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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Report reveals economic disparities for children of color in Vermont

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Monday, January 15, 2024   

Children of color in Vermont fare relatively well compared to their peers nationwide, but a new report says economic disparities persist for their families.

While Vermont has some of the smallest populations of children of color, Black and Latino children are more likely to live in neighborhoods with concentrated poverty and in households earning incomes at or below the poverty line.

Sarah Teel, research director with Voices for Vermont's Children, said the data show how policies and systems have created inequities over time.

"What we really need to do with any data is ask people, 'What has helped you, and what has not helped you?'" said Teel. "And really allow for peoples' lived experience to drive our policy decisions."

Teel said expansion of the federal Child Tax Credit during the pandemic cut childhood poverty in half.

She said she'd like to see Vermont's Child Tax Credit expanded and made permanent, to help get cash to families in need.

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

Teel said Vermont is considering creating a "baby bonds" program, which invests public funds into accounts that children from low-income families can eventually use for school, or even to buy a home.

"Access to cash," said Teel, "equals access to flexibility and the ability to respond to needs that, you know, no policymaker can really predict."

Teel said Vermont is no different than the rest of the U.S. in failing to meet the needs of all children.

She said it's important to understand the persistent barriers preventing children of color from achieving their full potential - and to implement policies already shown to improve health and education outcomes.






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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