Month: February 2012

Suspensions plummet at Richmond High

By this time last year Richmond High had recorded close to 500 suspensions. This year the school, which caters to one of the poorest and most underserved student populations in the Bay Area, has halved that number through an approach inspired by the Restorative Justice movement.

Language will be barrier to health coverage, study says

More than 100,000 Californians could miss out on the benefits of federal health reform because language barriers would keep them from buying insurance in a new online health insurance exchange, according to a new study by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. The study concludes that more than 1 million Californians with limited English skills will be newly eligible for tax credits to subsidize their coverage through the California Health Benefit Exchange, but fewer than half of those residents are expected to enroll, for various reason. If language were not a barrier, the study says, 110,000 more people would apply. To see the entire study, go here.

Progress on teen pregnancy imperiled

By Heather Gilligan

Teen pregnancy rates in the US have decreased dramatically in recent years, and California’s rates of teen births are as low as they’ve been in the last two decades.

But the news about teen pregnancy isn’t uniformly good, advocates say. Latinas and African Americans have much higher teen birth rates than white teens in California, mirroring a national trend, and state budget cuts threaten the state’s prevention programs.

Climate Change Planning: An Opportunity for Public Health

Groundbreaking legislation passed in 2008 could be a major step toward changing the way neighborhoods are designed throughout the state, curbing sprawl and creating safer, more walkable communities. The law, known as SB 375, is a huge and unprecedented opportunity for public health, potentially making it safer and easier for all Californians — including elderly, disabled, and low-income residents — to be more active, breathe cleaner air, and even buy healthier foods.

But to make sure the law promotes public health on all of these fronts – and serves as a strong model for other states around the country – Californians need to keep policy leaders accountable for its potential.

‘Just Run’ gets kids moving

By Melissa Flores

The sight of students running around Frank Paul Elementary School in Salinas has become a regular thing before school, during breaks and after classes end. The kindergarten through sixth-grade campus has 28 classes who signed up to participate in a fitness program that is meant to make exercise fun. The Just Run program was created seven years ago by people involved in the Big Sur International Marathon. The members, including Susan Love and Mike Dove, wanted to come up with a way to encourage fitness for children as obesity rates for both adults and children continued to rise.

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