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Amy Qualliotine, Outreach Manager

Amy Qualliotine joined the Center in 2012 and focuses on family economic security, education, and employment outreach efforts. Before joining NWLC, she spent two years teaching incredibly brilliant 4th grade students in rural Louisiana as a Teach For America corps member. She has interned at the Center for Strategic International Studies, the Mortara Center for International Studies, and for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. Amy graduated from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and will forever "Bleed Hoya Blue". 

My Take

How a Bill Doesn't Become a Law — Schoolhouse Rock Revisited

Posted by Amy Qualliotine, Outreach Manager | Posted on: April 30, 2014 at 02:01 pm

A few years ago I was teaching 4th grade Social Studies. About a week into the government unit I did what any self-respecting Social Studies teacher would do – show “I’m Just a Bill,” the 1975 Schoolhouse Rock classic tale of how a bill becomes a law.

The video tells the tale of a “sad little scrap of paper” – Bill – making the arduous journey to becoming a law. The journey is long, but simple. Some folks shared an idea for a new law with their Congressman, he agreed and introduced Bill who gets stuck in committee for a bit (at this point Bill frets that he might die!), Bill passes the House and then the Senate, narrowly escapes a veto, and is finally signed into law by the President!

But lately it feels like I was teaching my students the wrong thing. I mean that’s ‘technically’ the way a bill becomes a law (and all a ten-year-old really needs to understand) but there are so many additional roadblocks to quality legislation.

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Take Action on the Minimum Wage

Posted by Amy Qualliotine, Outreach Manager | Posted on: April 29, 2014 at 10:18 am

TOMORROW, your Senators will be voting on the minimum wage! If the Fair Minimum Wage Act passes, more than 15 million women would get a raise — including more than 1 in 5 working mothers.

Demand that your Senators do right by women and raise the minimum wage!

Call 1-888-851-1916 to tell your Senators it’s time to raise the minimum wage.

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A New Twist on Tax Day

Posted by Amy Qualliotine, Outreach Manager | Posted on: April 15, 2014 at 09:14 am

Happy Taxpayer Pride Day! Yes - you read that right, and no - I haven’t lost my mind.

For many, April 15 brings feelings of doom and gloom. It’s the day you might have to hand over some of your hard earned money to Uncle Sam (and if you’ve waited until the last minute, it’s the day you’ll have to stand in a long line at the Post Office with your fellow procrastinators). But we, inspired by our brilliant friends at NETWORK, will be celebrating April 15 as a day of joy and gratitude.

Why?

When you think about it, the world around you is fueled by tax revenue. Without taxes, we’d be less safe, less educated, and all around less content. Safety first: our tax dollars support police officers, fire fighters, the uniformed military, traffic lights, stop signs, street lamps, crossing guards, guardrails, airport security. I could keep going but I think you get the picture. Taxes support our elementary, middle, and high schools, state colleges and universities, cutting edge research that can both change and save lives, health care for the over-65 crowd (that’ll be you someday!) and the poor.

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Tags: Taxes, Tax & Budget |

Take Action for Children and Families

Posted by Amy Qualliotine, Outreach Manager | Posted on: March 10, 2014 at 09:17 am

This week your Senators could vote to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). If it passes, this victory will be an important step in building a strong early learning system.

Call 202-224-3121 and urge your Senators to vote YES to reauthorize CCDBG! It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

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Absurdity: Corporal Punishment Edition

Posted by Amy Qualliotine, Outreach Manager | Posted on: February 21, 2014 at 10:42 am

Earlier this week, Kansas State Representative Gail Finney introduced an appalling bill that would relax the limitations on spanking by parents, caregivers, and school officials across the state of Kansas.* This bill [PDF] would define corporal punishment as “up to 10 forceful applications in succession of a bare, open-hand palm against the clothed buttocks of a child,” and if you hit hard enough to leave redness or bruising – this law lets you know that’s okay.

For two years I taught in a rural school in Louisiana, so this hits really close to home. When I first showed up I knew that corporal punishment was legal – schools still have the authority to use physical discipline methods in 19 states – but I had no idea how frequently I would witness teachers and administrators physically discipline students. According to a study [PDF] conducted by the Louisiana Department of Education, 11,520 instances of corporal punishment occurred in 43 districts in a single school year (districts in Louisiana can choose if they allow corporal punishment on an individual basis, and for most the chosen form of punishment is paddling with a wooden board).

I’m not an expert on corporal punishment, but from my experience I can say that there are 4 major reasons corporal punishment is just an all-around bad idea…

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