Learn more about the quality of your child’s school

Want to understand more about the quality of your child’s school? Join the Colorado Children’s Campaign and Colorado Education Initiative for a Data 101 skill-building workshop on Monday, June 26 at the Corky Gonzales Library. Participants will develop skills to better understand and analyze both school and district level data. Dinner will be provided. To register, click here or contact Stephanie Perez-Carrillo at stephanie@coloradokids.org for more information. Registration closes on June 19.

Posted in KidsFlash, Outreach |


Fast Fact- June 16, 2017

In 2015-16, Colorado’s dropout rate was 2.3 percent (10,530 students), down slightly from 2.5 percent (11,114 students) in 2014-15. Without a high school diploma, young adults face slim odds of finding a job that pays enough to support themselves or a family, making them twice as likely to live in poverty as those who earn a high school diploma. To find the dropout rate in your district, please visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center.

Posted in Fast Facts, KidsFlash |


Report: Medicaid provides more access to health coverage for rural communities than metro areas across Colorado

A larger share of children in small towns and rural areas of Colorado rely on Medicaid to protect them from rising health care costs than those in metropolitan areas, according to a new report released today by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families and the Rural Health Research Project of the University of North Carolina.

The report, “Medicaid in Small Town America: A Lifeline for Children, Families and Communities,” finds that 42 percent of children in rural areas and small towns in Colorado receive health coverage through Medicaid, compared to 35 percent in Colorado’s urban areas. For adults, 20 percent in non-metro areas are covered by Medicaid compared to 15 percent in metro areas.

“Medicaid provides critical access to life-saving treatment and protection from rising health care costs to many children and families living in small towns and rural America,” said Joan Alker, Executive Director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. “Cuts to Medicaid and other health care programs would take those protections away from many and risk financial ruin, denial of health care, or both.”

In Colorado, the impact of the Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act is clear for rural areas and small towns. The uninsured rate for adults in these areas dropped from 28 percent to 17 percent between 2008/2009 and 2014/2015. The uninsured rate for rural children dropped from 15 percent to 7 percent during that same time frame.

“When kids and families have health insurance, the entire community is strengthened,” said Sarah Barnes, Senior Policy Analyst for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “More access to care can mean fewer visits to the ER, less uncompensated care and more people getting—and staying—healthy. If Medicaid is cut, it will undermine the financial stability of rural hospitals and health care clinics that whole communities rely on for care.”

The report is primarily based on data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). The full report, along with interactive maps showing a county-by-county breakdown on health care coverage data, are available at: ccf.georgetown.edu.

Posted in Child Health, KidsFlash |


Learn more about the quality of your child’s school

Want to understand more about the quality of your child’s school? Join the Colorado Children’s Campaign and Colorado Education Initiative for a Data 101 skill building workshop on Monday, June 26 at the Corky Gonzales Library. Participants will develop skills to better understand and analyze both school and district level data. Dinner will be provided. To register click here or contact Stephanie Perez-Carrillo at stephanie@coloradokids.org for more information. Registration closes on June 19.

Data 101 Invitation

Posted in K-12 Education, KidsFlash, Outreach |


Notes from 2017 KIDS COUNT in Colorado!: Our process

kidscount2

This year’s KIDS COUNT report delves into disparities in child well-being based on race and ethnicity in an effort to shine a light on issues where our state can and must do better at creating equitable opportunities for children. In an effort to raise up the voices of the people behind the numbers, we spent time last fall traveling to four communities across the state and holding conversations about child well-being data, disaggregated by race and ethnicity, with parents, youth, community leaders and elders.

Through these conversations, community members in the San Luis Valley, La Plata County, Morgan County and Denver graciously shared their deep knowledge about the factors—whether local, statewide, or national—that contribute to the disparities we see in children’s well-being. Although the wisdom of Coloradans provided through these conversations is too vast to be contained in the pages of the report, the insights and input of these parents, grandparents, youth and community leaders guided the indicators we selected to include in this year’s report, while also providing rich context that helped enhance our understanding of the data. Read more about what surfaced in these community conversations in the 2017 edition of KIDS COUNT in Colorado!

Posted in Child Health, KidsFlash |


Advocate Spotlight: Cliffton Harris

clifftonMeet Cliffton Harris, a Parent Academy Alumni. Since completing the Denver 2016 academy, he has been working with a group of parents from Rocky Mountain Prep to advocate for high quality secondary schools in southeast Denver. He also recently participated in a leadership seminar hosted by Denver Schools of Science and Technology to better understand how to organize parents and coordinate meetings with elected officials. He believes that it is extremely important to support elected officials in their work and to remind them why the work they do is so important.

Have an advocacy story to share? Please contact Stephanie Perez-Carrillo at stephanie@coloradokids.org

 

 

Posted in KidsFlash, Outreach |


Applications Now Open for Teach Plus Colorado Teaching Policy Fellowship

Teach Plus recruits and selects current teachers to participate in a year-long cohort experience including a highly selective leadership opportunity for outstanding Colorado teachers looking to deepen their knowledge of education policy and gain a voice in decisions that affect students and the teaching profession. The fellows expand their influence without leaving the classroom, starting in August 2017 and concluding in June 2018. They also receive training through expert-led modules and direct engagement with key stakeholders as well as a $1,500 stipend for their commitment. The Fellowship does not require prior policy experience. You can apply and learn more here.

Posted in K-12 Education, KidsFlash |


Fast Fact- June 2, 2017

In 2015, 15 percent of children under 18 in Colorado were living in poverty, defined by an annual income of no more than $24,250 for a family of four. Due to long-standing barriers to opportunity, however, children of color in Colorado and throughout the U.S. are more likely to experience poverty than their peers.  Although poverty rates have decreased for Colorado kids of nearly all racial and ethnic backgrounds in the past three years, Black children and Hispanic/Latino children remain more than three times as likely to live in poverty as non-Hispanic white children. To find more data on child poverty by race and ethnicity, please visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center.

Posted in Fast Facts, KidsFlash |


New estimates show 23 million could lose health insurance under AHCA

AHCAChildren, elders and people with disabilities would be among the first to lose coverage under a health insurance proposal passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month, according to an updated analysis this week from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that predicted the costs and impacts of the bill. The U.S. House passed the bill before receiving an updated analysis from the CBO on the impact of the bill on federal spending and the uninsured rate.

The updated analysis out from the CBO this week estimates that as many as 23 million people will lose coverage under the proposal passed by the U.S. House over the next decade and many more—especially seniors—would see their premiums increase. The bill is estimated to reduce federal spending on Medicaid by over $800 billion. It is estimated to reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion. The reduction in federal Medicaid spending is due to changes in the bill to the structure of Medicaid, including a cap on the entire Medicaid program and phasing out the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

If Congress moves forward with the current proposal, which would shift costs and risk to states, Colorado lawmakers would be left with troubling choices about eliminating access to health coverage and benefits for children and families and the state budget. We call on the U.S. Senate to stand up for children and their families. By protecting the significant gains that have been made in health insurance coverage for children and families, the U.S. Senate has an opportunity to continue to improve the health care system and maintain the health coverage and comprehensive benefits that are critical for children’s healthy development.

Posted in Child Health, KidsFlash |


The President’s budget proposal threatens the well-being of Colorado’s children

President Trump released his blueprint for the federal budget this week, and it holds bad news for kids. The President’s budget proposal marks the first step in a long federal budget process in Congress. His proposal, if enacted, would have a significant negative impact on Colorado’s kids and families. It would slash commitments to children instead of recommending new and sustained investments in their health, nutrition and education. The consequences of these proposals would be cumulative, because many children will suffer several reductions in services. Moreover, the cuts in the proposed budget will permanently affect kids’ healthy development. Even if funding is restored in years to come, introducing new barriers to health, education and happiness will have a long-lasting impact on an entire generation.

The budget proposal includes deep cuts in Medicaid funding, jeopardizing health insurance and access to medical care for the nearly 590,000 Colorado kids under age 18 who were covered by Medicaid at some point in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. The budget proposal assumes these cuts would be in addition to the $880 billion in cuts to Medicaid in the bill the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed that also repeals the Affordable Care Act.

The budget proposal also cuts funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP, or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) in Colorado) by 20 percent. More than 87,000 kids in Colorado were enrolled in CHP+ at some point in the 2015-16 fiscal year. CHIP helps cover kids and pregnant women from moderate-income families and is a critical source of health coverage for families in Colorado. It has worked together with Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act to help decrease the number of Colorado kids without health insurance to 4.2 percent in 2015.

Children enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP are significantly less likely to have unmet or delayed needs for medical care, dental care, and prescription drugs due to costs compared to low-income uninsured children. Children covered by Medicaid are less likely to drop out of high school, more likely than children who remain uninsured to graduate from college, and be healthier and earn more as adults.

The President’s proposal would cut funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly food stamps) by about a quarter. It would also shift a significant portion of the costs of the program to states, which could result in fewer kids receiving SNAP benefits and in reducing the already modest amount of SNAP benefits that Colorado families receive (about $1.42 per person per meal in 2016). Children whose families benefit from SNAP are more likely to be in good health, develop normally for their age, avoid hospitalization, do better in school, and graduate from high school.

The President’s budget proposal also would prepare fewer children for kindergarten, eliminate programs that help them do better in school, and make it harder for them to go to college. The proposal would fund the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) only at fiscal year 2016 levels and would not include the increase for fiscal year 2017. CCDBG funding helps ensure that more kids in Colorado have access to quality early learning opportunities.

The budget proposal also includes a 13 percent (upwards of $9.2 billion) cut in funding for the Education Department – the largest single-year cut that a president has proposed to the discretionary budget since President Reagan in 1983. It would eliminate or significantly reduce more than 30 programs that are critical to student success, including after-school enrichment and $2.1 billion in spending on teacher development. It would make it even harder for middle class and low-income students to go to college, because it reduces funding for work-study programs by two-thirds. It also eliminates the federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) program, which helps particularly low-income students attend college, as well as a program that provides college loan forgiveness to people working in public service, including teachers.

An additional $1 billion is proposed for “Title I portability,” where funds would be earmarked as grants designed to promote public schools choice, instead of going out by traditional formulas to school districts, This proposal would undermine the purpose of Title I by shifting money away from the highest-need schools and students.

In addition, the President’s budget proposal would cut other funds that Colorado relies on, such as support for highway maintenance and other transportation. It also shifts significant costs to states, which will present Colorado policy makers with tough choices about the resources in the state’s already constrained budget. While this proposed budget is just a blueprint, and will likely undergo significant changes as it moves through the process, we call on Congress to shift the priorities put forward by the administration and protect the well-being of Colorado kids and families who rely on these critical programs.

Posted in Child Health, Early Childhood, Fiscal, K-12 Education, KidsFlash |


 

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