Poverty News Roundup - July 28

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Unemployment Insurance Changes Expected to have Negative Effects

A year ago, North Carolina made changes to its Employment Insurance that could have devastating effects on those citizens that are currently out of work through uncontrollable forces. The new system will provide only a 14 week maximum in which citizens can receive unemployment insurance, down from 26 weeks. Additionally, those that qualify will also be collecting less money—around $300 less per month. There is no state that offers less support that North Carolina in this category. Meanwhile, the cost of living and what it takes to provide the minimum essentials for a family continues to rise.

Proposed State Budget could Hurt Child-Care Subsidies

The North Carolina House and Senate budgets are proposing changes in how the state determines the necessary qualifications one must have to receive child-care subsidies. The change, however, is more of a shift in priorities than a reduction in funding. In fact, the actual amount of funding will not change. Instead, the new qualifications will merely make it easier for children under five to receive funding. Though it will certainly impact the availability of such subsidies for school-aged children, this shift has been proposed with hopes of giving priority to North Carolina’s youngest and poorest kids.

The proposed system would be tied to the federal poverty level, and would make children under the age of six eligible if their parents earn twice the poverty level, or $47,400 for a family of four. On the other hand, families with children 6 to 12 must make less than $31,270 for a family of four to qualify.

NC Children now Ranked 34th Nationally in Overall Well-Being

Released on July 22, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s “The KIDS COUNT data book” reports that North Carolina children are ranked 34th nationally in overall well-being. The book, which examines 16 measures of well-being, ranks states from 1 to 50. North Carolina’s stats weren’t impressive. The state ranked: 38th in economic well-being, 28th in education, 32nd in health, and 36th in family and community. Not only is this a poor indicator of the development of our children, the report also indicated that 26% of the state’s children are now in poverty, up from 21% in 2005.

However, not all of the data portrayed North Carolina negatively—North Carolina has seen significant gains in High School graduation numbers and certain measures of health. Overall, the message remains clear: by 2018, somewhere around 59% of jobs will require education beyond high school. Therefore, the numbers must continue to improve.

School System in Desperate Need for Supplies

Due to the large number of requests by students for school supplies- an increase of almost 1,000 students in the last three years- the shelves of the Alamance County school system have been severely depleted. Much of this, the school system believes, is due to the large child poverty problem the state has found itself facing. School Supplies can be a large financial burden on such families, all of which could use said funds to afford other essentials. The Alamance County Area Chamber of Commerce is helping with the school system’s campaign for more supplies, which will run through August 11. Find out more information about the drive.


Posted by Caroline B. Barrineau on Tue. July 29, 2014 1:53 PM
Categories: Poverty News Roundup
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