Capitol Research

The Farm-to-School Initiative connects schools with area farms to serve healthy meals using locally produced foods. Farm-to-school programs contribute to children’s health by helping them develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. Nationally, farm-to-school programs have increased from fewer than 10 in 1997 to more than 2,000 in 2008.

Rural highways provide many benefits to the nation's transportation system. But rural areas face numerous transportation challenges including a looming highway capacity crisis. Their challenges are similar to those experienced by urban areas but different enough that they need to be carefully considered as officials in Washington debate a new long-term authorization of federal transportation programs. This brief examines some issues those officials should take into account regarding rural road capacity, congestion, road safety, connectivity and mobility and public transit. It also examines how policies addressing livability and transportation funding may impact rural communities.

Higher education across the country continues to struggle with state funding cuts, aging facilities, increasing tuition rates and a rapidly increasing student population. An annual survey of community college directors conducted by the Education Policy Center shows  educators are worried if these trends continue, higher education may be out of reach for many Americans.

Although bullying has long been a problem educators have faced, we are now seeing tragic results of taunting and bullying through social networking websites, text messages and other electronic means that were not available just a few years ago. School systems and state policymakers are beginning to look at measures to prevent cyberbullying and punish those who engage in it.

Long-term unemployment and a depressed economy drove the number of Americans living in poverty up in a majority of states in 2009.  Poverty levels continue to vary significantly across regions, states and age groups.

 

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