Saturday, October 23, 2021


Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.


House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.


An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Despite Ranking, Pandemic Clouds IA's Child Well-being Outlook


Wednesday, June 23, 2021   

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa gets some high marks in the latest 50-state report on children's wellbeing, but the annual findings show the pandemic is worsening racial disparities, with the state seeing declines in some areas even before the health crisis.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual Kids Count Data Book analyzes how states stack up in such areas as education, health and economic factors for families with children. In mostly relying on 2019 data, Iowa ranks 9th overall.

Mike Owen, deputy director of the policy group Common Good Iowa, said people shouldn't read too much into that.

"Point-by-point, there are some bumps up and bumps down," Owen observed. "I don't think that the changes that we see for Iowa in this report [are] so markedly different that there are great things we could draw from."

For example, Iowa ranks 7th in economic well-being, but Owen noted before the crisis, Iowa still had more than 90,000 kids living in poverty. And post-COVID data in the report show families of color have experienced higher rates of food insecurity than Iowa's general population.

In education, Iowa lost ground in terms of three- and four-year-olds not enrolled in preschool, and fewer eighth-graders proficient in math.

Owen argued the results underscore the need for policymakers to ensure a more equitable recovery from the pandemic.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Foundation, said there's hope with the recent expansion of the federal Child Tax Credit, with monthly payments to qualifying households starting next month.

"For families with children under the age of six, it's $300 a month that those families will be receiving," Boissiere pointed out. "So, at a time when families are concerned with being able to pay their mortgage, or to pay their rent or to provide food for their families, it's a significant amount."

But she noted the expansion is for only one year, and advocates urged Congress to make it permanent.

Other areas of concern for Iowa in the report include child obesity rates, and households with children dealing with mental-health issues during the crisis.

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

get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …

Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …

In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)


CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …


ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021