Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - July 20, 2018.  


Trump now wants Putin to visit the White House this fall; Also on the Friday rundown: health insurance rates to rise by almost 9 percent in California; and as the climate crises reaches “Zero Hour” young people take a stand.

Daily Newscasts

Report: Opportunity Knocks, But Not for Kids of Color in Oregon

PHOTO: Not every child in Oregon has much to smile about, according to new data from Children First for Oregon. The group says although the state has become more ethnically diverse, children of color don't have the nearly same opportunities for success as their white peers. Photo credit: Grady Reese/iStockphoto.
PHOTO: Not every child in Oregon has much to smile about, according to new data from Children First for Oregon. The group says although the state has become more ethnically diverse, children of color don't have the nearly same opportunities for success as their white peers. Photo credit: Grady Reese/iStockphoto.
October 9, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon's quality of life is different depending on the color of a child's skin. That's the conclusion of the 2014 County Data Book, which includes research about the opportunities for children growing up in the state.

In every county, Children First for Oregon says children of color don't have the same chances for success as their white counterparts. And since one-third of Oregon kids identify as non-white, the report says the state has some work to do to catch up with the trend.

Tonia Hunt, executive director of Children First for Oregon, says Oregon's future depends on it.

"When we don't see early childhood educational opportunities, then we don't see strong elementary school success, and we don't see good high school graduation," says Hunt. "Those are our next parents living in poverty, and raising their children in poverty. So, we've got to be interrupting the cycle."

The report covers 12 measures it calls "Indicators of Opportunity," from reading and math proficiency at certain grade levels, to living above the poverty level, and with parents who have finished high school. It says 60 percent of children of color live in low-income families in Oregon, compared to 38 percent of white children.

Hunt says in rural Oregon, services are scarce and transportation and lack of living-wage jobs are challenges. But she adds even in urban areas with concentrations of minority families, the research found there aren't enough culturally-specific programs or services to meet the needs, nor has there been enough funding to change that.

"In many of our populations of children, in specific regions and certain cultural populations, we've actually fallen below mediocrity," says Hunt. "We're seeing kids really struggling, and families struggling to not even get ahead, but just simply to survive."

Hunt explains the point of the report isn't to insist every child get equal treatment in every way - but that more focus be placed on the disparities that make it more difficult for non-white children to succeed in school and in life.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR