New federal poverty numbers are in and the news isn’t great. The Supplemental Poverty Measure saw a record jump just one year after posting a record low.

What happened? It’s simple, poverty expert Lakeisha McVey explains. The government implemented some broad, badly needed antipoverty measures — and then swept them away when politicians refused to extend them.

This week in OtherWords, Lakeisha shares her own compelling story to show how bootstrapping it will only get most of us so far without a stronger safety net. Extend and expand those programs, she argues.

Also this week, we look at America’s classrooms as students get back to learning — well, hopefully.

As Svante Myrick shows, absurd right-wing propaganda is making its way into more classrooms this year — but families are rising up to stop it. And as Jim Hightower notes in a disturbing report from Texas, teachers and librarians are being politically targeted like never before.

Finally, this week marks the 15th anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse that paved the way for the Great Recession. Wall Street hasn’t learned its lesson, author and scholar Marjorie Kelly explains. But the makings of a more democratic economy are all around us — if you know where to look.

New This Week…

Poverty Just Jumped — And It Was No Accident | Lakeisha McVey
I’ve lived and studied poverty most of my life. But you don’t have to be an expert to see why it’s spiking after lawmakers let antipoverty programs expire.

Bogus ‘Edutainment’ May Be Coming to a Classroom Near You | Svante Myrick
A far-right propaganda network is churning out subpar, silly, and inaccurate school curricula. Here’s how to fight back for our children’s future.

End Wealth Supremacy | Marjorie Kelly
15 years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Wall Street is as predatory as ever. But a more democratic economy could be rising all around us.

End This Witch Hunt Against Teachers and Librarians | Jim Hightower
Texas is leading a push to reduce education to mere obedience training for a compliant, subservient workforce.

Cartoon: Uncle Sam’s Double Con | Khalil Bendib
For federal policy makers, there’s never money for people’s needs — but there’s always money for war.

In Case You Missed It…

Anxious About the Climate? There’s a Solution. | Fatima Gutierrez
Mental health challenges are rising alongside temperatures. Research suggests that taking action can help.

Don’t Blame Workers for Poor Service — Blame Our CEOs | Felix Allen
New data shows big retailers have the cash to hire more workers and pay them well. They just spend it on stocks and CEOs instead.

The Federal Government Is Evolving on Marijuana — But Not Fast Enough | Paul Armentano
We shouldn’t treat cannabis like heroin. But we shouldn’t treat it like ketamine either, as a federal agency now recommends.

Mandatory Overtime Is Inhumane and Dangerous | Tom Conway
Mill workers are battling harder than ever against overtime requirements that strain families and put lives at risk.

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the communications director of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of

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