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Bound in the school-to-prison pipeline

California’s balance sheet is mired in an unusual dilemma. While the criminal justice portion of the state budget has increased, the higher education portion has decreased. During recessions, higher education budgets typically experience significant state funding cuts (money for proposed construction projects, campus refurbishment, scholarships/grants), but the corrections budget remains about the same. ...

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Proposal to elect insurance commissioner faces ‘uphill battle’

By Justine McGuire Capital News Service LANSING — If Michigan had an elected insurance commissioner rather than one appointed by the governor, consumers would benefit from more favorable policies and insurance rates, Sen. Virgil Smith, D-Detroit, said. Smith proposed a constitutional amendment to elect the insurance commissioner and said his research found that states that elect their commissioners tend to ...

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African Americans shift spending in tight economy

According to the data found in a new report, “The Buying Power of Black America,” now may be the most opportune time ever for businesses to develop a strategy for increasing their share of the Black American market. With the nation slowly recovering from recession, Black consumers represent the margin of profitability in most consumer product categories. ...

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Institute of the Black World announces ‘Day of Direct Action’

An organization that is escalating its call for the end to America’s so-called ‘war on drugs’ is organizing a ‘Day of Direct Action’ with a goal of pressuring President Barack Obama to address ways to repair the havoc the ‘war’ has wreaked in Black communities. “Against the back drop of what the Institute of the Black World 21st Century believes is a state of emergency in urban, inner city neighborhoods, wh ...

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Long sentences fuel big prison budgets

Despite a declining prison population, the average Michigan prisoner is spending more time behind bars — at significant taxpayer expense. Michigan inmates spend on average 4.3 years in prison, while the national average is 2.9 years, according to a study by the Pew Charitable Trust. The disparity is even greater among violent criminals at 7.6 years on average in Michigan compared to five years nationally. S ...

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Pell Grant changes will slow Black graduation rates

In many ways, the route Bonita Rex took to college is not unusual. After graduating from high school in 2007, family issues forced her to delay enrolling in college. Two years later, thanks to Pell grants and an improved family situation, she enrolled in the Community College of Philadelphia with a focus on general studies in cultural science and technology. After Rex earns an Associate degree, while holdin ...

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Great cars do not happen without great people

Toyota recently unveiled their 2013 Avalon at a press junket in Cincinnati. The event not only provided the media in attendance with a look at the newly designed vehicle, but also an inside look at the company who makes it and their strong commitment to diversity. Billed a luxury car without the luxury price tag, the Avalon is sure to be a favorite among the African American consumer market. Members of the ...

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Jay-Z pushes back against criticism of Cuba trip

Hip hop mogul Jay-Z has released a scathing response to politicians who criticized the rapper and his superstar wife Beyoncé for spending their fifth wedding anniversary in Cuba. Scandal erupted in the past few days after the pair were photographed dining at local Cuban restaurants and touring historic sites in the country, which has been under U.S. sanctions for more than a half-century. On April 11, Jay-Z ...

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Income inequality wide in Michigan

Income inequality—long a social reality in America—may be permanent, a new study by the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., suggests. The study reveals continuing opulence for a few top-earners and an ever-slimmer slice of the economic pie for the rest. And the inequality gap in Michigan is wider than in many other states. ...

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