Saturday, July 31, 2010

When Politics Are Perilous

The 2010 Case Family Kids Count Data book is releasing
information about the state of kids in the nation. This guide gives an overall snapshot of kids in Americasorted by state and by issues. It includes the number of teen birh rates, the percentage of kids who live below the poverty level, plus many more data sets advocates can utilize to help make a case for changes to programs in America. One of these data sets lists Texas as being in the top 5 states for economic prosperity and one of the top places that has experienced businesses improving their bottom line and hiring, despite an over all national deficit of jobs and prosperity. Texas is also one of the top states for kids between the ages of 12-18 who get pregnant and who drop out of school, who live in poverty and who are in need of mentalhealth care. Nationally, out of eleven children one is from Texas. Texas has a huge number of kids. Yet Texas spends less on kids and their care than any other state. In fact, Texas ranks 34th in kids' well being. Texas is currently looking at a rather wicked battle for Governor between Rick Perry, the incumbent, and Bill White the former mayor of Houston. Rick Perry campaigns on the fact Texas is friendly for business and has had no new taxes. Not sure what Bill White is saying except that Rick Perry has been in control for too long. The kids of Texas probably don't care who wins but every adult in this state should make it an effort to follow closely every effort to further cut programs to shift the 18 billion dollar shortfall onto the backs of the kids. They already are doing more than their fair share by giving up their childhood, their education and their health. Pay attention and let Austin know you support having a state that values our kids future above businesses.Kids who grow up ill-educated and just plain ill or in poor health will require state programs as they age just to eat and take care of themselves. Teens who start out on food stamps and assistance will be growing up on assitance so the cycle continues into a new generation that expects the state to provide for their needs. Kids do not have a voice in Austin. It is time we gave them one. For information about how Texas rates on other issues, please go to the Casey Family Foundation and look for the Kids Count link.

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