Fourth graders study in a view through a classroom window.

Debate over holding back third graders roils state legislatures

BY: - May 5, 2023

Should third graders who don’t read well enough to pass a standardized test repeat their grade? That question is roiling states, with some choosing to keep the practice, some to modify it and others to scrap it. Most states require students to take standardized tests that measure progress in reading and math in the third […]

With fire departments struggling for volunteers, states respond to the alarm

BY: - April 24, 2023

When firefighters show up to a blaze or medical emergency across much of the United States, they most likely are volunteers. It’s also likely the department is understaffed, struggling to replace old equipment and facing uncertainty about its next generation of firefighters. “So much of our country relies on the volunteer fire service,” said Kimberly […]

Democrats Divided Over Strikes by Teachers, Principals

BY: - March 1, 2023

Illinois Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker recently signed a bill allowing Chicago school principals to unionize and possibly go on strike. But Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey, also a Democrat and in an equally liberal state, said just the other day she opposes legislation that would explicitly permit teachers to strike. Across the country, teachers and other […]

This State Could Be the Last One (for a While, Anyway) to Expand Medicaid

BY: - January 4, 2023

The story has been updated to correct the number of organizations comprising the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas. It is 128. For years, state Sen. Phil Berger says, there was nobody in North Carolina who opposed Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act more vehemently than he did. “If there was somebody in the state […]

Some States Could Tax Forgiven Student Loan Debt

BY: - September 8, 2022

Indiana will apply state income taxes to federally forgiven student loans, joining North Carolina and Mississippi, diminishing the benefit to borrowers who live in those states. A handful of other state revenue agencies are considering doing the same. While President Joe Biden’s order last month forgiving student loan debt explicitly referenced law excluding the amounts […]

More States Are Forgoing Extra Federal Food Aid

BY: - July 19, 2022

More than 18 million Americans sometimes didn’t have enough to eat last month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. More than 5 million people often went hungry. Those numbers would have been higher if millions of families hadn’t received extra food aid through a pandemic-related expansion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as […]

Abortion Medications Set to Become Next Legal Battlefield

BY: - July 13, 2022

Read more Stateline coverage on how states are either protecting or curbing access to abortions. In the nearly three weeks since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion has become illegal in at least 10 states, with more states to follow in the weeks ahead. That means doctors and other health care providers in those […]

After Leaked Roe Ruling, GOP Weighs Stricter Abortion Bans

BY: - May 17, 2022

If, as expected, the U.S. Supreme Court decides as early as next month to overturn Roe v. Wade, just how quickly Republican-dominated legislatures will act to restrict abortion and how far they will go to eliminate the procedure is uncertain. But recent rhetoric from state officials and events in state capitols offer some clues. GOP […]

Teens’ Period Poverty Activism Has Stirred Lawmakers to Action

BY: - May 16, 2022

For many years, Laila Brown, a 16-year-old from Vicksburg, Mississippi, and her peers had conversations about the stigma of periods and the lack of period products at school. After learning about “period poverty,” or inadequate access to menstrual hygiene products and education, Brown and her older sister, Asia, 21, wanted to help. In January 2021, […]

More States Consider Bills to Prohibit Discrimination Against Black Hair

BY: - March 31, 2022

This year, more states are weighing measures to prohibit hair discrimination in work or school settings, joining 14 other states that have enacted similar laws over the past few years. For decades, Black Americans have been villainized and discriminated against because of their natural hair, whether they’re showcasing their hair texture or wearing protective styles […]

Surviving Small Restaurants Push Forward as Pandemic Ebbs

BY: - March 22, 2022

Read Stateline coverage of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. CLARKSDALE, Miss. — For two years, Naomi King, an Australian native who owns Levon’s Bar and Grill in Clarksdale, Mississippi, pivoted her business model in more ways than one. The coronavirus pandemic forced her and her husband, Jonathan King, to cut the staff by […]

Here’s One Way States Are Boosting Affordable Housing

BY: - March 2, 2022

Brian Swanton is the president of Gorman & Company, a development firm that builds and manages low-income housing nationwide, including some 2,000 affordable housing units in Arizona, where he is based. The demand for such apartments greatly exceeds the supply. Every year, Swanton said, managers of his properties turn away thousands of families who want […]