New England states are asking visitors to self-isolate for 14 days to slow the spread of coronavirus. This week on NEXT, we look at Rhode Island’s approach to out-of-staters as COVID-19 cases rise. And we head to Maine, where a toilet paper company is trying to meet demand for rolls of “white gold.” Plus, the unintended consequences of school choice.

Welcome To Rhode Island, Now Go Quarantine

Corey Williams, a Warwick native, flees Brooklyn for Rhode Island with his wife and infant daughter. (Courtesy of Corey Williams)

Under usual circumstances, states in New England welcome tourists with open arms. They want them shopping in their grocery stores and strolling through towns and parks. But these are not normal times. A number of states, including Vermont and Rhode Island, have ordered all out-of-state visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days, in hopes this will help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Maine Family-Owned Factory Cranks Out Rolls Of ‘White Gold’ As Demand For Toilet Paper Soars

Matthew Niquette of Millinocket keeps the rolls coming. Niquette gained 12 years of experience at the mill in Lincoln before it closed in 2015. (Nick Woodward/Maine Public)

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to panic-buying of certain goods, notably toilet paper. Some stores have sold out, others have resorted to extreme rationing — even to just one roll per customer. This has led some people to call toilet paper “white gold.” The sudden demand is proving to be both a challenge and an opportunity for one fledgling family business in a part of Maine that has struggled through hard times in the paper industry.

NEXT Wants To Hear From You:

The pandemic is unnerving. You feel it. We feel it … and we’re here to listen. What are your worries, questions and hopes for the future? Call 860-275-7595 and leave us a voicemail, or record a message on your smartphone and email it to us at next@ctpublic.org.

Do Parents Really Want School Integration?

Third-graders work on a math program in the library at Sanchez Elementary School in Hartford. (Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public)

A new report says the majority of U.S. parents want schools that are racially and economically integrated. But in districts where parents have school choice, schools tend to become more segregatedNEXT spoke with Eric Torres, a PhD student and co-author of the report from the Making Caring Common Project at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

Hartford, Conn., has been held up by researchers and U.S. education officials as a model for school integration. After a major court decision in 1996, publicly-funded magnet schools were built in the Hartford area as a way to voluntarily integrate schools — and attract white families.

Since then, thousands of city and suburban students have gone to magnet schools. But Kamora Herrington’s son Isaiah is not one of them.

“My kid was not able to go there because we did not win a lottery,” Herrington, who is black and a community advocate in Hartford, told NEXT. “Lots of little white families were able to send their children.”

Sex Education In New Hampshire

(Jimmy Gutierrez / New Hampshire Public Radio)

The only requirement for sex education in New Hampshire is that students learn about HIV and sexually-transmitted diseases. Districts can choose to provide comprehensive sex ed if they have the will and the funding. Some private schools and home-schoolers elect abstinence-only education. In a two-part series, New Hampshire Public Radio’s podcast The Second Greatest Show On Earth examines how sex education in some schools goes beyond the basic requirements and tackles issues that include consent and LGBTQ-inclusivity.

Also on this week’s show:

About NEXT:

NEXT is produced at Connecticut Public Radio
Host/Producer: Morgan Springer
Executive Editor: Vanessa de la Torre

Senior Director: Catie Talarski
Contributors to this episode: Alex Nunes, Jennifer Mitchell, Howard Weiss-Tisman, Carrie Jung, Sara Willa Ernst and Jimmy Gutierrez.
Guests: Eric Torres and Kamora Herrington.
Music: Todd Merrell, “New England” by Goodnight Blue Moon, “Salt” by Ben Cosgrove and “On My Way To You” by Noelle Micarelli.

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