Kids Count Report – Ohio

Poverty rates leap for Ohio children, By Rita Price, August 6, 2011, Columbus Dispatch: “The number of Ohio counties with at least a fourth of their children living in poverty doubled in just one year, with Franklin County tumbling into the group. According to a report from the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio, 31 Ohio counties – more than a third of the state total – had child-poverty rates of 25 percent or higher in 2009. That’s a jump from 15 counties in 2008, according to U.S. census estimates compiled by the child-advocacy organization…”

Achievement Gaps – New Orleans, Washington DC

  • New Orleans public school achievement gap is narrowing, By Andrew Vanacore, August 7, 2011, New Orleans Times-Picayune: “For as long as records have been kept, black students in New Orleans’ public schools have lagged far behind the city’s white students on the annual exams that Louisiana uses to track student achievement, reflecting wide income disparities and other factors. What’s more, black students in the city have traditionally fallen behind their black peers in the rest of the state, where the so-called achievement gap has historically been less pronounced. That second metric changed this year for the first time. State data show that 53 percent of African-American youngsters in New Orleans scored at grade level or better on state tests this spring, compared with 51 percent of black students across Louisiana. Just four years ago, only 32 percent of black students in New Orleans had achieved grade level, compared with 43 percent statewide…”
  • Huge achievement gaps persist in D.C. schools, By Bill Turque, August 6, 2011, Washington Post: “The gulf in academic achievement separating public schools in the District’s poorest neighborhoods from those in its most affluent has narrowed slightly in some instances but remains vast, an analysis of 2011 test score data show. Children in Ward 7 and 8 schools trailed their Ward 3 peers in reading and math pass rates by huge margins – from 41 to 56 percentage points – on this year’s D.C. Comprehensive Assessment System exams. The tests are given annually to students in grades 3 through 8 and 10…”

Farmers Markets and Food Stamps

Farmers markets in Massachusetts seek to boost their trade in food stamps as use soars, By Dan Ring, August 8, 2011, The Republican: “Operators of farmers markets in Western Massachusetts are attempting to boost their share of a growing group of customers – people with food stamps. The use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, or food stamps, in Massachusetts is exploding, having grown 61 percent over the past three years. To take advantage, the state and some market managers are dangling incentives for recipients to buy at the markets including grants to markets for electronic payment terminals and certain matching dollars for consumers. Another key goal of the effort is to encourage low-income families to eat more nutritious vegetables and fruits…”

Hospitals and Charity Care – Iowa

‘Charity’ care, bad debt rise for Iowa hospitals, By Rod Boshart, August 2, 2011, Cedar Rapids Gazette: “The prolonged U.S. economic downturn has contributed to a rise in the level of uncompensated ‘charity care’ and unpaid medical debts that Iowa hospitals have incurred in recent years, officials said Tuesday. Overall, the 118-member Iowa Hospital Association provided more than $850 million worth of care last year for which the facilities were not fully compensated, association spokesman Scott McIntyre said. That level, based on a member survey, was up $54 million, or 6.8 percent, from 2009. The total stood at $252 million in 2000, he said…”