Washington’s budget deficit. Plus: family leave, retirement, early learning and paying for pre-k

November 17, 2008 | Alex Stone

Jobless benefits are behind the times: No longer is unemployment somebody else’s problem. Chances are you know someone who has lost a job recently. Or you know somebody who knows somebody who has become unemployed through no fault of his or her own.

Fewer Washington state employees: The number of people drawing a state paycheck has dropped by about 1,200 since early August when Gov. Chris Gregoire ordered a hiring freeze.

State’s October revenue down 6 percent: Washington’s budget picture continues to darken, according to the latest report that showed $52.8 million less revenue than expected for October.

Labor Department finalizes new family leave rules: The Labor Department on Thursday announced final revisions in the Family and Medical Leave Act, including new rules defining how families of wounded service members will be able to take unpaid leave to care for them.

Retirement detour: A number of factors forcing more people to work later in life: It sounds like an oxymoron, but the concept of working in retirement is fast becoming the norm for many older Americans — forced by dwindling financial resources and a recessionary economy to stay in or return to the job market.

State’s Early Learning Program Adds Kitsap Preschool Sites: Four new free preschools will open in Kitsap County, and parents are invited to inquire about enrolling their children.

The Pre-K Pinch and the Middle Class: Most parents have eighteen years to save up for their child’s college tuition. Now imagine having only three or four years to save up for the same amount. Actually, you’re not imagining – it is a reality for many parents of young children who are struggling to pay for the cost of high-quality preschool. In a majority of states, the average annual of costs of early childhood care and education for a four-year old exceed the costs of tuition and fees at a four-year public university.

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Posted in Early Learning, Retirement Security, State Economy, Tax and Budget, Work & Family

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