HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

Health

‐state policy‐impact of federal policy‐rural health care delivery‐access & availability

Education

‐state policy‐programs and opportunities‐access & availability

Welfare

‐state policies‐income levels‐wellness‐quality of life

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Despite uncertainty about the future of a federal program aimed at helping school districts across the U.S. pay for technology, superintendents across Kansas are moving ahead with the application process for next school year in an effort to keep classroom technology current.

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A study released yesterday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation has found that black and Hispanic children in Texas have significantly more barriers to success than white and Asian students. These barriers include poverty, health care availability, and access to a good education.

University of Nebraska at Kearney

In an effort to recruit more out-of-state students, the University of Nebraska-Kearney will offer in-state tuition to Colorado and Kansas residents.

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The executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections recently wrote a piece about solitary confinement featured in The New York Times.

In September, Colorado ended the practice of long-term solitary confinement, Rick Raemisch wrote, after he assisted the State Department and several United Nations countries in modernizing international standards for the treatment of prisoners, now known as the Nelson Mandela rules.

Emily Dumler, a Shawnee, Kansas, resident who was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, successfully underwent immunotherapy more than two years ago.

Dumler was among the first people in the world to receive the treatment, which stimulates the immune system to fight cancer. But she had to travel to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, to receive it.

The state of Kansas is scrambling to regain federal funding for one of its psychiatric hospitals and to prevent the decertification of another.

Officials at the agency responsible for the state’s mental health hospitals say they’re confident that the renovations needed to fix problems at the Larned State Hospital, problems turned up by a recent inspection, will be completed in time to avoid a threatened loss of federal funding in January.

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Amarillo and the surrounding areas continue to be overrun with large numbers of feral cats and stray dogs. In fact, the ratio of humans to animals in Amarillo is larger than in bigger cities like Austin and Waco.

But now, as The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the Amarillo Humane Society has a plan to do something about the problem, and it could mean big changes in the way the local Humane Society operates.

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Researchers in Texas recently spent a year watching low income Hispanic kids engage with a new kind of classroom environment.

In this new method, kids are given much more freedom to decide who to work with and which projects to initiate, and they’re allowed to ask questions without raising their hands. The result? The kids scored 30 points higher on tests than students in traditional classes.

Seems like cause for change, right? Not so fast.

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The State of Oklahoma imprisons twice as many women as any other state, reports The Atlantic.

A recent documentary made by two filmmakers working on behalf of The Center for Investigative Reporting set out to uncover why Oklahoma has such a staggeringly high incarceration rate for women.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas is part of a bipartisan congressional effort trying to get legislation passed that would continue a federal student loan program.

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Many residents of the High Plains suffer from hearing loss. Experts say if the condition goes untreated, it can lead to social withdrawal, depression and anxiety, along with poor job performance. Yet, in many places, High Plains residents have found that the condition is not covered by their medical plans.

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Suicide rates are rising in the United States and rural areas are being hit the hardest, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As WebMD reports, in the years from 2001 and 2015, suicide rates in the U.S. rose 20 percent. During that period, half a million Americans took their own lives. The problem in small towns was consistently worse than in urban areas, with rural areas showing higher suicide rates across all age groups.

Fewer than 40 percent of Kansas students are on track to be academically prepared for college, community college or technical school as measured by their scores on the state’s standardized math and English tests.

Scores on English language arts tests went down for the second year in a row. About 38 percent of students scored proficient in that subject in spring 2017.

With high numbers of children in the foster care system and not enough homes to care for them, one Kansas contractor is turning to a short-term housing option.  

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We tend to think of antibiotics as a method humans use to fight diseases. But, as The Guardian reports, 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in the United States are used in animals, not in humans.

Phyllis Gilmore, the secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families, is coming under increasing fire because of problems in the state foster care system.

Former legislator and current Republican candidate for governor Mark Hutton is calling on Gov. Sam Brownback to fire Gilmore. He says revelations about missing foster children are the latest in a “near endless stream of failures.”

In a recent interview, he also expressed frustration about reports of children having to spend the night in the offices of the state’s foster care contractors.

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High Plains health providers are closely eyeing the action in the nation’s capital to see if Congress will find a way to renew programs that fund community health centers and children’s health insurance.

The Senate is in recess this week, and the House of Representatives is out next week, so the timeline for finding funding for the CHIP program is running out. If Congress doesn’t act, Federal funding will drop by 70 percent.

The news that about 70 children are missing from the Kansas foster care system is the latest in a string of concerns for lawmakers and child welfare advocates.

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Three big-name philanthropists from the Texas Panhandle have ensured that six high school students from Miami and Canadian will be able to pay for college, reports The Amarillo Globe-News.

The funding comes from the Pickens-Abraham Foundation, which is a partnership between energy magnate T. Boone Pickens and Salem and Ruth Ann Abraham of Canadian. In addition to the tuition funds for the six high school students, the foundation also provides funding for the Canadian and Miami independent school districts.

Seventy-four children are missing from Kansas’ privatized foster care system.

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Amarillo College has broken ground on a new $2 million greenhouse, reports The Amarillo Globe-News.

The new greenhouse is part of AC’s pan to expand its academic programs to better serve under-represented students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics—better known as the STEM fields.

When Sarah Scantling went into labor this summer, she had to drive 30 miles and across state lines.

Three years earlier, the only maternity ward where she lives in Pemiscot County, Missouri closed down. Scantling had to choose between a handful of other hospitals in the region between 20 and 70 miles away. She chose to give birth in the hospital in Dyersburg, Tennessee.

  

You and your family are fast asleep when the smoke alarm sounds: do you know what to do?

As FIRE PREVENTION WEEK kicks off, be sure that you have an escape plan for residential fires – including knowing TWO WAYS OUT.

Here are some tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:

Last week the state lost again at the Kansas Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled that Kansas is underfunding its public schools, with repercussions for academically struggling children across the state — and especially for students and taxpayers who live in resource-poor school districts. 

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For the first time ever in Texas, charter schools will begin receiving state funding for leasing and maintain their properties and facilities, reports The Texas Tribune.

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In recent years, trampoline parks have become a big favorite of kids. In fact, according to KHOU, trampoline parks have grown into a $300 million industry.

But in Texas, trampoline parks remain unregulated, and that could mean danger for your kids. Texas trampoline parks face no state-enacted safety requirements, no state inspections. And there are no penalties for setting up cheap or dangerous equipment.

A U.S. Senate committee passed a bill Wednesday to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. Federal funds were only approved through the end of September, putting 37,000 Kansas kids at risk of losing coverage if the program isn’t renewed.

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The United States Congress has failed to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program, better known as the CHIP program.

As The Texas Tribune reports, the failure to reauthorize the program means that 390,000 Texas children and pregnant women will now lose their health coverage unless action is taken to fix the issue. Nationwide, nine million children and pregnant women rely on the CHIP program to access affordable healthcare.

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In the past, many Texans neglected to buy a gun because the licensing fee was too hefty. It appears that will no longer be the case, as the Texas Tribune reports. On Sept. 1., a new law went into effect, lowering the cost to get a handgun license in Texas by $100.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 2 with additional information.

The Kansas Supreme Court on Monday struck down the state’s aid to schools as unconstitutionally low — and unfair to poor school districts in particular. The decision could pressure lawmakers to increase school funding by hundreds of millions dollars.

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