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A contentious Farm Bill heads to U.S. House for debate. Also on our rundown: gaps cited in protections for small-business employees and nonprofit volunteers; plus power out for much of Puerto Rico; and some warning signs, that increased youth activism may not correspond to voter turnout.

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Not So Fast: NC Children of Color Face Obstacles to Success

A report released today says North Carolina children could do better with increased access to education, healthcare and economy opportunities for their parents. (amoswright/flickr)
A report released today says North Carolina children could do better with increased access to education, healthcare and economy opportunities for their parents. (amoswright/flickr)
October 24, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. – The road to success has a few more bumps in it for children of color in North Carolina. That assessment is supported by a numerical index released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in its "2017 Race for Results" report, which measures children's progress in education, health and economy milestones.

Using a scale of one to 1,000, the report finds it is North Carolina's children of African Americans and Hispanics that bear the brunt of the disparity, says Rob Thompson, the senior policy and communications advisor for N.C. Child.

"We do have it in our power as a society to address some of these issues through public policy, so we can do things like in North Carolina, re-establishing our Earned Income Tax Credit so that low-income, working families have more access to cash," he explains.

In the index, North Carolina received a score of 375 for African American children and similarly low scores for American Indians and Hispanics. Thompson says to address the inequities, his organization is partnering with state agencies to develop a tool - the Health Equity Impact Assessment - to make sure policies align with needs and goals to improve the lives of children in the state.

Laura Speer, the associate director of policy reform and advocacy at the Casey Foundation, says administrative decisions threatening the status of 800 thousand young people under the DACA program also play a large role in the future success of immigrant children.

"Ensuring that the Dreamers are able to stay with their families and in their communities and to continue to be able to contribute to our country," she says. "We need them in terms of the long-term success of our country, and we should allow them to be able to stay."

Thompson says it won't be long before the disparity will be impossible to ignore, with large consequences for the state's future.

"Children of color are soon going to be the majority of all children in North Carolina, so if we don't start making progress on eliminating these disparities and improving outcomes for children of color, we're really putting our future as a state in peril," he warns.

Since the last "Race for Results" report published in 2014, the percentage of children who live in low poverty neighborhoods worsened significantly.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC