05-20-2018  2:53 pm      •     
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Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

Portland jury issues million verdict against landlord

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has ordered a rental-property company to pay more than million after a man fell through a rotting walkway at his Portland apartment complex.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that Robert Trebelhorn argued that Los Angeles-based Prime Group, which owns the...

University of Oregon sorry for statement on student death

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The University of Oregon has apologized for a statement it put out after a student was found dead during a trip to Shasta Lake in Northern California.The 21-year-old student, identified as business administration major Dylan Pietrs, was found dead at a boat-in campground...

Responders searching for missing vessel find oil sheen

OCEAN PARK, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard says crews searching for a missing vessel in Willapa Bay have found an oil sheen and debris where they believe the 43-foot boat went down.Authorities say the wife of a man who took the fishing boat Kelli J out reported him overdue on Saturday....

Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

SEATTLE (AP) — The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion tailing them on a trail east of Seattle.They got off their bikes. They faced the beast, shouted and tried to spook it. After it charged, one even smacked the cougar with his bike, and...


Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...


Principal apologizes for 'insensitive' prom tickets language

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) — The principal of a New Jersey high school has apologized for what he called "insensitive" language on tickets for the upcoming senior prom.The Courier Post reported the Cherry Hill High School East senior prom tickets urged students to "party like it's 1776" during...

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump.The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders...

Northern states taking down vestiges of racism, intolerance

DETROIT (AP) — A nearly 80-year-old statue depicting a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering over a Native American that some say celebrates white supremacy has been dismantled by crews in southwestern Michigan's Kalamazoo.And at the University of Michigan, regents have voted...


'13 Reasons Why' premiere canceled after Texas shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix canceled the premiere party for its second season of the teen drama "13 Reasons Why" because of a school shooting near Houston.The streaming service announced the cancellation hours before the scheduled premiere and red carpet event, citing the Friday morning...

'Shoplifters' wins Palme d'Or, grand prize to Spike Lee

A tumultuous Cannes Film Festival concluded Saturday with the Palme d'Or awarded to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Shoplifters," a tender portrait of a poor, impoverished family, while Harvey Weinstein accuser Asia Argento vowed justice will come to all sexual predators.At the closing...

'Jurassic Park' dinosaur expert's next big thing: holograms

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Forget the gray, green and brown dinosaurs in the "Jurassic Park" movies. Paleontologist Jack Horner wants to transport people back in time to see a feathered Tyrannosaurus rex colored bright red and a blue triceratops with red fringe similar to a rooster's comb.Horner,...


Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

SEATTLE (AP) — The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion...

Iraq's al-Sadr, promising reform, is constrained by Iran

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric whose political coalition beat out Iran's...

Northern states taking down vestiges of racism, intolerance

DETROIT (AP) — A nearly 80-year-old statue depicting a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering...

Iraq's al-Sadr says next government will be 'inclusive'

BAGHDAD (AP) — Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose coalition won the largest number of seats in Iraq's...

Cubans mourn plane crash dead, officials ID 20 bodies

HAVANA (AP) — At morgues and in church services, tearful Cubans on Sunday mourned loved ones who died in...

Pope Francis to invest 14 new cardinals in June

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday revealed his latest picks to be cardinals in the Catholic...

By Arashi Young | The Skanner News

More than one out of every five children in Oregon live in poverty according to the KIDS Count report published earlier this month by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The report ranks Oregon 32nd in the nation for child well-being, which measures factors such as the economic security of parents, access to healthcare and quality of education.

Tonia Hunt, the executive director for Children First for Oregon, the state partner of the KIDS Count project, said Oregon’s child well-being rating has been worsening over the years.

“We are continuing to see Oregon’s national rankings drop over a number of years. This is not an aberration in the data, this is now a trend,” Hunt said.

The most dire number from the KIDS Count report was the very low rating of economic well-being of Oregonians, 41 out of 50 -- only nine states fared worse than Oregon.

This number was determined by the number of children living in poverty, the number of parents without secure employment and the number of teenagers who are neither enrolled in school nor working. Hunt said many families are still living in poverty even though the economy has improved.

“Oregon families have just not recovered from the Great Recession at the same rate that other states are showing recovery, and that’s concerning,” she said.

High housing costs also contribute to the struggles of families in Oregon. Nationwide, 35 percent of children lived in cost-burdened households. In Oregon, that number is 38 percent, with 323,000 children living in homes where more than 30 percent of monthly household pretax income is spent on housing-related expenses, including rent, mortgage payments, taxes and insurance.

Hunt says that the rising housing costs in Oregon have become a “significant burden” on the economic well-being of families in the state.

A recent report from the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city real estate price index showed the Portland metro area had the steepest rise in home prices in the nation. Home prices rose an average of 12.3 percent over the last year -- over twice the rate of growth in cities like Boston, Las Vegas or Phoenix who were all under 6 percent price inflation.

Portland rent increases have been even larger: a report from ABODO.com, an online apartment marketplace, found a 14 percent increase over the course of a month from February to March 2016. Portland saw the largest increase in average rents in the nation.

Hunt said the KIDS Count education rank is also worrying. Oregon was rated 34th out of 50 for a lack of early childhood education, a low graduation rate and lack of proficiency in reading in math. Two-thirds of Oregon students were not capable readers by fourth grade and two-thirds of students lacked math competence at eighth grade.

The 2015 and 2016 state legislative sessions have been working to repair education in Oregon. Hunt said there has been more funding support for preschoolers and students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. There have also been changes in policy to reduce suspensions and to curb chronic absenteeism.

“It is still early to evaluate the impact of these investments and policy changes but we believe there will be positive results in coming years,” Hunt said.

The KIDS Count Data set for Black children in Oregon paints an even bleaker picture. In every category, Black children had more negative circumstances than white children. Black children were more likely to live in poverty, more likely to give birth early and to have children with low birth weights.

Black children were less likely to be enrolled in early childhood education, less likely to finish high school on time and less likely to live in two-parent families.

Some of the hopeful highlights from the KIDS Count data involved the health and community structures in Oregon. There are fewer low birth weight babies than the national average, fewer children without access to health insurance and there are relatively few teenage deaths, according to the data.

According to Hunt, these good health and wellness ratings come from policies and investments that had been made years ago, such as the Oregon State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which offers low-cost or free health insurance to Oregon to children who are not insured. The 2008 Healthy Kids Plan further expanded access by subsidizing childrens’ health plans for middle income families.

Hunt believes the economic wellbeing and education ratings would be similarly improved with investment and public policy changes such as the $15 minimum wage and the upcoming vote on a corporate tax hike.  

“I think it is time to sound the alarm in Oregon,” Hunt said. “It is time for the adults in Oregon to take responsibility for ensuring that Oregon is the place we want it to be for kids.”

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