Georgia has again dropped back into the bottom of U.S. states for child well-being. A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows the state fell six spots to 43rd in the nation. According to the 2013 Kids Count Data Book, Georgia continues to struggle with child poverty. Georgia Kids Count Data Manager Julie Sharpe says more than 1 in 4 children currently are living in poverty in the state.
“We have more children in poverty than live in the city of Atlanta and the city of Augusta combined population.”
Sharp says the state still has a high number of foreclosures, a large percentage of dropouts and 1 in 3 children’s parents lack secure employment.
But the report also shows Georgia is making gains in health and education.
Sharp says the state’s teen birth rate is dropping and the number of children attending preschool is increasing due to the state’s Pre-K program.
“We’ve made some gains over the years, but what’s happening is the other states, particularly some our sister southern states like North Carolina, Tennessee, are making bigger gains.”
She says to improve the state needs to make critical investments to help increase its high school graduation rate, make sure all children are able to read by the third grade and ensure more children are born healthy.