What Is The 'State Of Texas Children'?
Nearly 7.4 million children live in Texas. According to the Center for Public Policy Priorities' annual State of Texas Children report released last week, about one in five live in poverty.
Health, education and financial security have major implications for a child's well-being. Are "short-sighted public policies and inadequate investment" keeping Texas children from reaching their full potential?
One of CPPP's recommendations for the 2019 legislative session is to create a committee to ensure all Texans are counted in the 2020 Census. Their data shows thirty percent of children under 5 living in "hard-to-count communities" are at high risk of being overlooked in the official population tally, which could result in cuts to federal funding for programs that help improve kids' quality of life, like the Children's Health Insurance Program, Medicaid and Head Start.
The report also urges overhauling the state's school finance system to increase per-student spending and reduce the achievement gap caused by inequity; improving kids' access to health insurance; and implementing policy to shore up families' financial security.
Should lawmakers prioritize kid-focused policymaking? Can we finally make strides toward improving the well-being of Texas children?
- Kristie Tingle, research analyst for the Center for Public Policy Priorities
- Christine Yanas, director of governmental affairs for Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas
- Kathy Fletcher, president and CEO of Voices for Children
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This interview aired on Monday, November 29, 2018.