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1 in 5 Baton Rouge students is chronically absent; exhibit pairs quilting and planets

Carolina Oneto's Imaginary Places IV, 2023. Cotton.
Courtesy of Studio Art Quilt Associates
Carolina Oneto's Imaginary Places IV, 2023. Cotton.

Students in the Baton Rouge area are missing school — and a lot of it.

More than 50,000 students across the area’s school districts had more than five unexcused absences last school year. That’s according to the latest research from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, which analyzed local attendance rates.

Jake Polansky, the chamber’s manager of economic and policy research, joins the show to share takeaways and potential solutions.

A new report from the Louisiana Department of Health shows Black women who are pregnant continue to die at much higher rates than white pregnant women in the state.

The report covers maternal deaths in 2020. It found Black women were 2.5 times more likely to die than their white counterparts.

Rosemary Westwood, WWNO/WRKF reproductive health reporter, spoke with Dr. Veronica Gillispie- Bell, who led the research.

The LSU Museum of Art will host a unique exhibition of quilts inspired by planetary science.

The fiber artwork exhibition, “Fierce Planets: Word from the Studio Art Quilt Associates,” draws from the research of renowned planetary physicist Dr. Sabine Stanley and her book "What's Hidden Inside Planets."

The exhibition is curated by Michelle Schulte. We hear from both of them.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Diane Mack. Our managing producer is Alana Schrieber. Matt Bloom and Aubry Procell are assistant producers. Our engineer is Garrett Pittman.

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12 and 7 p.m. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Karen Henderson is an award-winning journalist whose stories have aired nationally on NPR.