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Schools nationwide are considering switching to four-day-instructional weeks to help retain and attract teachers amid a national teacher shortage exacerbated by COVID-19 and battles over critical race theory, but low-income and special needs students are often the most affected. Read more»

Arizona National Guard service members deliver food to Pima County residents on March 26, 2020, at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.

More than 18 million Americans sometimes didn’t have enough to eat last month, but at least 16 states now have opted out of providing extra food aid through a pandemic-related expansion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Read more»

A woman holds paperwork, while standing in line at the Morley pedestrian crossing in Nogales, Son.

Since President Joe Biden took office, Republican-led states have filed some 27 lawsuits or appeals seeking to block immigration actions taken by the administration, with at least 15 multistate efforts by Republican attorneys general. Read more»

Nearly every state has low-income housing projects that are facing financing gaps due to inflationary pressures.

Developers across the country are scrambling to find gap financing to cover increased material and labor costs - and the construction slowdown is coming at a time when there is a desperate need to increase the nation’s supply of affordable housing. Read more»

As homeless encampments have become increasingly visible in recent years, at least six states have turned to legislation written by a Texas-based think tank advocating for state-sanctioned camps, bans on unofficial encampments and penalties against cities that refuse to remove them.

As homeless camps have become increasingly visible, states and cities are attempting multiple solutions to help the homeless - but an increasing number of states are pushing the Cicero Institute’s model bill, the “Reducing Street Homelessness Act.” Read more»

In 2021, U.S. rents rose faster than they have in the past 20 years, prompting state lawmakers in some states to propose measures that would override local zoning laws and free up land for more housing.

In 2021, U.S. rents rose faster over the previous year than they have in the past 20 years - with average rent prices in Arizona increasing 27% between Jan 2021 and Jan. 2022 - leaving many low- and medium-income renters priced out of homes and lawmakers rethinking zoning laws. Read more»

Arizona’s new program went into effect this year, and the state’s housing agency received its first round of applications a few weeks ago.

Nationwide, there is a shortage of some 7 million rental homes that are affordable to the lowest income households - in response, a handful of states are debating whether to join the 23, including Arizona, that already offer tax breaks to developers willing to construct low-income housing. Read more»

USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Justin Maxson with resident Shamar El-Shabazz and site manager Hassana 'Aliyah' Shareef at Hunters Ridge Apartments, a multifamily property development, in Farmville, N.C.

States with small populations say a federal plan to take back unspent emergency rental aid and redistribute it elsewhere is unfair, potentially depriving them and their residents of millions of dollars to address broad affordable housing challenges. Read more»

A young boy in Nogales, Sonora, is one of hundreds waiting to access asylum under a series of policies implemented by the Trump administration in 2019 and 2020.

Unprecedented numbers of unaccompanied migrant children have been placed with sponsors across the country this year. Now, thousands more could arrive under a new federal program aimed at providing a path for children left behind in Central America to join immigrant parents. Read more»

Across the country, 65% of tenants who owe back rent have not applied for rental assistance. Of those who have applied, 4% have received assistance, 12% have been denied and 22% are still waiting.

A measure moving through the U.S. House of Representatives would allow landlords to apply without tenant approval for federal aid to cover back rent they are owed - more than 6 million households owed some $16.8 billion in rent debt, according to census data from early August. Read more»

Public input in redistricting is legally mandated in only 25 states, but most states have held hearings and accepted public maps in previous cycles and at least 12 states are providing online tools for residents interested in drawing and submitting their own maps.

Many states face increased legal wrangling this redistricting cycle - so far, some 49 redistricting suits have been filed in state and federal courts in at least 22 states, and delayed census redistricting data has been the main reason cited in most lawsuits filed so far. Read more»

Experts say signs like this one could become more common as state and national moratoriums on evictions in the face of COVID-19 are lifted.

The nationwide total rent debt is estimated to be upwards of $20 billion - with more than 5.8 million renters, or 14%, in arrears - twice as many as in 2017, and dozens of consumer rights organizations are urging the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect the credit records of tenants facing economic hardship because of the pandemic. Read more»

Cemeteries throughout Latin America, such as this one in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, come to life when families decorate the graves of their loved ones with candles, fresh cut grass and flowers. For two days they pray, eat and remember their ancestors in honor of Day of the Dead.

International systems to identify and return the remains of migrants who die on their journey from Latin America to the United States continue to fail. Read more»

Hundreds of friends and family of victims of violent crime gather in Yucca Park at the annual reading of more than 1,500 names engraved into the memorials granite walls. They mourn and some demand attention to the crimes that are 'taking the lives of our loved ones,' as one of the signs reads in the center of this picture.

In El Paso’s Lower Valley four granite disks hold the names of more than 1,500 victims of violent crime, a memorial linking the shattered lives of thousands who have witnessed how this city is not as safe as everyone believes. Read more»