Report On Childhood Wellbeing Shows Arkansas Improves But Texas And Louisiana Still Lacking
OVERALL CHILD WELLBEING- The annual Kids Count Data Book released this week by the Annie E. Casey foundation examines data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and measures indicators, including economic wellbeing, health and education. Lisa Hamilton, president and CEO of the Foundation. She says the data was taken from 2019 before the pandemic.
"Families were able to regain ground lost during the great recession, more parents were economically secure, they were able to meet their housing costs, and more kids were graduating from high school," Hamilton explained. "But unfortunately the pandemic hit and though we were making progress we still had 12 million children living in poverty."
As far as states covered by RED RIVER RADIO are concerned: the report reveals Arkansas ranked 39th for overall child well-being, up from 40th in 2018. But Texas ranked 46th. Amy Knop-Narbutis] is with the think tank, Every Texan, which collaborated on the study that found more than 1.4 million Texas children were in poverty in 2019.
"That was about one in five kids which is an improvement from a decade ago when one in four kids was in poverty in Texas," Narbutis explained. "However, there are equity gaps around this. Today still, one in four Black and Hispanic children experiences poverty."
"This is a game-changing provision, it's going to lift more than four-million children in this country above the poverty line." Lisa Hamilton, President/CEO-The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Texas also had the highest number of uninsured kids in 2019, with more than a million lacking coverage which is caused in part by the lack of Medicaid expansion in the state. As for Louisiana, it fared worse than Texas coming in at 48th for overall child well-being. As state’s recover from the pandemic, Lisa Hamilton of the Annie E. Casey Foundation said the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan will greatly help improve overall child wellness in the U.S.
"One provision in particular is the Child Tax Credit which is expanded as a part of the American Rescue Plan and it's providing up to $300 per month to families,"Hamilton said. "This is a game-changing provision, it's going to lift more than four-million children in this country above the poverty line"
The Internal Revenue Service has just released new websites to help parents determine their eligibility for the Child Tax Credit payments which they may start receiving beginning on July 15th. The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a supporter of National Public Radio.