Student-loan defaults decline (The New York Times): The number of U.S. student loans went down in 2013 but still remain well above pre-recession levels. Among borrowers in their third year of repayment, 13.7 percent had defaulted in 2013, compared to 14.7 percent in 2012.
Child-care, other costs going up for middle-class parents (AP): Parents in the Seattle area are facing increased costs for child-care and college savings, as wages remain stagnant. Average college costs have gone up more than 80 percent from 2000 to 2012.
Philadelphia enacts $2-per-pack cigarette tax to help pay for schools (The Inquirer): Smokers in the City of Brotherly Love will soon be paying an extra $2 a pack to help raise money for Philadelphia’s cash-strapped schools.