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Monday, July 15, 2024

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After the Trump assassination attempt, defining democracy gets even harder; Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate; DC residents push back on natural gas infrastructure build-up a new law allows youth on Medi-Cal to consent to mental health treatment.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Pandemic learning-loss, economic hardship impacting VT childrens’ well-being

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Monday, June 10, 2024   

Vermont ranks high in child well-being, but post-pandemic learning loss continues to impact educational outcomes, according to a new report.

The 2024 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds the number of eighth grade students proficient in math has declined to less than 30%, while the number of high school students failing to graduate on time has slightly increased.

Sarah Teel, research director with Voices for Vermont's Children, said the data show the importance of fully-funded public schools.

"If schools can be a site of real community inclusiveness," said Teel, "we really believe that has so much potential to support kids and families in so many ways, and bring services right to where families are."

Teel said kids are feeling the economic strains of their parents as high housing costs strain family budgets.

She said community schools in particular can both support students with needed social services and help increase parent engagement to improve academic success.

The report notes the failure to regain pandemic-era learning loss could cost today's students hundreds of billions of dollars in future earnings, and the U.S. economy trillions in lost activity.

Chronic absence has also soared, with the 12% of Vermont children living in poverty struggling to resume their regular school day routines.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, called it an all hands on deck moment.

"Both the resources within school, the resources within communities," said Boissiere, "and engaging parents as part of the process to make sure that students have the support that they need, and that children have the support that they need in order to succeed."

While the number of Vermont children living in high-poverty areas slightly declined, Boissiere said increased state support for community schools could better ensure kids' access to low- or no-cost meals, in-person tutoring, and mental health services to reverse academic declines.






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


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