A poll commissioned by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, found that 23 percent of women ages 18-40 and 28 percent of women 25-34 have delayed starting a family or decided not to have a second or subsequent child because of the high cost of quality preschool and child care. For African-American women, the figure was 40 percent and for Hispanic women, 33 percent. Law enforcement leaders are calling on Congress to restore Head Start and child-care funding to their 2002 service levels, citing research that shows that when at-risk children receive quality child care and preschool programs like Head Start, they are less likely to end up in trouble with the law when they grow up. The poll was conducted by the Opinion Research Corp. via telephone and surveyed 600 women from July 12-23. The margin of error is plus or minus four percentage points.
The Benjamin Banneker Institute for Science and Technology (www.thebannekerinstitute.org ) will provide a $1,000 scholarship to the winner of the Benjamin Banneker Youth Legacy Award at its annual Awards Gala on Nov. 7 in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes junior and senior high school students who excel both in science and in service to their communities. The awardee will join five winners of the Benjamin Banneker Legacy Award who are chosen for their work in furthering the Banneker Institute’s mission of increasing the number of African-Americans involved in science, technology, engineering and math professions, and fields of study. A student showcase at the gala will feature science projects from 20 students and teams. Applications to participate in the showcase, which is open to middle school and high school students, must be submitted by Oct. 5.
In a report summarizing the results of an economics assessment completed by 11,500 high school seniors, only 42 percent of students scored at the “proficient” level when queried about market economics (including personal finance), national economics, and international economics. African-American, Hispanic, and students in large urban settings scored lower than other student populations. Students involved in Advanced Placement Economics classes and those whose parents are well educated scored higher than their peers. Boys tended to score slightly better than girls. The assessment, titled “The Nation’s Report Card,” is one of a series of National Assessments of Educational Progress (NAEP) conducted by the U.S. Department of Education. Junior Achievement Worldwide and other organizations helped create the assessment questions.
Black Americans accounted for 13 percent of the U.S. population in 2005 but were the victims of about 15 percent of all non-fatal violent crimes (rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault) and about 49 percent of all homicides, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics says. The rate of non-fatal violent victimization against Blacks was stable between 2001 and 2005 after declining about 57 percent from 1993 to 2001. The average annual rate was 29 victimizations per 1,000 blacks 12 years old and older between 2001 and 2005. For whites, the rate was 23 per 1,000. Only American Indians (at 57 per 1,000 individuals) had a higher rate than Blacks. In 2005, Black homicide victims tended to be younger than white victims with about half being between the ages of 17 and 29, compared to about 37 percent of white victims.
Nearly one in every 10 of the nation’s 3,141 counties has a population that is more than 50 percent minority. In 2006, eight counties that had not previously been majority-minority pushed the national total to 303, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. At 7 million, or 71 percent of its total, Los Angeles County, Calif., had the largest minority population in the country in 2006. Cook County, Ill. (Chicago) had the largest Black population (1.4 million) in July 2006, followed by Los Angeles County (1 million). Harris County, Texas, had the largest numerical increase of Blacks (52,000) between 2005 and 2006, with East Baton Rouge Parish, La., next (19,000). Claiborne County, Miss., had a population that was 85 percent Black in 2006, which led the nation. All 50 counties with the highest percentage black population were in the South.
A study by Caravan Research Corp. reveals that women have many misconceptions and lack basic information about uterine fibroids. Sixty percent of survey respondents who had been diagnosed with fibroids reported waiting up to one year before receiving treatment; 24 percent reported waiting a year or longer. Left untreated, fibroids can cause heavy, painful menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, enlargement of the abdomen, and can lead to reproductive problems. It is estimated that fibroid-related symptoms cause women to lose two-to-four million lost personal days of productivity every year. Uterine fibroids continue to be the leading reason for hysterectomies. Sponsored by BioSphere Medical Inc., the survey was conducted via telephone to 1,000 women.
Cost of Credit
A study by the research center Demos shows that low-income families, African-Americans, Latinos and single females bear a disproportionate amount of the cost to subsidize “competitive” credit card offers by paying excessive fees and high interest rates. The study, “Who Pays? The Winners and Losers of Credit Card Deregulation,” shows that seven percent of white cardholders, 15 percent of African American and 13 percent of Latinos cardholders pay interest rates higher than 20 percent. It also shows that in 1990 the lowest annual percentage rate reported was 11.88 percent and the highest 22 percent, but by 2004 the lowest was 0 percent while the highest jumped to 41 percent. ”Who Pays?” urges Congress to institute a Borrower’s Security Act that would limit interest rate hikes.
Foster Care Solution
A report by the General Account-ability Office shows overrepresentation of children of color in the nation’s child welfare system, notably a high rate of African-American children entering and remaining in foster care. The GAO study found that the level of poverty, lack of support services and racial bias, as well as other factors, resulted in African-American children representing more than one-third of the children in foster care. It recommends that Congress consider amending federal laws to allow federal reimbursement for legal guardianship and called on the Department of Health and Human Services to assist state efforts to find permanent homes for African-American children.
In a survey developed by Robert Half Management Resources, only 34 percent of those polled said they plan to quit work entirely once they’re ready to retire from full-time employment. Twenty-four percent said they plan to work at something new; 14 percent plan to work as consultants; 14 percent plan to work fewer hours for the same company; 2 percent plan to take a part-time job; 2 percent plan to continue to work; and 1 percent said they plan to volunteer. The number of professionals remaining in the workforce past the traditional retirement age could be a windfall for employers concerned about looming talent shortages.