The latest data on Texas children released by the Center for Public Policy Priorities this morning paints a very bleak picture.
According to the annual State of Texas Children report:
—Nearly 1 in 4 Texas children live in poverty, a rate that exceeds most other states.
—For the 10th year in a row, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured kids in the country (20 percent). That’s nearly twice the national average.
—Texas has the second highest rate of “child food insecurity” in the country. (16.3 percent of Texas households don’t know how they’ll afford their next meal.) And the number of children on food stamps has grown, from 1.3 million in 2007 to 1.8 million today.
“Decades of belt tightening have left us with more poor, uninsured and hungry children than almost any other state,” Texas KIDS COUNT Director Frances Deviney said in a statement.
Some other disheartening facts:
—Young children in Texas are almost twice as likely to live in poverty as working-age adults.
—Texas infants are abused and neglected at a much higher rate than any other child age group.
—More than half of Texas public school children are economically disadvantaged. These students are less likely to pass state TAKS tests than their classmates, and are more likely to drop out of school.