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Dear reader, 

Ten years after graduating from law school, Jesse Wiese finally got his license to practice. Here’s why it took so long: Wiese was among the millions of people with criminal records who got stalled by regulations while pursuing education and workforce training for jobs that require a license.  

Our story this week, published with our partner The Washington Post, looks at roadblocks created by the nearly 14,000 laws and regulations that can restrict individuals with arrest and conviction histories from getting licensed in a given field. Such barriers not only keep people from good jobs, they reduce their chances of staying out of prison and rob the U.S. of productive labor, according to advocates. We’d love to hear what you have to say about this issue. 

Also this week, in our continuing reporting on the vast inequality that permeates higher education, columnist Jill Barshay digs deep into federal data on merit and need-based financial aid, documenting some surprising patterns — including escalating tuition discounts that benefit white and Asian students more than Black and Hispanic students. As we get ready to bring you a round of back-to-school stories, please remind others to sign up for  The Hechinger Report newsletter, and become a member! 

Liz Willen, Editor

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Main Idea

‘A second prison’: People face hidden dead ends when they pursue a range of careers post-incarceration 
Nearly 14,000 laws and regulations restrict people who have been convicted or even just arrested from getting professional licenses 

Reading List

OPINION: How to make it easier for teachers to stay in the classroom 
Making credentials valid across state boundaries will help relieve shortages 
PROOF POINTS: Surprising patterns in who gets merit and need-based aid from colleges 
New federal data documents the rise of tuition discounts 

OPINION: The Supreme Court ruling on race in college admissions ignores bigger inequities that must be addressed 
It’s time to fix the racial school funding gap in the K-12 system 
Some screen time for preschoolers won’t hurt their development, study finds 
More than two hours a day is associated with slower growth in social skills, researchers said, but academic skills appear unaffected

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