Tennessee improves 3 spots to 35th in child well-being marks

(AP)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A new report says Tennessee has improved three spots to rank 35th in overall child well-being.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its annual KIDS COUNT Data Book on Tuesday.

The report says Tennessee improved seven spots to 35th in economic well-being, jumped two positions to 26th in health, improved three spots to 33rd in education, but dropped one position to 40th in family and community.

“The economic development and business recruitment gains contributed to economic well-being ranking improvements,” Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth Executive Director Linda O’ said. “The educational strategies related to the state’s “Drive to 55” and “Tennessee Promise” have significantly contributed to improved outcomes for children and families, highlighting the importance of a two-generation strategy for the state’s long-term prosperity.”

The report measures child well-being in those four categories by looking at 16 indicators, from children without health insurance to the high school students not graduating on time.

The report provides year-to-year and five-year data.

O’Neal says this year’s report shows substantial progress during Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration.

“Uncertainty about the future of health care coverage threatens the improvements the state has made in reducing the number of children who do not have health insurance,” said O’Neal. “Tennessee’s failure to extend coverage to parents by leveraging federal Medicaid expansion funds still leaves 62,000 children without health care coverage.”

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