2017 Kids Count Rankings: TN Governor on Highest Ranking Ever

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) - Tennessee kids are doing the best they have ever done, but there's a lot of room for improvement. That's the assessment of an annual well-known survey that ranks the well-being of children nationwide.

“There are metrics we can measure about the well-being of children,” says Governor Bill Haslam.

There are surveys to see how children in each state are doing, based on things like education, economics, and healthcare. One of the most respected surveys comes from the Annie E. Casey Kids Foundation: Kids Count.

Tennessee's ranking this year is its highest ever; number 35 after once being near the bottom of the fifty states twenty years ago.

One area of improvement; more jobs attracted to Tennessee helps kids by helping their families out of poverty.

“Economic development and the availability of jobs that pay living wages for families are the best way to move children out of poverty,” says Linda O'Neal with the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth. “We have seen slight improvements in the number of kids in poverty.”

Governor Haslam, along with education leaders and the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, outlined the areas where Tennessee is doing better when the year 2015 is compared with 2009. There’s more proficiency in areas like 4th graders reading better or 8th graders understanding math, but there are areas of deficiency that stand out.

“Like teen pregnancies,” says Gov. Haslam. “We are better than we were, but we are still very low on the rankings.”

The governor doesn't see any magic bullets of bills legislation to improve the lives of Tennessee kids. He says let's complete what we've started with policies of more jobs and education improvement.

Statewide and county-by-county data on Tennessee child well-being indicators are available at http://datacenter.kidscount.org.

Information on Tennessee's spending on children is at http://www.tn.gov/tccy/topic/rm-resource-mapping.

 

 

 


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