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PNS Daily Newscast - November 20, 2017 


On our Monday nationwide rundown; decision day for the Keystone XL pipeline; a border patrol agent killed in the line of duty in Texas; and time is running out to comment on fees that could double or triple at many National Parks in 2018.

Daily Newscasts

Report: Disparities Greatest in Nation for Native-American Children in SD

Supporting families is integral to closing the opportunity gaps for Native American children in South Dakota, according to a new report. (Hamner_Fotos/Flickr)
Supporting families is integral to closing the opportunity gaps for Native American children in South Dakota, according to a new report. (Hamner_Fotos/Flickr)
October 24, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. – A new report reveals the persistent disparities for children of color and those in immigrant families, in South Dakota and across the country.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2017 Race for Results report measures key milestones in child development across racial and ethnic groups. Native American children in South Dakota ranked the lowest of any group in any state.

But Carole Cochran, director of South Dakota Kids Count, says since the last Race for Results report in 2014, there have been improvements, such as an increasing number of Native American children living in low-poverty areas.

"Some progress has been made," she notes. "There's been a little inroad, I should say, into the disparities, but we still have a long way to go."

Cochran says programs that support parents, such as paid family leave, also help kids. Both she and the report mentioned South Dakota's growing acceptance of immigrant communities as well. Cochran says these communities are vital parts of the state and its economy.

While the report reveals significant barriers for children of color, Laura Speer, the associate director of policy reform and advocacy at the Casey Foundation, says there is a path toward improvement. She encourages lawmakers to do their part.

"Smart policies can level the playing field, they can protect kids' well-being and ensure that they're all supported," she says. "And they can make a difference in making sure that equitable educational resources and access to early childhood education are provided to all kids, and that can make a difference for parents."

Speer adds that programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, tax credits, housing and child-care have lasting positive effects for lower-income families of all races.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - SD