distribute entirely as a formula. Further provisions set the minimum competitive grant size at $10,000 and allow districts to use up to 25 percent for infrastructure activities – including hardware and software – which is an increase from the law’s 15 percent threshold. ...

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Chinese Proposed Cross-Border Data Flow Rules Contradict an Emerging International Default Norm for Cross-Border Data Flows

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) recently issued draft “Security Assessment Measures for the Cross-Border Transfer of Personal Information and Important Data.” The draft comes in the context of the Chinese Cybersecurity Law, which is scheduled to be implemented on June 1, 2017.  The National Security Law of China likely also influenced this draft. 

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Trade Agreements and Data Protection: Changing GATS Article XIV is Not the Way to Go

In a March 30, 2017 opinion piece, “Don’t trade away data protection,” two leading Members of the European Parliament, Viviane Reding and Jan-Phillip Albrecht, suggest “strengthening data protection safeguards in the General Exception (known as GATS XIV) and E-Commerce chapters, and removing necessity and consistency tests.”  The idea behind the proposal is to make absolutely certain that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and perhaps other parts of the EU privacy acquis could not be successfully challenged as inconsistent with an affirmative cross-border data flow obligation.  This is a topic SIIA will comment on again in the coming months, likely in a longer form Issue Brief.  This blog discusses the proposal to remove the necessity test.

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U.S.-China Trade: Yes it is Time to Try Something Different!

The meeting between President Donald J. Trump and President Xi Jinping appears to have been a productive first get together between the leaders of the world’s most important bilateral economic and political relationship.   SIIA was pleased that President Trump raised concerns about, among other topics, China’s cyber policies on U.S. jobs and exports. 

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