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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: Alaska ranks near bottom in overall child well-being

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Thursday, June 13, 2024   

Alaska ranks 41st in the nation in terms of overall child well-being, according to the new 2024 Kids Count Data Bookfrom the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Researchers found in 2022, 14% of the state's children lived in poverty, and 32% lived in a home where the parents lacked secure employment.

Trevor Storrs, president and CEO of the Alaska Children's Trust, said state budgets have failed to prioritize children and families.

"The biggest issue has been over the past decade, we have been doing major cuts to services," Storrs pointed out. "Our overall investment in children and families has decreased in the past decade by 15%."

Storrs encouraged voters to keep children's needs top of mind when choosing candidates for local and state offices in this fall's election. The report also found Alaska's school children are falling behind, with 76% of fourth graders not proficient in reading, 77% of eighth graders not proficient in math, and 62% of 3- and 4-year-olds not in school.

Alaska has had long-standing trouble recruiting enough teachers, especially in remote rural towns.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, said reading and math skills were low even before the pandemic, and they have regressed.

"We know both those skills are critically important not only to academic success but to make sure that young people are prepared for the workforce," Boissiere asserted.

Some high notes in the report included the number of child and teen deaths improved, going from 53 per 100,000 people in 2019 to 46, in 2022. The state also made gains in the percentage of teens not in school and not working, and on families facing a high housing cost burden.


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