Can we commit to a ten percent plan?

Yesterday’s blog post focused on some of the new Kentucky data portrayed in the 2013 National KIDS COUNT Data Book released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. I pointed out some of the child well-being indicators our state is moving backwards on and the fact that not all of the apparent good news is all good news. Given that we have a lot of room for improvement, I wondered what child well-being in the Commonwealth would look like if we dedicated ourselves to achieving an improvement of ten percent for the latest Kentucky rates portrayed in the Data Book.

A ten percent improvement in Kentucky would result in:

  • 39,000 thousand fewer children whose parents lack full-time, year-round employment;
  • 34,000 fewer children living in poverty;
  • 27,000 children no longer living in households that spend more than one-third of their income on housing;
  • 8,000 more children living with a head of household that has at least a high school diploma;
  • 7,000 additional 3- and 4-year olds enrolled in pre-school;
  • 2,000 fewer teens disconnected from school and work;
  • 1,106 additional youth graduating high school on time;
  • 752 fewer births to female teens ages 15-19;
  • 527 fewer babies born at a low birth-weight; and
  • 38 fewer children and teens dead before their 19th birthday.

As you can see, many thousands of Kentucky children would be positively impacted by a ten percent reduction in our current rates. Do you think Kentucky can commit to achieving a ten percent improvement on these key indicators of child well-being within the next year? Is that feasible? What would have to happen to make that goal a reality?

We have some solutions in mind, which we’ll blog about in the coming weeks, but we want to hear from you first! Please post a comment with your thoughts and ideas.

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