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Colleges see big drop in foreign-language enrollment; Kentucky advocates say it's time to bury medical debt; Young Farmers in Michigan hope the new farm bill will include key benefits regarding land access.

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The White House presses for supplemental Ukraine aid. Leaders condemn antisemitic attacks during Gaza ceasefire protests. Despite concerns about the next election, one Arizona legal expert says courts generally side with voters and democracy.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Report: New Hampshire Ranks 2nd for Child Well-Being

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Friday, August 12, 2022   

New Hampshire ranks second in the country on measures of child well-being, according to the new 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The Granite State scores well for economic well-being, education, health, and family and community factors. However, researchers also found rising rates of attempted suicide nationally, especially for students of color or LGBTQ youths.

In New Hampshire, said Emma Sevigny, children's behavioral health policy coordinator with New Futures, a health advocacy nonprofit in Concord, said the new 988 mental-health hotline is paired with local crisis-intervention services.

"And with it, we have a rapid response team that's available to give support to kids in their communities," she said, "so if we can improve that system and ensure that there is sustainable funding for it, that's a huge step in the right direction."

The report ranked New Hampshire fourth in education, but it drops to seventh for the number of 3- and 4-year-olds not attending preschool. Sevigny said she would like to see more subsidies to help parents afford preschool.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president for external affairs at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, said she'd like to see Congress renew the extended Child Tax Credit that boosted the bottom line for low-income families during the pandemic, but was allowed to expire.

"It's incredibly important that decisionmakers seize the opportunity and the lessons learned during the COVID-19 period, when more resources were provided to families, so that we can make sure that every child has their basic needs met," she said, "that fewer children live in poverty, and that the overall well-being of children in this country increases."

In the legislative session next year, state lawmakers will decide whether to reauthorize the expansion of Medicaid, a lifeline for many struggling families.

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


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