As a young girl growing up in Dallas, I remember being glued to the television, awestruck as we watched the first man walk on the moon. I was amazed by that remarkable human achievement, and proud that Americans had come together to solve a challenge many thought was impossible.
As a parent, I’ve toured NASA with my son, proud that Texas continues to play an important role in space exploration. I believe all children, across every background, should have the chance to reach for the stars.
Texas needs to do much more to ensure that all children can reach their full potential. Our state is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s worst states for children. With nearly 1 in 10 U.S. children calling the Lone Star State home, child well-being in Texas should be a top national concern.
For over 30 years, the Center for Public Policy Priorities has used data and analysis to advocate for solutions that enable Texans of all backgrounds to reach their full potential. For more than 20 years, CPPP has been the official Texas state affiliate of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS Count project.
This year, I am excited that CPPP is taking a long overdue step to expand the analysis of racial and ethnic disparities in our policy work. Building on the efforts of many outstanding partners across the state, CPPP combed through state data to analyze the racial and ethnic disparities at the heart of our policy challenges.
Looking deep into the data, we found that too many children in Texas today continue to face tremendous barriers to opportunity because of the color of their skin.
To realize our vision of a Texas that provides opportunity for all, a child’s risks or opportunities should not be dictated by her gender, ZIP code, income, race or ethnicity. It is past time to expand opportunity for every child.
This report examines why there are such significant disparities in child well-being by race and ethnicity, what policies may have created, promoted or ignored differential barriers that children face, and how smart public policies can raise the bar for all kids while closing the gaps in child well-being for children of color.
It is time for us to summon the same pride and innovation we used to get to the moon to launch our youngest Texans on the path to opportunity. Let’s work together to make Texas the best state for children and families.