For Texas kids, the report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation is a mixture of good and bad news.
Texas scores improved slightly in some areas, but declined in others.
Frances Deviney is an analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank in Austin.
She says unfortunately the overall picture is still troubling:
“But in each of those areas whether we’ve gone up or gone down, we’re still in the bottom states. For example, in economic well-being, which includes children in poverty or children whose parents don’t have secure employment, we actually rank in the bottom third of states. We’re 33rd in the country. In education we’re 32nd and that includes children attending pre-school and how we perform on reading and math and graduation rates.”
The report does include some bright spots.
For example, Texas improved on the percentage of children attending preschool, and the percentage of high schoolers graduating on time.
But as Deviney points out the legislature recently cut grants for both preschool and graduation programs.
“In those two areas, we chose last legislative session to cut those expansion grants, eliminate them completely from our funding. So in areas where we’re moving in the right direction, we’re making choices that are potentially going to send us backwards and that’s really concerning to me.”
Deviney says she wants state lawmakers to look closely at the rankings, but she urges local community leaders to learn about them, too.
From the KUFH Health and Science Desk, I’m Carrie Feibel.