Report: LA Remains Stagnant in Overall Child Well-Being
Monday, June 19, 2023
A new annual report finds Louisiana has stagnated on measures to improve children's well-being.
The Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks Louisiana 49th in the nation once again, for child well-being. In individual categories, most of the rankings remained the same, with education increasing to 43rd this year.
Children's advocates in the state have identified some solutions to improve the picture for kids.
And Teresa Falgoust, director of data and research with Agenda for Children, said she believes progress stalled mostly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She said she is hopeful things will change soon.
"So hopefully, with improvements in our employment rate, we will see some of Louisiana's economic well-being indicators improve over time," said Falgoust. "And we've definitely seen a lot of efforts from schools throughout the state to really catch kids up on many of the things they lost during the pandemic."
Falgoust said she hopes to see investments made to help bolster the state's low rankings.
And the Kids Count report does show some improvements - even where the U.S. saw sharp declines. Fourth grade reading proficiency increased by 2%, and more high-school students are graduating on time as well.
Across the U.S. children's economic security remained stagnant or saw mild declines. Louisiana's last-in-the-nation ranking for families' economic well-being remained the same from last year to this year.
And yet, Leslie Boissiere - vice president of external affairs at the Annie E. Casey Foundation - said this measure is vital to children's overall health and well-being.
"During the pandemic, you saw children talk about the anxiety and the stress that they were feeling when they were feeling food-insecure," said Boissiere. "They didn't have enough to eat, their parents were stressed about how they were going to pay their rent and their mortgage."
She added that some pandemic-era policies were able to help bolster families' budgets. In particular, she cited expansion of the Child Tax Credit, which lifted millions of families and children out of poverty.
Since the expansion was not renewed, children's advocates have been clamoring to get states to expand their own Child Tax Credits.
get more stories like this via email
Minnesota lawmakers face growing calls this session to boost access to affordable housing and there is a proposal to lend a voice to existing renters …
Health and Wellness
Legislation in Massachusetts would ban some of the tactics used by "crisis pregnancy centers" to prevent people from having abortions. Many of the …
A new report said philanthropic organizations need to reexamine the source of their wealth, which it asserted often came from systemic racism and …
Americans' confidence in higher education has plummeted but students and staff at Maine's Colby College hope continued community outreach will help br…
It is National Invasive Species Awareness Week, and plants and critters not native to the Northwest are wreaking havoc on some landscapes, including …
Health and Wellness
A new program in a Washington public library system is helping people monitor their blood pressure at home. The American Heart Association has …
By Kayla Benjamin for The Washington Informer.Broadcast version by Brett Peveto for Maryland News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Ne…
New Mexico's Legislature is becoming more diverse but its lawmakers are still the only ones unpaid in the nation, limiting who can afford to serve…