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March 25, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Arlington, Montgomery counties top list of healthiest counties in the area

HEALTH/REGION
A new report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute places Arlington County and Montgomery County at the top of their annual healthiest counties ranking in the region. (WTOP, 3/25)

The rankings looked at 30 factors, including poverty, education, transportation, housing, violent crimes, jobs, access to healthy foods and access to medical care.

[…]

In Maryland, Howard County ranked second healthiest, followed by Frederick, Carroll and St. Mary’s. In Virginia, Albemarle is listed as the second healthiest county, followed by Fairfax, Loudoun and York.

[…]

Nationally, D.C. saw the greatest decrease in premature deaths, a factor the report says “is the single most important health outcome that we measure and is given the highest weight in our calculations.”

POVERTY | Opinion: How Poor Are the Poor? (NYT, 3/25)

WORKFORCE | A new study of census data out of the Brookings Institution finds that the number of “nearby jobs” – those within a typical commute for residents of major metropolitan areas – dropped by seven percent between 2000 and 2012. The numbers were even more out of reach for minorities and the poor living in surrounding suburbs (WSJ, 3/24):

Minorities and poor Americans, who have moved to the suburbs in droves, fared worse. The number of nearby jobs fell 17% for Hispanic residents and 14% for blacks over this time period, compared with a drop of 6% for whites. Typical poor residents saw a drop in job proximity of 17%, versus 6% for the nonpoor.

EDUCATION
– Beginning next school year, Fairfax County plans to implement a class size cap. The proposed cap is in an effort to relieve some schools in the county that have struggled with high student-to-teacher ratios as a result of cuts over the past few years. (Fairfax Times, 3/20)

– Ahead of the results from her public school and public charter school lottery submission, a former education reporter visited schools across the District and shared some of her takeaways in pursuit of the best school for her child. (Medium, 3/23)

D.C. Public Schools plans to offer international trips to middle schoolers (WaPo, 3/24)


In Seattle, there’s a new reason to embrace the rain.

– Ciara

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