Only a little more than half of New York City students with disabilities graduated high school in 2021, significantly less than the 81% graduation rate citywide. This disparity could be largely attributed to the lack of support students with special needs are given in many schools.
Nation & World +
By Mikhail Razzak, age 13 and IndyKids staff
The number of book challenges in the United States rose from 156 in all of 2020 to 330 in just the fall of 2021, according to a new American Library Association report. Since January 2021, more than 30 states have introduced classroom censorship laws which regulate discussions and literature, according to PEN America.
By Isha Seth, age 11
The Pentagon is now enforcing new rules targeting far-right extremism and white supremacy within the U.S. military following the Jan. 6 insurrection. NPR analysis found that nearly one out of every five rioters charged for their participation in the riot has a connection to the U.S. military.
By Nala Annes, Age 11 and IndyKids staff
The expiration of Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has pushed nearly 4 million children back into poverty. The act, which was introduced in March 2021, increased monthly payments low-income families received, and reportedly kept 6.3 million children out of poverty, reducing overall child poverty in the United States by 43%.
By Ananya Biederer, age 11
President Joe Biden pledged to address climate change at COP26, a global climate conference held in Scotland in November 2021. Days later, his administration oversaw one of the biggest gas and oil lease sales in U.S. history. The lease goes against Biden’s promises to reduce global pollution and could cause even more environmental harm.
By Sami El-Hajjar, age 12
Benton Harbor, Mich., is struggling with contamination of their water caused by lead pipes, and residents are blaming the state of Michigan for ignoring the issue for so long. Since 2018, Benton Harbor’s water failed six consecutive sampling tests, and some critics argue that the lead levels exceed those found in Flint, Mich., in 2014, according to PBS.