Thursday, February 18, 2010

The State of Texas Children

The Annie E. Casey Foundation and Texas KIDS COUNT have released the 2009-2010 State of Texas Children Report. There are lots of interesting findings from birth weights to high school test scores. Here are some of the more interesting and/or shocking.
  • There are approximately 2.3 million children age 5 or under in Texas.
  • While 16.3% of the overall Texas population lives in poverty, the child poverty rate is a staggering 23.1%.
  • Nearly 54,000 births per year are to mothers ages 13-19.
  • It is projected that nearly a quarter of Texas children do not have health insurance.
  • In 2008 there were more than 70,000 confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect.
  • 26% of children ages 3-4 are in public Pre-K, up from 19.4%.
  • 92% of 11th graders pass the English reading section of the TAKS test.
  • Only 65% of 10th graders pass the Math section of the TAKS test.
Which of these statistics make your jaw drop in disappointment? Which of these make your heart swell with pride or give you hope? What causes some of these findings? How can we reverse the ones we're upset by and further the positive trends? What can you do right now in your home or your community to better the state of children?

Change can be a slow process but by each of us committing ourselves to our youth and the future of Texas, we can make a difference.

-Cheryl Black

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