Mr. Gerald M. Cutts
First Children's Finance
Gerald M. Cutts is the founding President and CEO of First Children’s Finance (FCF) a multi-state not for profit organization that was established in 1991. FCF works to increase access to high quality early care and education in lower income communities. FCF does this by specializing in the business and financial side of early care and education with strategies that increase the sustainability and supply of high quality care. The activities include providing business technical assistance to ECE business owners, urban and rural communities, assistance to state governments, and the development of strategies that lead to public and private partnerships for funding and financing. First Children’s Finance also provides facility financing to early care and education providers serving lower income families in order to increase supply and quality. As President and CEO, Mr. Cutts works with a national board of directors. He is responsible for strategic direction, financial oversight, resource development, national and local policy, and strategic business development. Before founding First Children’s Finance he was the co-director of an early care and education center. In addition he worked in a community economic development corporation where he applied economic development finance tools and strategies to finance childcare homes including bonding, tax increment financing, and the packaging of federal, state, and local funds. Those experiences led to the creation of First Children’s Finance. Mr. Cutts holds a Master of City Planning degree from M.I.T as well as a Juris Doctor degree from the Northeastern University School of Law.
Ms. Kim Dancy
Kim Dancy is a policy analyst with the Education Policy program at New America, a nonpartisan nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C. As part of the Higher Education Initiative, her work focuses on higher education finance. She conducts original research and data analysis of higher education issues, with an emphasis on federal and state funding, including budget processes and issues. Her past research has focused on the availability and effectiveness of tax benefits for education, the interaction of state and federal funding streams for public and private universities, state appropriations to public institutions, federal grants and loans to students, the impact of interest rates on student loan payments, and variation in student living costs. Prior to joining New America, Ms. Dancy worked for the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, where her work focused on the use of competency-based education in career and technical fields, as well as the alignment of educational programs with labor market needs. Ms. Dancy holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and a master's degree in public policy from Georgetown University.
Dr. Elizabeth E. Davis
University of Minnesota
Elizabeth E. Davis is professor of applied economics at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on economics and public policy related to low-income families, child care and early education, and low-wage and rural labor market issues in the United States. Dr. Davis has examined the dynamics of participation in the child care subsidy program, why parents stop using child care subsidies, child care access and affordability, and the connection between parents’ employment and child care choices. Past research projects have included studies of the impact of local competition on wages and job turnover in the retail food industry and the relationship between local labor market conditions and employment outcomes for disadvantaged workers. Dr. Davis is a member of the American Economic Association (AEA), Association of Public Policy and Management (APPAM), Society of Labor Economists (SOLE), and the Community and Regional Economics Network (CRNET). Dr. Davis earned an M.A and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.
Ms. Harriet Dichter
Harriet Dichter is a fellow at ICF, International. During a career focused on innovation in early learning, she founded and led the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning, was appointed to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, and established the Delaware Office of Early Learning. As Pennsylvania's founding deputy secretary for the Office of Child Development and Early Learning, she pioneered the state's unique new solutions and partnerships. She also was the founding executive director of the Delaware Office of Early Learning, where she accelerated the pace, quality, and accountability of the state's comprehensive work in early childhood. Other state and local government public leadership has included Secretary, PA Department of Public Welfare; Policy Director, PA Department of Education; Deputy Managing Director for Child Policy, City of Philadelphia; Maternal and Child Health Director, City of Philadelphia; Special Assistant to the Mayor, City of Philadelphia. Ms. Dichter also has significant nonprofit experience. Nationally, she served as a leader for the Ounce of Prevention Fund and its affiliate, the First Five Years Fund, and has worked as staff at the Pew Charitable Trusts. Ms. Dichter received a B.A. in psychology and American studies from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Dr. Lynn A. Karoly
The RAND Corporation
Lynn A. Karoly is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. A labor economist, Karoly joined RAND in 1988. Her recent research has focused on human capital investments, social welfare policy, child and family well-being, and U.S. labor markets. In the area of child policy, much of her research has focused on early childhood programs with studies on the use and quality of early care and education (ECE) programs, the system of publicly subsidized ECE programs, professional development for the ECE workforce, and ECE quality rating and improvement systems. In related work, she has examined the costs, benefits, and economic returns of early childhood interventions and youth development programs, and she has assessed the use of benefit-cost analysis more generally to evaluate social programs. Other research has examined issues pertaining to poverty, inequality, immigration, welfare reform, and U.S. labor markets. Karoly served as the director of RAND's Office of Research Quality Assurance from 2004 to 2014 and as director of RAND Labor and Population from 1995 to 2003. Her professional service includes editorial roles for the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis and The Journal of Human Resource, as well as serving as Vice President (2016) and President (2017) of the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis. She was also a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee that produced Advancing the Power of Economic Evidence to Inform Investments in Children, Youth, and Families (2016). Karoly received her Ph.D. in economics from Yale University.
Dr. Helen F. Ladd
Helen F. Ladd is the Susan B. King Professor of Public Policy Studies and professor of economics at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. She is particularly interested in various aspects school accountability, education finance, teacher labor markets, and school choice. She has written numerous articles on charter schools and other forms of choice in North Carolina, self-governing schools and parental choice in New Zealand, market based reforms in urban school districts, voucher programs, school reform in post-Apartheid South Africa, and school finance in the Netherlands. In addition, with colleagues at Duke University she has used longitudinal data from North Carolina to write a series of papers on early childhood programs as well as articles on school segregation, teacher labor markets, and teacher quality. She has co-edited and coauthored many books. Among them are Holding Schools Accountable: Performance-Based Reform in Education (Brookings Institution, 1996), The Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy (Routledge, 2008; second edition 2015) and books on school reform in New Zealand and South Africa. From 1996-99 Ladd co-chaired a National Academy of Sciences Committee on Education Finance. In that capacity she is the co-editor of two books: a set of background papers, Equity and Adequacy in Education Finance and the final report, Making Money Matter: Financing America’s Schools. Prior to 1986, she taught at Dartmouth College, Wellesley College, and at Harvard University, first in the City and Regional Planning Program and then in the Kennedy School of Government. She graduated with a B.A. degree from Wellesley College in 1967, earned her M.A. degree from the London School of Economics in 1968, and earned her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1974.
Ms. Shayne Spaulding
The Urban Institute
Shayne Spaulding is a senior research associate in the Income and Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute and co-Director of Bridging the Gap an initiative that focuses on the intersection between child care and the education and training systems that support low-income adults seeking to improve their skills. She also directs an assessment of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s New Skills at Work initiative, representing a $250 million investment in workforce development nationally and globally. She also led the Urban Institute’s work for the MacArthur Foundation on Cities of Learning, an initiative aimed at improving educational and workforce outcomes for youth. Spaulding has spent nearly 20 years in the workforce development field as an evaluator, technical assistance provider, and program manager. Her research has focused on evaluations of various workforce development and postsecondary education programs and strategies, including programs for young noncustodial fathers, sectoral employment programs, social-purpose staffing agencies, faith-based programs, community college innovations and employer engagement strategies. Before joining Urban, Spaulding was the university director of Workforce Development for the City University of New York (CUNY), the nation’s largest public urban university system, where she oversaw continuing education and workforce programs across CUNY’s 24 campuses. From 2001 to 2009, Spaulding worked for Public/Private Ventures, where she was a senior program director. Spaulding serves on the board of the Workforce Professionals Training Institute in New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in American government from Wesleyan University and a Master of Arts degree in public policy from Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Marcy Whitebook
University of California, Berkeley
Marcy Whitebook directs the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California at Berkeley, which she founded in 1999. Her research focuses on issues of compensation, work environments, and appropriate and accessible professional preparation for the early childhood workforce, with specific attention to how these issues relate to children's development and learning. Her most recent reports--the 2016 Early Childhood Workforce Index and Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages: The Early Care and Education Workforce 25 Years after the National Child Care Staffing Study-- document the current status of the workforce and analyze how federal and state workforce policies serve to support and/or undermine effective teaching, contribute to inequitable services for children and families, and often pose risks to the personal and familial well-being of the workforce itself. Prior to her current position, Dr. Whitebook was the founding executive director of the Washington-based Center for the Child Care Workforce (CCW), an organization she began in 1977 as the Child Care Employee Project. Dr. Whitebook has led several large-scale early childhood research projects, including the landmark 1989 National Child Care Staffing Study, which first brought public attention to the low wages and high turnover of child care teachers and their impact on child outcomes Dr. Whitebook earned her Bachelor's Degree in Religious Studies and Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of California at Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in Development Studies in Education from the University of California at Los Angeles.