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In the span of just two years (during the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions), every Midwestern state adopted laws to better protect young people from concussion-related injuries. These so-called “return-to-play” laws had three key components:
• educating parents, coaches and players on the signs and symptoms of concussions;
• removing a player from a game or practice who may have a concussion, and not allowing him or her to return that day; and
• requiring sign-off from a medical professional before the player returns to action.
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Four decades ago, only about one-quarter of the U.S. students attending kindergarten went for the full day. Today, the numbers are essentially reversed — only one-quarter of kindergartners attend a half day, according to Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center.
And another change is beginning to occur as well — how states fund kindergarten.
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In the decades-long legal battles over school funding, different states have taken turns in the national spotlight. All eyes were on Ohio in the late 1990s, for example, after its state Supreme Court ruled on multiple occasions that the K-12 funding system was unconstitutional — due to an overreliance on local property taxes and a failure to deliver a “thorough and efficient system of common schools.”

Children continue to be the poorest age group in America. Child poverty remained at record high levels in 2012, with more than 1 in 5 children identified as poor. This poverty leads to student achievement gaps, reductions in readiness for school, increased absenteeism, and developmental delays. Poor children also are less likely to complete high school - limiting potential employability and economic success in the future, and leading to poverty as an adult.

According to the 2014 “Survey of the States: Economic and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation’s Schools” by the Council for Economic Education, states have made progress toward implementing standards in personal finance or economics education over the last 15 years. According to the report, which evaluates K-12 economic and financial education across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, all 50 states included economics and 43 states included personal finance education in their K-12 standards for the first time in 2013. Compare that to 38 states with economics standards and 21 states with personal finance standards in 1998.

Since President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty in 1964, the rate of young children in poverty has only slightly decreased.
“It is the case that children are more often poor...

During the recession many states had to make hard decisions regarding higher education funding and tuition at public universities. According to the 2013-2014 Tuition and Fees in Public Higher Education in the West report by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, the enrollment-weighted average tuition and fees for residents and non-residents was higher for four-year institutions over previous years; while lower at two-year institutions.

Children continue to be the poorest age group in America and poverty in childhood has a substantially negative impact on a number of educational outcomes. Poor educational outcomes can in turn limit future economic success and potential employability as an adult.

With the mounting snow days in New Jersey the Pascack Valley Regional High School District took a new approach to learning.  Instead of adding another day with no instruction Superintendent Erik Gundersen made the bold decision to utilize students' district-issued laptops as the vehicle to provide lessons. 

The more education a person attains, the better the chance he or she will get a job, earn a living, support a family, pay taxes and contribute to the community in which he or she lives.
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