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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 buildup; and 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.

Report: CT child education suffers in pandemic aftermath

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Tuesday, June 11, 2024   

A new report finds the well-being of Connecticut's kids is wavering in the pandemic's aftermath. The state ranks 8th in the Annie E. Casey Kids Count Data Book, up from 9th last year.

While the state advanced kids' economic well-being, progress stagnated in education. Fourth graders not proficient in reading and eighth graders not proficient in math grew exponentially.

Emily Byrne, executive director of Connecticut Voices for Children, said the report's recommendations can improve children's academic performance.

"Ensuring access to low or no-cost school meals, reliable internet connections and a place to study, and time to be with friends, teachers, and counselors," she said. "Another recommendation is around expanding access to intensive tutoring for students who are behind in their classes."

She added improving a family's economic security contributes to a child's learning ability, and said the state should invest in families and children through a state child tax credit. Connecticut's General Assembly considered legislation establishing such a credit during its legislative session. It would have provided families $600 per child for up to three children. But the bill failed to pass.

Another issue Connecticut is dealing with is chronic classroom absences.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, said states and schools should track chronic absenteeism as many states don't track this data by grade.

"Good data can lead to good policy," she explained. "So, it's important that states look at chronic absenteeism data that schools collected, they look at it by grade, and they look at strategies that can be deployed that can reduce chronic absenteeism, particularly since it's at an all-time high."

A Connecticut State Department of Education report finds absenteeism declined to 20% from almost 24% in the 2022-2023 school year. This means around 28,000 more students were attending school. Despite this, absenteeism for all students still exceeds pre-pandemic levels.

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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