Texas Ranked in the Worst 10 States for Being a Kid
Texas has been ranked as one of the worst 10 states to be a kid, according to a new report released by the Anne E. Casey Foundation in their annual Kids Count assessment. Coming in at number 42, the state is up two points from last year, but more work needs to be done. The rankings are determined by four categories: Economic well-being, education, family and community, and health.
The report uses data from 2011 and shows that child poverty rates in the state have continued to climb to 26.2%, which is three percentage points higher than the national rate. Additionally, children living in high-poverty areas has reached 18% compared to a national rate of 12%.
It’s not all bad news, however. The number of child and teen deaths has fallen as well as teen births. The number of children without health insurance has also improved, though Texas falls into the number two slot for highest percentage of children without insurance.
Frances Deviney, Kids Count director at the Center of Public Policy Priorities in Austin, stated:
Our movement is in the right direction but we still have a lot of work to do. The question for me is, `Do the people have the will to demand that we prioritize children in the coming years?’ I believe the answer to that is yes.
After having low rankings in the past, why did we only move up only two points from last year’s report? NBCDFW writes:
Texas' results were hurt by $5.4 billion in cuts to public education approved by lawmakers scrambling to plug budget shortfalls in 2011. The Legislature in May approved a new state budget that restores about $3.4 billion of that -- but Deviney said that won't be enough.
How did other states compare? Here are the overall rankings:
1. New Hampshire
4. New Jersey
6. North Dakota
17. South Dakota
25. Rhode Island
29. New York
34. North Carolina
39. West Virginia
43. South Carolina
49. New Mexico