Have you been wondering how well Texas kids are doing? There’s some good news, and some bad news. More kids today have health insurance than did a year ago, and more parents are employed. But Texas could be doing better.
On March 4th we released our 2015 State of Texas Children report, with the support of Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. We were thrilled to see over 250 passionate Texans representing their organizations in attendance, along with a few TV cameras capturing the action.
Authored by Research Associate Jennifer Lee, with co-author Caitlin Shea, this report identified a number or areas where Texas kids are struggling:
- 25 percent of Texas kids lived below the poverty line in 2013
- Latino and Black kids are three times as likely to live in poverty as White or Asian kids
- 1 in 8 Texas kids are uninsured, lacking access to check-ups, diagnostic screenings, and important preventative care
We don’t have leap tall buildings in a single bound to make Texas great place for kids. We’ve identified this set of policy recommendations that can make great impacts:
Pre-K programs are one of the biggest drivers for educational success, so we brought together a great panel on Pre-Kindergarten at our report launch, with State Representative Joe Deshotel, Catherine Morse of Samsung Austin Semiconductor, and Elizabeth Gershoff, Ph.D. of the University of Texas. Together they emphasized the clear benefits of Pre-K to kids and to Texas as a whole—children who enter school ready to learn are more prepared to become the strong, educated workforce Texas needs to remain competitive.
Our theme for the day was superheroes, and we dared all Texans to become superheroes for our children. When 1 in 4 kids live in poverty, there’s still a lot our great state can do to make Texas the best state for kids.
Find the full report, executive summary, PowerPoint presentation and more on our Kids Count site.