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PNS Daily Newscast - November 17, 2017 


The Keystone oil pipeline spills big time in South Dakota; a look at the GOP tax plan and it’s impact on the most vulnerable Americans; and renewed hope for Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters national monument.

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Report: Children of Color in Idaho Still Face Barriers to Well-Being

A new report finds Latino children in Idaho are falling behind other children in access to education. (Bureau of Land Management/Flickr)
A new report finds Latino children in Idaho are falling behind other children in access to education. (Bureau of Land Management/Flickr)
October 24, 2017

BOISE, Idaho – A new report reveals the persistent disparities for children of color and those in immigrant families, in Idaho and across the country.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2017 Race for Results report measures key milestones in child development across racial and ethnic groups. It found African-American and Native-American children were better off in Idaho than the national average, but that white, Latino, Asian-American and Pacific-Islander kids were below average.

Idaho Voices for Children Director Lauren Necochea pointed out that businesses in Idaho are clamoring for a more qualified workforce, and helping children succeed will help the state's future economy.

"We also have demographic changes to consider in our state," said Necochea. "Our children are much more racially and ethnically diverse than generations before, and that means we should pay close attention to both the barriers and the strengths that communities of color experience so that we can plan for our collective future."

Necochea believes the biggest barrier for children of all races in the state right now is the lack of access to early childhood education. The early-education gap is especially pronounced for Hispanic children, only 38 percent of whom are enrolled in preschool.

While the report reveals significant barriers for children of color, Laura Speer, associate director for policy reform and advocacy for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is convinced there is a path toward improvement. She encouraged lawmakers to do their part.

"Smart policies can level the playing field; they can protect kids' well-being and ensure that they're all supported," Speer said. "And they can make a difference in making sure that equitable educational resources and access to early-childhood education are provided to all kids, and that can make a difference for parents."

Speer added that such supports as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, tax credits, housing and child-care have lasting positive effects for lower-income families of all races.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID