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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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Donald Trump declines to take the witness stand; Colorado first in nation to offer free mental health care to youths; NE Center for Rural Affairs' $62 million EPA grant will expand solar access; and new report reveals long-term salary slide for MI teachers.

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Republicans may use the phantom of noncitizen voters to overturn the election, Supreme Court Justice Alito's display of an upside-down American flag reignites calls for an ethics code, and Missouri Dems filibuster for abortion rights.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.


Industrial emissions of carcinogenic chemicals disproportionately occur in neighborhoods where African American, Hispanic, Latino residents, including many living in poverty. (Oleksii Fadieiev/Adobe Stock)
Environmental group takes on polluters in historic Louisiana neighborhood

An environmental justice organization in Wallace, Louisiana, says it won't back down in a fight for the health of its historic community. The …

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The current Louisiana Constitution protects Medicaid and salary stipends for police, firefighters and other first responders. (Felix Mizioznikov/Adobe Stock)
Potential state constitution changes worry LA teachers

Teachers in Louisiana are trying to stop an upcoming constitutional convention proposed by Gov. Jeff Landry. The governor, who has been in office for …

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As of last December, 4.16 million fewer children were enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program nationwide than the month before each state began the process of renewing post-COVID eligibility. (Adobe Stock)
Medicaid 'unwinding' leaves thousands of LA children without coverage

More than 56,000 children in Louisiana have lost their health insurance through Medicaid last year, despite being eligible for coverage, according to …

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Louisiana teachers are concerned private schools using tax dollars for students will not be held to the same academic standards as public schools. (Adobe Stock)
LA teachers fight voucher plan to use public funds for private schools

A plan to use public money to fund vouchers for students to attend private schools is drawing pushback from Louisiana teachers, who say the plan …

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Legislation to curtail the union membership rights of about 50,000 public school educators in Lousiana has the backing of some business and national conservative groups. (wavebreak3/Adobe Stock)
Louisiana teachers' union concerned about educators' future

Leaders of a teachers' union in Louisiana are voicing concerns about a package of bills they say would have the effect of dissolving labor unions in t…

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Almost 900,000 individuals have received student loan forgiveness since 2021 as a result of the Biden administration streamlining and expanding the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Nearly 400,000 more are within 24 loan payments of becoming eligible. (fizkes/Adobe Stock)
As Louisiana teachers await permanent pay hikes, federal loan relief helps some

In a 2023 survey, 66% of teachers -- compared with 39% of adults in other fields -- said they were unsatisfied with their starting salary. When …

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Black students are twice as likely as white students to be in districts with funding below estimated
LA schools among the nation's most 'chronically underfunded'

A new report finds Louisiana is among a handful of states that chronically underfunds its K-12 schools. Public school funding is largely left up to …

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The Race for Results index measures well-being indicators across states and racial/ethnic groups, highlighting differences in early childhood, education, family resources and neighborhood context.(Adobe Stock)
Louisiana children struggle compared to peers in other states

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2024 Race for Results report examines child well-being, and finds children of color in Louisiana face significant …

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Feeding America estimates more than 57,000 food-insecure people live in Jefferson Parish. (Adobe Stock)<br />
AFT grants to combat food insecurity among students in Jefferson Parish

The American Federation of Teachers recently gave out grants in urban, suburban, and rural communities across America to increase literacy and …

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The state established a 1-mile buffer zone off Elmers Island and Grand Terre Island, and a 3-mile buffer off of Grand Isle. (Adobe Stock)
Fish dumps bring calls for more regulations on commercial menhaden industry

With news of more large-scale fish dumps in coastal Louisiana waters in recent weeks, advocates are calling for more regulations on the menhaden …

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Louisiana has the most narrow menhaden buffer zone among nearby Gulf states. (Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership)
Advocates Call for Menhaden Catch Limits, Buffer Zones off Louisiana Coast

Advocates are calling for catch limits and a buffer zone to protect menhaden in the Gulf of Mexico. Menhaden, known in Louisiana as pogies, are small …

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One measure of children's well-being has not improved in Louisiana. The number of kids in poverty remained at 27% between 2019 and 2021, according to the new Kids Count Data Book. (Adobe Stock)
Report: LA Remains Stagnant in Overall Child Well-Being

A new annual report finds Louisiana has stagnated on measures to improve children's well-being. The Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey …

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