It Really Sucks to Be a Kid In Texas

DallasSchoolKids.jpg
woodleywonderworks
Dallas County kids are some of the poorest in the country, but recent grassroots programs are helping to improve those numbers.
And we're not just talking about the unaccompanied Central American variety. A new report by the Center for Public Policy Priorities zeroes in on a national study ranking child well-being. Several factors come into play, including health care, education, parental employment, and standard of living.

See also:
- It Really Sucks to Be Old In Texas
- It Really Sucks to Be Mentally Ill In Texas

Texas ranks 43rd in overall child well-being, with roughly a quarter of Texas children live below the poverty line. Specifically, Texas ranks 47th in the Family and Community category, with 19 percent of kids living in high-poverty neighborhoods.

It's part of an annual report card by the Annie E. Casey Foundation that measures state and national child well-being. Frances Deviney, Executive Director of the Texas KIDS COUNT program with the CPPP, says that most indicators of success and failure are affected by state and local policies.

"Those states where children are doing better often have policies in place to make sure kids have the building blocks they need to succeed," she says. "In comparison to other states Texas hasn't really put forth the policies to make sure Texas kids have the same economic opportunities."

On the local level, Dallas numbers are even more dismal than state numbers. In 2013, 30 percent of Dallas County kids lived below the poverty line, compared to a 22 percent national average. And over 13 percent of local kids have no health insurance, which is double the national average.

"It's a much higher poverty rate in Dallas, and we do see that in our urban areas," says Deviney. "When you're looking at available jobs, most of jobs that came back for people after the recession were low wage jobs. So were seeing more households that are working, but higher poverty rates, and a lot service jobs or low-skill jobs that don't pay a living wage in a metro area or offer benefits."

On the bright side, Dallas is clearly working to bring up its numbers. Mayor Mike Rawlings recently launched an anti-poverty task force initiative, and Deviney cites local nonprofits that are making small but significant strides in promoting early childhood education and Dallas ISD's Breakfast in the Classroom initiative. Each of these movements can help improve local quality of life numbers.

"Dallas has a lot of work ahead but they are starting to make really great strides," says Deviney. "I think the fact that you have these community wide conversation is a huge step in battling these more daunting numbers."


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
10 comments
RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

"Texas ranks 43rd in overall child well-being, with roughly a quarter of Texas children live below the poverty line....... In 2013, 30 percent of Dallas County kids lived below the poverty line, compared to a 22 percent national average."  So, being 'roughly' 3 population percentage points off the national average puts us (TX) in the bottom 15% of states for this category?


holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

It Really Sucks To Be A Border Patrol Agent In Texas

TexMarine
TexMarine

...this has nothing to do at all with the amount of illegal immigrants in Texas...at all. /sarcasm

I'm sure those parents are having their wages suppressed by corporations, and Rick Perry.

Anonamouse
Anonamouse

Can't wait for the next article in the series - "It Really Sucks to Be A Liberal Alt-Weekly Journalist in Texas".

roo_ster
roo_ster

If only we had Iowa's or Wisconsin's kids, they would be hunky-dory.

Hey, I wonder what is different between the average Texas kiddo ad the average Iowan kiddo?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Great time for Texas to absorb most of Central America's youths.

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

As soon as people saying something must be done for the children, put one hand on your wallet and the other on your rights.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

So tired hearing about the children.. I'm close to calling the Pied Piper.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...