School-to-prison pipeline might start as early as preschool

By high school many minority students or students with disabilities could be on the school-to-prison pipeline. palantelatino.com photo

By Sharon Dunten, editor of SurvivingTimes.com

Are we giving up on a large population of our young people in this country?  With minority students and students with disabilities, including teens with emotional and behavioral problems, carrying the majority of school suspensions and high school dropout rates, could the path toward school-to-prison pipeline be condemning a new generation to failure?

When I worked as a reporter in Mississippi several years ago, the self-fulfilling prophecy for many minority students went as far back as preschool. One southern Mississippi school official told to me the state counted the amount of children not attending preschool programs as an indication of how many prison cells would be required for state correctional facilities 20 to 25 years later. Their justification to watch these numbers was due to the inaccessibility or cuts of preschool programs such as a Head Start, and the broad number of illiterate parents unable to teach the fundamentals early childhood skills to prepare their children to enter kindergarten.  As a result, many preschoolers might start out behind in school as early as five years-old.

By the time many of the minority or students with disabilities enter high school, there is an even bigger chance a student could be railed onto the school-to-prison pipeline.

In a comprehensive report by America Aljazeera, the saga of the school-to-prison pipeline is examined with alarming statistics.  Link here.

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Shriver Report website brings issues of women to forefront

The Shriver Report is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary look at how American families live and work today, giving clear insight into one of the most important social trends of our time: the emergence of women into all areas of society.  To view this new website, link here.

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Huffington Post: It might be a bad time to cut food stamps

pie chart

By Maxwell Strachan, business editor, The Huffington Post

‘Congress effectively pulled money of out the hands of 47 million struggling Americans last month when it allowed massive cuts to the country’s food stamp program to go through without a hitch.” … to read complete article, link here.

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AJC PERSPECTIVE: Georgia’s working poor denied health-care lifeline

Figure 1: Status of State Medicaid Expansion Decisions, as of October 22, 2013

Next year, millions of working-poor Americans will become eligible for Medicaid coverage for the first time, giving them much better access to medical treatment and financially bolstering strained health-care delivery systems in their states.

But not in Georgia.

To read the complete perspective, link here.

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The Shriver Report: The power of coming back to joy and how it can help you at work

… Let’s remind ourselves of a simple fact: Joy is our birthright. Joy is not an external. It’s not something we can afford to dip into when time or bandwidth permit. It is a cornerstone of our power as a person of influence, a visionary, and a creative agent of change … To read the complete perspective, link here.

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Fox News: US sees small improvement rate of preterm births

The United States has a 11.5 percent preterm birth rate. newsmomneed.marchofdimes.com photo

… According to the March of Dimes, the United States ranks the worst out of the 130 industrialized nations in the world for rate of preterm birth. The main culprits are not having health insurance, elective deliveries and smoking during pregnancy. But Howse said there has been definite improvement in all three areas … to read the complete article, link here.

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NBC News: US to require insurers to cover mental health, addiction same as physical illness

Rosalynn Carter

The Obama administration will require insurers to cover mental health and addiction just as they cover physical illnesses.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius made the announcement at a mental health conference Friday morning at the Carter Center in Atlanta with former first lady Rosalynn Carter.  To read more, link here.

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