A community college student near a bus stop.

More states are giving students more money to pay for community college

BY: - May 19, 2023

As the idea of free community college gains traction across the country, some lawmakers have gotten bolder in their concepts — expanding existing programs or pitching legislation that would offer free college to anyone. The latest example is Massachusetts, where Democratic Gov. Maura Healey’s 2024 budget includes $20 million to expand the state’s free community college program to […]

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 Workers Scarce, Some States Seek to Loosen Child Labor Laws

BY: - April 17, 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In the past two years, lawmakers in at least 11 states have sought to loosen child labor laws to help employers fill empty jobs, even as federal officials and news investigations suggest that many minors working in manufacturing, meatpacking and construction jobs are being exploited or hurt. The unemployment rate sits at […]

After Nashville Shooting, Democratic States Push for New Gun Restrictions

BY: - April 11, 2023

After a shooter killed three elementary school children and three faculty members in Nashville last month, hundreds of student activists flooded the Tennessee state Capitol to demand new gun restrictions. On the state House floor, three Democratic members disrupted proceedings by shouting through bullhorns, calling for a debate on firearm access. But those calls went […]

States Are Learning on the Fly About Sports Betting Addiction

BY: - March 22, 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The states that have legalized sports betting are reporting record levels of wagering and revenues, but with that growth comes questions about gambling addiction and whether regulators and sportsbooks are doing enough to fight it. Two dozen states have active online sports betting, and other states are on the verge of joining […]

Some Towns Get Funding Boost From Census Corrections

BY: - February 10, 2023

After the U.S. Census Bureau released its first round of official 2020 population corrections in January, many states and cities still await action on the bulk of their counting issues and the funding shortfalls those mishaps can cause. Early winners are those areas where the census had clear technical problems — where mapping issues or […]

GOP Leaders in Some States Want to Add Abortion Ban Exceptions

BY: - January 27, 2023

Read more Stateline coverage on how states are either protecting or curbing access to abortions. NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With Tennessee’s so-called trigger law already on the books, the state enacted its abortion ban almost immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June. Yet even as anti-abortion legislators and advocates celebrated, they considered […]

States Put Grocery Taxes on Ice

BY: - January 17, 2023

As inflation soared in the past year, families in some states suffered a double whammy — paying food sales taxes on top of higher-priced groceries. At least five of the 13 states where groceries were taxed as of last Jan. 1 passed laws to reduce, eliminate or ease the pinch — Kansas, Virginia, Illinois, Tennessee and […]

GOP Lawmakers Aim to Criminalize Drag Shows Where Children Could Be Present

BY: - December 14, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It was trivia night at Tribe, an LGBTQ club in Nashville, and drag queen Tracey Ottomey was quizzing the crowd on pop music, Christmas movies and Queen Victoria. At the same time, pop music videos — widely available on YouTube and other platforms — played on screens around the bar. One audience […]

To Reduce Trash, Some States Charge the Companies Producing It

BY: - November 3, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nashville is growing, and so are its piles of trash. The Middle Point Landfill, in nearby Murfreesboro, collects most of the solid waste in Middle Tennessee, but it could be full by the end of the decade, sending Nashville and other communities scrambling for a place to put their garbage. Republic Services, […]

Lack of Transportation Hinders Community College Students

BY: - October 24, 2022

Note: This story was updated to clarify the funding sources for the Harper College ride-share program. ESSEX, Md. — Monica Momoh, a freshman at the Community College of Baltimore County in Maryland, doesn’t cry easily. But one day a few weeks ago, she found herself sobbing outside a classroom. Momoh, 25, describes herself as “happy-go-lucky,” but […]

Census Bureau Finishes Some Local Count Challenges

BY: - September 2, 2022

The U.S Census Bureau has completed six of the 47 challenges by localities to 2020 counts so far this year, and some have been successful. Some cities small and large have complained that flawed counts have cut off funding based on population and challenges filed under the Count Question Resolution program, considered mapping mistakes that placed […]