Texas Isn’t Doing Right by Its Kids. Here Are Ways We Can Get Better

Texas lawmakers received well-deserved high-fives for finally pumping billions of dollars into education this session. School districts had to have a bigger contribution from the state to improve the chances for success of Texas’ 5 million public school children.We know improving education fuels progress in multiple other areas. And a new Kids Count report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation underscores just how far Texas kids have to go.The news in this year’s national annual review of several indicators isn’t good.Texas ranked 41st — one of the 10 worst states for kids — in child well-being. States were ranked across four areas — health, education, economic well-being, and family and community — and Texas was near the bottom in every category.Sadly, it was no surprise that Texas ranked 39th in kids’ economic well-being. It’s shameful that in a state with so much overall economic success, the child poverty rate remains alarmingly high. A fifth of Texas’ 7.4 million children are poor. In Dallas alone, 1 in 3 children grow up poor.This persistent conundrum is the reason we’re so encouraged by the nonprofit Child Poverty Action Lab's efforts to leverage collective resources to try to break the cycle of generational poverty here. We can’t wait to see the strategies this community’s policymakers come up with to combat poverty’s dire effects on education, health and jobs and housing.  Continue reading...

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