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Democracy Trailblazers ignite enthusiasm among teen voters; CA monster blizzard batters Tahoe, Mammoth, Sierra amid avalanche warnings; MN transportation sector could be next in line for carbon-free standard; IN teachers 'stunned' by lawmakers' bid to bypass collective bargaining.

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Nikki Haley says she may not endorse the GOP nominee, President Biden says the U-S will continue air-dropping aid into Gaza and more states look at ditching the electoral college for a national popular vote.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

"D" Grade for California on Children's Well-Being: Report

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Thursday, January 13, 2022   

A new report shows California's 13.5 million children are suffering in the wake of the pandemic.

It gives the state low marks on child care, foster care, mental-health supports and preventive health screenings. The new 2022 California Children's Report Card from the nonprofit Children Now showed children of color, in particular, are likely to absorb toxic levels of stress.

Harold Goldstein, executive director of Public Health Advocates, a statewide research and advocacy organization, noted the suicide rate for teens of color has shot up in the wake of police killings, worsening poverty, and separation from friends during COVID.

"The suicide rate among Black young people has doubled in the past six years and continues on a very troubling upward trajectory."

According to the report, only about one in four infants with Medi-Cal coverage got a well-baby checkup in 2019. And children's doctor visits have dropped significantly in the pandemic.

On the plus side, California gets "A" grades for getting kids covered by health insurance, regardless of immigration status, and for putting record funding toward transitional kindergarten for all four-year-olds.

However, Goldstein added, the state gets low grades for a lack of affordable child care and low rates of pay for caregivers.

"If skilled, quality childcare isn't available to young children, they can be harmed, and it's going to impact them for the rest of their life," Goldstein contended.

The report authors also concluded California needs to work harder to find stable homes for foster kids, with nearly 40% being placed in three or more homes during a two-year period.


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House Bill passed with an overwhelming vote of 94-6, with three abstentions. Its companion, Senate Bill 159, passed unanimously with a vote of 34-0. (Chad Robertson/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

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A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…


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By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Joyce Foundation-Public News Ser…

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