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Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

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As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Report:ID ranks high in child well-being, education still concern

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Wednesday, June 12, 2024   

Idaho ranks 13th in a new report on child well-being.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual Kids Count Data Book measures how well states are supporting children and families in four categories: economic well-being, education, health and family and community.

Christine Tiddens, director of Idaho Voices for Children, noted although the state fares well overall, it lags behind in the education metric. She said one cause is the high prevalence of adverse childhood experiences, which include things like economic hardship within the family or living with someone with a mental illness or substance abuse issue.

"Higher rates of ACEs can and do keep Idaho students from coming to school ready to learn or even coming to school at all," Tiddens pointed out.

Idaho ranked 38th in education but the state did well in other areas, including scoring ninth in the health category and fourth in family and community.

Like other states around the country, Idaho has struggled with education post-pandemic.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, said the pandemic is not solely to blame for worsening educational outcomes, emphasizing it has been an issue for a long time.

"For example, the pandemic erased decades of increases in math scores," Boissiere acknowledged. "However, if you look over those 35 years that we've produced the Data Book, we've never seen a significant percentage of children who were either proficient in fourth grade reading or basic math."

Tiddens argued to get back on track, Idaho policymakers need to prioritize ensuring kids arrive at the classroom ready to learn, by doing things like as providing greater access to affordable meals.

"That they have a safe home, that they feel safe and have somewhere to study with their friends, and that they have access to teachers and counselors who understand the impact of an unstable home and are able to help find resources for them," Tiddens outlined.

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


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