Elaine S. Povich

Elaine S. Povich

Elaine S. Povich covers consumer affairs for Stateline. Povich has reported for Newsday, the Chicago Tribune and United Press International. She also has worked as a freelancer for the Washington Post, the Fiscal Times, Governing, Kiplinger and AARP Bulletin


One-on-one outreach shows promise in cutting school absenteeism

By: - February 8, 2024

When outreach worker Leah Marks shows up at homes in Sanford, Maine — a small manufacturing city 18 miles inland and a world away from tony Kennebunkport — the kids know it’s time to walk with her to the school bus. Her walks often involve snow and ice this time of year. But what they […]

Critics say public universities are spending too much outside the classroom

By: - January 23, 2024

Spending on administrative expenses at U.S. public universities has outpaced spending on academic roles in recent years, leading some students and alumni to question how wisely schools are allocating student tuition money and scarce state dollars. A conservative-leaning group that tracks higher education dollars found that administrative spending — which it defines as including such things […]


Cursive makes a comeback — by law — in public schools

By: - November 27, 2023

In 2016, California Democratic state Assembly member Sharon Quirk-Silva sat with then-California Gov. Jerry Brown at an event where he signed baseball-type cards featuring the image of his dog, Colusa. But many of the recipients of the cards couldn’t read his cursive signature, Quirk-Silva recalled, much to the Democratic governor’s dismay. “The governor asked me […]

Students blocked from campus when COVID hit want money back. Some are getting refunds.

By: - August 9, 2023

Thousands of college students will get hundreds of dollars in compensation as colleges and universities move this summer to settle multimillion-dollar lawsuits stemming from canceled classes and activities during COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. While some of the class-action suits against the colleges and universities are still in litigation, and still others dismissed, several major cases have […]

Lawmakers try to keep kids from social media, porn

By: - June 13, 2023

To address the harmful effects of pornography and social media on children, states are passing laws meant to keep kids off certain sites and to block them from adult content. But the efforts face major hurdles — and real questions about whether the proposed solutions would even work. Some of the measures would require parental permission for […]

Debate over holding back third graders roils state legislatures

By: - May 16, 2023

Should third graders who don’t read well enough to pass a standardized test repeat their grade? That question is roiling states, with some choosing to keep the practice, some to modify it and others to scrap it. Most states require students to take standardized tests that measure progress in reading and math in the third […]

We’re not kitten: States moving to ban declawing of cats

By: - May 2, 2023

Lawmakers in more than a dozen states have filed legislation this year to outlaw the declawing of cats, which many animal advocates and some veterinarians say is a cruel deforming of felines’ bodies and impedes their natural instincts to climb and scratch. Maryland last year joined New York, which prohibited declawing in 2019, as the […]

As electric vehicles shrink gas tax revenue, more states may tax mileage

By: - October 11, 2022

The increasing popularity of hybrid and electric vehicles is shrinking revenue from gas taxes, prompting more states to consider charging fees based on miles driven to help pay for roads and bridges. This year at least eight states — Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington — considered bills that would modify existing […]