Louisiana’s beleaguered Office of Juvenile Justice is paying about $130,000 a month to a parish jail to hold juvenile offenders. Many of the children were previously being held at the state’s maximum security adult prison in Angola. The Times Picayune | Baton Rouge Advocate’s Jacqueline DeRobertis explains how Louisiana is reneging on a promise to move children out of Angola and into a new juvenile justice facility in Monroe: 

After Swanson opened in May — more than a year after officials initially said it would be completed — juveniles in state custody remain at the Jackson Parish jail. “Young people in the juvenile justice system must never be locked up in adult jails or prisons, without the education and rehabilitative services the law entitles them to,” said David J. Utter, one of the lawyers for the class of youth in OJJ’s custody. “The Jackson Parish Jail is an adult jail that is harming children in OJJ’s custody. The fact that Louisiana is misusing so many taxpayer dollars to harm kids is appalling.”

The high-pitched culture war over public schools served to obscure recent changes to Louisiana’s school grading system. The Times Picayune | Baton Rouge Advocate, in a Sunday editorial, wishes elected officials would stop with the stunts and focus on policies that will actually improve educational outcomes.  

The Ten Commandments in every classroom, propaganda videos from PragerU and restricting what teachers can say about gender do nothing to ensure all our kids can read and have a future. They only distract from the important work being done in our classrooms every day by teachers, staff and principals. Educators — not politicians looking for a national spotlight — are the ones who are changing Louisiana’s school story.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, is one of the most effective tools at combating hunger. New research from Brookings explains the pivotal role of SNAP in helping low-income families weather unexpected financial distress:

SNAP plays a vital role in providing essential financial stability for low-income households who have little savings and face economic challenges. These challenges are common and generally happen through no fault of the households themselves—for example, being laid off from a job. SNAP is particularly important as insurance since it is the only major program in the U.S. that helps nearly all types of low-income households, regardless of demographics, weather financial challenges. 

Both Florida and Arizona recently increased family income limits for their Children Health Insurance Programs (CHIP). Arizona has begun enrolling its newly expanded population and stopped kicking children off their health coverage because their parents missed monthly premium payments. In fact, the Grand Canyon State suspended monthly premiums in 2020 and has yet to reinstate them. But as KFF Health News’ Daniel Chang explains, Florida is taking a vastly different approach with predictable consequences: 

By contrast, Florida has yet to begin its expanded enrollment and is the only state to file a federal lawsuit challenging a Biden administration rule requiring states to keep kids enrolled for 12 months even if their families don’t pay their premiums. … Florida’s CHIP expansion calls for significantly raising premiums and then boosting them by 3% annually. … For some Floridians, like Emily Dent in Cape Coral, the higher premiums proposed in the state’s expansion plan would create a financial burden, not open a path to self-sufficiency.

$44,000 – Median net worth of a Black family in New Orleans in 2022. The median net worth of a white New Orleans family was $284,000. Income disparities between typical Black and white households in the Crescent City have persisted for decades. (Source: The Data Center)