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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Report finds gaps in child well-being persist across Maine

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Monday, January 15, 2024   

Children of color in Maine fare relatively well compared to their peers nationwide, but gaps in child well-being persist - according to a new report.

Maine children are less likely to live in neighborhoods with concentrated poverty, but Black children are more likely to live in lower-income households.

And American Indian or Alaska Native students are less likely to graduate high school on time.

Helen Hemminger, research and KIDS COUNT associate with Maine Children's Alliance, said to achieve equity, all children need opportunity.

"To have the supports that they need, in the families that they're living in, so they can achieve their full potential," said Hemminger. "And that has benefits not only for those children and families, but also for all of us who live in Maine."

Hemminger said expansion of the state's Earned Income Tax Credit to all tax filers, regardless of immigration status, is one example of a targeted strategy that's helped improve the lives of Maine children.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's report emphasizes the need for targeted investments in children of color - including direct cash payments to families, free and reduced-price lunch programs and the expansion of Medicaid.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, said expanded federal tax credits during the pandemic lifted 800,000 Black children and more than one million Latino children out of poverty.

"We know that a small amount of annual income - as small as $3,000 a year," said Boissiere, "can have a significant difference for low-income kids and families."

Boissiere said universal policies like "baby bonds" and childrens' savings accounts also help parents save for their kids' future.

She said it's important to understand the specific barriers faced by Black, Latino or immigrant families to better advance the policies already proven to work.


Disclosure: Annie E Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Education, Juvenile Justice, Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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