More college students are homeless and hungry because of current economic times, according to the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. To help combat the problem, UCLA keeps a covert food closet and formed an Economic Crisis Response Team to identify those young adults and make sure they can stay in school.
- Although many of its most controversial elements have been omitted, protesters marched against Arizona’s new immigration law, which goes into effect today. Interestingly, officials say Illinois is home to many more illegal immigrants than Arizona; 283,000 undocumented people live in Arizona, compared with 432,000 in Illinois. Though about 90 percent of immigrants in Arizona come from Mexico, the majority of Illinois immigrants were born in Europe or Asia.
- Congress passed a new bill Wednesday expected to greatly reduce the jail sentencing disparity for black and white people over crack cocaine possession. Since 1986, a person convicted of having crack received the same prison sentence as someone with 100 times the same amount of cocaine. The sentencing disparities impacted African Americans because white people were more likely to possess powder cocaine and black people were more likely to possess crack cocaine. President Barack Obama, who still needs to sign the bill, said the sentencing gap “cannot be justified and should be eliminated.”
- Illinois may lack the resources to help youth with mental illnesses in the state’s juvenile detention centers. A study was commissioned after two teenagers committed suicide in state youth prisons. The findings exposed “serious deficiencies” in resources to identify and help young people with mental health illnesses. According to the report, “in most facilities, staff receive little or no training” even though 70 percent of the youth have some sort of mental health need.
- Casinos on Indian reservations may boost employment but decrease graduation rates for American Indians in high school, according to a recent study.
- The number of residential foreclosures in the vast majority of large cities increased in the first six months of 2010 compared to the first six months of 2009.
- CPS is asking teachers to accept unpaid vacation days and frozen wages days after beginning the layoff process for 600 employees.