97.5 F
Saturday, September 23, 2023
HomeNewsReport: New Mexico second-worst in child wellbeing

Report: New Mexico second-worst in child wellbeing

Related stories

‘Dogs blank ‘Cats in 2023 Homecoming Game, 44-0

Before a packed house of alumni Friday at Bulldog...

AHS Homecoming 2023: ‘Dogs vs. ‘Cats

With Friday's forecast calling for temperatures near 100 degrees,...

Ribbon Cutting- Pecos Valley Production

The Artesia Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting...

Quality of life is low for children in New Mexico, according to a new report.

The 2017 New Mexico Kids Count Data Book found more children are living in poverty, are without health insurance and are living in single-parent households than a year ago.

The report from the New Mexico Voices for Children ranked New Mexico as the second-worst state in child well-being, saying 29 percent of New Mexico children live in poverty.

The national average is 20 percent, with poverty defined as a family of four living on an annual household income of less than $24,300 for 2016.

The group unveiled the report’s findings on Tuesday before the Legislature convened for its 30-day session.

The report did show that there was slight improvement in the number of children in early childhood education and graduation rates. The teen births and the number of teens and adolescents abusing drugs and alcohol have decreased as well.

“It’s a real mixed bag,” James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, said of the report. “The encouraging thing is that some of the indicators are moving in the right direction, but clearly poverty continues to be a major concern . it can compromise a child’s long-term ability to thrive.”

The report recommends increased funding for early childhood educational programs, which both Gov. Susana Martinez and the Legislative Finance Committee have proposed in their budgets. But the report also suggests that some of the money come from the state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund.

The report also calls for the state to invest more in pre-K and K-3 summer learning programs, which both the governor and the Legislative Finance Committee budgets proposed.

Latest stories