Investing in Our Future 2013 State of Texas Children

+
Investing in
Our Future
2013 State of Texas Children
Texas KIDS COUNT Annual Data Book
TEXAS KIDS COUNT PROJECT
Table of
Contents
2-3
4-7
8-11
Introduction
Child Population
Education
12-15
16-19
20-22
Nutrition
Health Care
Economic
Opportunity
23
24
25
Child Protection
Risky Youth
Behavior
Conclusion
26-27
28
29
Kids Count
Data Center
Endnotes
About &
Acknowledgements
Hear more from Texas kids at
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I AM THE
FUTURE OF TEXAS!
2
Introduction
“I am the future of Texas!” Those are powerful words. When spoken by a child, those
six words evoke a sense of optimism about what can be. They show the potential for
innovation and leadership that can come from the next generation.
And Texas has a lot to look forward to. We have abundant natural beauty and resources
in our state. And we are repeatedly rated as the number one state to do business. But
we also rank as the 42nd state to be a kid.
Too many of our kids get an unequal start in life because their families struggle just
to make ends meet. Child poverty remains far too high; and although the numbers have
decreased, we still have too many kids uninsured, dropping out of school, and having
babies while in their teens.
We know what to do to make sure that the future of Texas kids is full of opportunity.
We’ve done it before and seen great results.
In a recent Texas KIDS COUNT study, Invest in Texas Kids. It Matters, we found
that over the last 20 years when Texas increased our investments in children, we
saw improvements in their overall well-being. And, vice versa, when we decreased
investments, we saw worse outcomes for kids. And outcomes for kids are interrelated;
for example, our education investments also influenced health, safety, and youth
behavior outcomes.
Unfortunately, Texas’ spending on children as part of the state budget (health,
education and support services), has remained comparatively small and largely
unchanged over the last decade, even as our child population grows. Texas has
continued to decrease state revenue, made massive cuts to education, women’s and
infant health, and most recently refused to expand access to health services for our
most vulnerable populations. During this period of austere state spending and large
population growth, Texas has seen a dramatic increase in child poverty, and ranks
poorly in comparison to the nation as a whole on many indicators of child well-being.
Texas children deserve a fighting chance to realize their fullest potential, pursue their
biggest dreams, and live a better life. Our state elected officials can offer that chance
by investing in kids.
We’ve done it before and can do it again. Because Texas KIDS COUNT.
Ann Beeson
CPPP Executive Director
Frances Deviney, Ph.D.
Texas KIDS COUNT Project Director
3
Hear more from Texas kids at
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I WANT
TO BE A
TEACHER.
WHEN I GROW
UP, I WANT TO
BE AN ARTIST.
I WANT TO
HELP ANIMALS
THAT ARE SICK.
I WANT
TO BE A
RACE CAR
DRIVER.
I WANT TO BE A
SOCCER PLAYER.
...A DOCTOR.
...A VOLCANOLOGIST!
I WANT TO BE
A ROCK STAR.
5
Child Population
Texas Kids: A Whole Lot of Potential
We recently asked a group of Texas kids what they wanted
to be when they grew up. The answers were as diverse
as the children themselves: race car driver, veterinarian,
volcanologist (a scientist that studies volcanoes!). Over
the last decade, Texas has become home to one of the
largest and most diverse child populations in the country.
With more than 6.95 million, Texas kids represent more
than a quarter of all Texans (25.7 million)—that’s a lot of
aspirations, goals, and dreams.
Texas’ diversity is a point of pride and strength. And
our children can benefit tremendously from the rich
opportunities such diversity affords. But, these opportunities
will be limited if we continue to underinvest in our children,
Texas’ most important asset.
Total Texas Child Population
(ages 0-17) up 16% to 6,952,177
(up from 2001 to 2011)3,4
Demographers predict that the majority of our population
growth over the next several decades will occur among the
non-White, primarily Hispanic, population.1 This means that
Texas’ future economic and social potential is inextricably
linked to the developmental experiences and success of
our non-White child population today. Unfortunately,
non-White children do not tend to fare as well on many
measures of child well-being (e.g., poverty, health,
educational attainment).2 Ignoring disparities and our
increased needs hurts children by underestimating both
necessary resources (e.g., money for school books or
medical services) and their potential.
3,389,573
Hispanic
(up 38%)
433,811
All Other Races/
Ethnicities
(up 132%)
2,317,712
Anglo
(down 9%)
6
811,081
Black
(up 5%)
Births driving our growth
While it is true that Texas has experienced
unprecedented interstate migration in the last
few years, our strong child birth rate is still the
primary driver for our population explosion.5
More than 385,000 babies were born in Texas
in 2010, giving Texas the third highest birth
rate in the country behind Utah and Alaska.6
Texas has the
3
Out of 254 counties,
10 61 %
rd highest
birth rate in
the country8
accounted
for
of all births
in Texas:
Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar,
Hidalgo, Travis, El Paso,
Collin, Denton and Cameron.7
Texas kids
account for
1 of every 11
kids in the U.S.
9
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Because Texas kids account for one of every 11 kids in
the U.S., they are poised to lead the nation over the next
several decades. But as our numbers grow, so do our needs.
For our children to successfully navigate the changing world
ahead, it is our responsibility to see that they are healthy,
educated, and prepared for the tasks ahead. We must make
children the priority in our state budget by anticipating
growth and investing in their potential so that we can meet
their needs today and all of our needs tomorrow.
7
Hear more from Texas kids at
forabettertexas.org/investinkids.html
YOU LEARN
THINGS YOU NEED TO
KNOW FOR THE LIFE
AHEAD OF YOU.
8
Education
When we invest in public education, we are investing in the
futures of approximately 5 million Texas kids.10 That basic
investment is the key to an individual child’s future economic
mobility, the financial stability of Texas families, and the
state’s long term economic prosperity.
The need to invest in our children has never been more
vital, as slightly more than 60 percent (3,013,442) of our
5 million Texas public school students are now identified
as “economically disadvantaged” (up from 52 percent in
2001-02).11 Because family income plays a pivotal role in
educational success,12 the increase in low-income Texas
students means that providing quality education becomes
more difficult and more important.
Early Investments Can Yield Big Returns
The first and most important step to realizing the full
potential of all our children is to reach out to our youngest
Texans, and make sure they are ready to succeed in school.
In 2011-2012, Texas served 71,555 students in Head Start and
an additional 7,600 in Early Head Start (0-3).13 Unfortunately,
as a result of the automatic federal budget cuts known
as “sequester,” 4,800 fewer 3 and 4 year olds enrolled in
Texas’ Head Start Programs in 2013.14 Because Head Start
primarily serves economically disadvantaged children, these
cuts will reduce the number of children who will enter
kindergarten ready to learn in 2014. The cuts to Head Start
also compound the fact that Texas served fewer 4 year olds
in prekindergarten programs in 2011-12 (50 percent) than in
2010-11 (52 percent).15
Texas’ continued disinvestment is steering us in the wrong
direction. Expanding and properly investing in quality
preschool initiatives will not only lead to increased student
test scores,16 but greater lifetime earnings,17 lower rates of
criminal activity,18 and better health outcomes as adults.19
Prekindergarten helps reduce the education gaps
for economically disadvantaged children.20 After years
of continued growth, recent data shows fewer Texas
4 year olds attending public prekindergarten.21
52%
(200,181 enrolled)
2010-2011
Decrease in 4 year olds in
pre-k likely due, in part, to cuts
in pre-k expansion grants22
50%
(196,517 enrolled)
2011-2012
9
The use of our state STAAR examinations to determine grade
promotion and graduation put Texas’ low-income students at
a significant disadvantage.
Economically poor students are five times less likely to make
it to graduation than more affluent students.24 Though we
have made significant improvements over the last decade,
Texas is still losing 1 in 4 students before they graduate, and
cuts to dropout prevention may endanger the positive trend
of fewer kids leaving high school before graduation.
Percentage of Texas 3rd-8th Grade Students
Meeting the 2013 STAAR Standards23
Attrition Rates for Texas High School Students25
NOT ECONOMICALLY
DISADVANTAGED
ECONOMICALLY
DISADVANTAGED
GAP
MATH
49% 25%
24 POINTS
READING
58% 28%
30 POINTS
Percentage of Texas High School Students
Meeting the 2013 STAAR Standards
NOT ECONOMICALLY
DISADVANTAGED
ECONOMICALLY
DISADVANTAGED
Percentage of 9th graders who leave high
school before graduation
40 %
CLASS OF 2001
GAP
ALGEBRA I
50% 25%
25 POINTS
ENGLISH II
77% 51%
26 POINTS
26 %
CLASS OF 2012
10
State Investments in Education
Texas’ Rank in Adjusted
Per-Pupil Spending26
43
rd
In 2011 . . .
the Texas Legislature cut funding by
approximately $500 per child for
the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years.
Due to cuts, many schools and districts
handled their budget shortfall by cutting
teachers, increasing class sizes and
reducing perkindergarten programs.27
In 2013 . . .
Texas legislators put $3.2 billion
back into public education for 2013-14
and 2014-15, or approximately $108
per student.28 But that’s not enough
because $108 ≠ $500.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Targeted and substantial investments in quality early
childhood education,29 well organized curricula,30 and a
highly effective teaching force31 are the most proven ways
to improve the education outcomes for Texas children.
Unfortunately, we have tried everything under the sun to
educate on the cheap at both the federal and state levels,
and that’s not cutting it. As our schools continue to grow
in population and the economic achievement gap remains,
we must prioritize the funding of our institutions of public
education for the benefit of all Texans.
11
Hear more from Texas kids at
forabettertexas.org/investinkids.html
IT’S HARD TO
DO YOUR WORK WHEN
YOU’RE HUNGRY.
12
Nutrition
Nutrition is the backbone of preventive health care and
investing in programs to ensure the nutritional needs of
Texas kids is one of the best investments we can make.
Healthy and nutritiously fed children are more engaged in
school, more involved in physical activity and grow to become
healthier adults,32 all of which lead to greater outcomes for
themselves and the whole of our state.33 But, not all Texans
live near or are able to afford healthy food options like fruits
and vegetables and instead have far greater access to high
calorie, low nutrition food and drinks such as sugary snacks
and sodas.34
FOOD INSECURITY
27.6 %
or 1,894,060
Because more than one of every four (27.6 percent) Texas
kids does not know where their next meal will come from,35
our nutrition assistance programs are no longer “added
help” for families. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program (SNAP); Women, Infants and Children nutrition
program (WIC); and school breakfast and lunch programs
are the primary ways many Texas families access food.
Although Texas has made great strides in making sure that
our youngest Texans are healthier and more nutritiously fed,36
major obstacles remain to meeting the nutritional needs of
Texas children.
WIC
47,500
Decline in WIC enrollment for children
ages 0-4, from 2010 to 2011.37
Why is WIC on the decline?
Several
factors impact the recent decline in both the
number and percentage of children receiving WIC, such as:
• Lack of outreach to WIC eligible Texans.38
Texas children considered food insecure; or without
access to enough food to remain healthy and active.35
• Recertification process that requires mothers to renew
six weeks after birth.39
13
SNAP
2,024,531
In 2011,
Texas kids, 0-17 received
SNAP benefits.40
29.1 %
(of all kids)
Benefits of Federal SNAP Program
• The 2009 Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act (ARRA) increased SNAP benefits, which in turn
reduced food insecurity for low income families.41
• Children with access to SNAP benefits grow up to be
healthier, less obese, adults.42
Impact of Federal Cuts43
•A
family of four will now have $396 less in benefits for the
year due to the expiration of ARRA federal stimulus dollars
in November 2013.
•T he decline in benefits, along with expected food inflation,
will likely result in greater stress and insecurity for working
low and moderate income families.44
What does the decline in SNAP look like monthly?45
9 gallons of milk or
23loaves of bread or
23lbs of apples
WHAT CAN WE DO?
More and more Texas students rely on their local public
schools for food security and nutrition, making these
programs a critical safety net for our kids. Recently, Texas
made an important investment by passing the “school
breakfast bill.” Expansion of the school breakfast program
will go a long way toward helping Texas children secure the
right kinds of food prior to each and every school day. This
is a step in the right direction, but we must do more.
We must implement, expand, and support our school
nutrition programs to make sure our youngest Texans are
14
also able to access nutritious food during the summer
months. It is often during this time that many students
are at their most food insecure without the daily support
of our public schools. As the nation absorbs a scheduled
$11 billion cut to SNAP, and Texas sees a troubling decline
in WIC enrollment, low-income Texas children and their
families face a troubling road ahead. If we want a Texas
that is fit, healthy and prosperous, we must prioritize the
nutritional needs of our children.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
IN 2012...
66%
OF KIDS IN TEXAS’
PUBLIC SCHOOL
SYSTEM RECEIVED
FREE OR REDUCED-PRICE LUNCH
(Up from 54% in 2002)
46
15
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Health Care
Right now, millions of under or uninsured Texans wake up
each morning praying their families won’t get sick. Regardless
of race, zip code, or income, there’s nothing more painful
than having a sick child and not being able to take her to the
doctor—especially if it’s because you can’t afford it.
For most Texans, reliable access to preventive and consistent
health care is available only if you have health insurance.
It’s the way we’ve designed our health care market to work.
And kids’ health outcomes are directly linked to their family’s
access to health insurance. Uninsured kids are 20 percent less
likely to be in excellent or very good health compared to kids
who are insured.47
Fortunately, we know what works to reduce uninsured rates
and have made significant progress in recent years. Fifteen
The Affordable Care Act and Kids
(Now and beginning in 2014)
•All insurance plans are required to cover essential health
benefits, such as maternity and newborn care, preventive and
wellness care, pediatric services and emergency services (now!)
KIDS GO TO THE DOCTOR
TO FIGURE OUT WHAT’S
WRONG WITH THEM. . .
SO THEN YOU DON’T FEEL
BAD ANYMORE.
years ago, 1 in 4 Texas kids were uninsured. Today, thanks to
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP),
the overall uninsured rate for Texas kids is down to 1 in 6
(nearly 1.2 million).48
The decline in the child uninsured rate is the result of choices
we made to prioritize children’s access to health insurance.
In addition to Texas’ implementation of CHIP in 2000, we
reduced barriers to children’s Medicaid enrollment (e.g.,
allowing applications and renewal by mail); addressed
systemic problems and provided additional resources for the
state system that determines whether a child is eligible for
public health insurance (e.g., hiring more staff and improving
training); 49 and implemented the first administrative rules of
the Affordable Care Act.
22 %
Fewer Texas kids are uninsured, but
still second highest rate in the nation50
2007
•Preexisting conditions eliminated (now!)
16 %
2012
•Kids can stay on their parent’s coverage until they turn 26 (now!)
•Children leaving foster care can receive health coverage until
they are 26 (2014)
11 %
•Medicaid and CHIP Applications streamlined by eliminating
asset tests and mandatory in-person interviews (2014)
16
TX
US
9%
TX
US
The Coverage Gap: Parents Who Won’t Have Coverage in 2014
One of the biggest ongoing barriers to increasing kids’
access to health insurance is making sure their parents
have health insurance. Approximately 1.9 million Texas
parents are uninsured,51 increasing the likelihood that their
children are uninsured too.52 When parents are uninsured,
their kids are less likely to have a regular health provider
and more likely to fall into a coverage gap.53
The good news is that more parents, and consequently
more kids, have access to coverage through the new
federal health insurance Marketplace. Though problems
with the online portal have delayed enrollment for some,
Texans can still shop the Marketplace now for 2014 health
plans that fit their budgets and medical needs, while
knowing that all plans available will have important, basic
protections required by the new law (e.g., preventive and
wellness care, maternity and newborn care, pediatric
services, emergency services).54 In addition, many Texans
will be eligible for federal subsidies to help pay for their
health insurance premiums, making access to coverage
more manageable within their family budgets.55
The bad news is that too many parents still won’t
have access to affordable coverage because Texas
failed to accept the option, and the corresponding
federal dollars, for Medicaid Expansion.56 And it’s a
double whammy for Texas’ poorest uninsured parents.
Because the Affordable Care Act was written assuming
our poorest adults would receive coverage through
Medicaid, there was no provision for providing subsidies
in place of Medicaid coverage. Texas’ refusal to expand
Medicaid means that Texas parents in households living
just below the poverty line (e.g., $23,000 a year or 98
percent of poverty for a family of four) aren’t eligible for
either Medicaid or subsidies to help pay for insurance,
while parents in households living just above poverty (e.g.,
$24,000 or 102 percent of poverty) can receive subsidies to
make insurance more affordable. Even more frustrating is
that next door in New Mexico and Arkansas, working poor
parents will gain coverage through their states’ Medicaid
expansion programs, while Texans will not.
Not expanding Medicaid to parents is a big deal
for kids. First, we know that children living in states that
have previously expanded Medicaid to parents have a
20 percentage point higher rate of insurance coverage
through Medicaid.57 Second, with approximately half of
all of Texas’ uninsured children currently income eligible
for public health insurance,58 getting parents on Medicaid
could significantly improve access to health coverage
for a huge proportion of the state and the nation’s child
uninsured population. Texas accounts for one of every six
uninsured children in U.S. that also live in poverty).
The Coverage Gap for A Texas Family of Four 59
If Texas accepts the new Medicaid dollars, BOTH families can access affordable care
THE JONES’S
THE JOHNSON’S
Maintenance worker
and stay-at-home mom
OCCUPATIONS
Office clerk and part-time
home health aide
$23,000 (98% FPL)
HOUSEHOLD INCOME
$24,000 (102% FPL)
$8,704
ANNUAL PREMIUM
$8,704
NO – Income eligible for Medicaid
according to Feds, but Texas didn’t
accept Medicaid expansion option
MEDICAID ELIGIBLE?
NO – Income too high
$0 - Income not high enough to
trigger tax credit
SUBSIDY
$8,224
Without the Medicaid option, Mr. and
Mrs. Jones can’t afford coverage.
With an $8,224 tax credit, Mr. and Mrs.
Johnson can afford coverage.
17
Beyond Coverage: Barriers to Accessing Care
Making sure kids have access to health insurance is the
first step to improving their health outcomes. But the next
step is to make sure they have access to a doctor. In 2012,
69 percent of Texas doctors surveyed said that they would
either limit or accept no new Medicaid patients, up from
33 percent in 2000.60 This is largely due to rising medical
care costs in the face of stagnant and even reduced
Medicaid reimbursement rates for doctors—rates that are
defined by the Texas Legislature.61
For kids, the impact of having access to care starts before
birth. The latest public health research suggests that if we
really want to improve birth outcomes, we have to ensure
women not only have family planning to help them space
their births for optimal infant health, but also basic health
care to support a healthy pregnancy.62
Devastating budget cuts to family planning in 2011 caused
widespread collateral damage, leaving 147,000 Texas
women without services and the women’s health safety
net in tatters. Ironically, these family planning cuts resulted
in large cost increases to the state due to increases in
More than one
of every three
Texas babies
18
unplanned pregnancies.63 Making policy choices that
reduce access to basic care is shortsighted and fiscally
irresponsible.
This session, the 2013 Texas Legislature attempted to
repair the damage by funding family planning programs
to serve approximately the same number of women as
before the cuts. But because so many providers (at least
56 clinics) already closed their doors due to the 2011 cuts,
it’s unclear that enough family planning providers are
available.
Consistent quality prenatal care is paramount for the
health of mom and baby. More than 1 of every 3 Texas
babies (141,616 in 2010) are born to a mom that received
late or no prenatal care, increasing the likelihood that their
babies will be born too small or will die before their first
birthday.64 The data are even more stark when you look
at racial-ethnic differences, where Black babies are 50
percent more likely to be born prematurely and 87 percent
more likely to be low-birth weight than White infants.65
{37%}
is born to a mom
who received late
or no prenatal care.66
WHAT CAN WE DO?
If we want Texas to be a leader in the 21st century,
investing in our children’s health must rank right alongside
educating and feeding them. Historically, when Texas
invested more in children’s health care, we saw not only
improved health outcomes, but kids also were better
educated, safer, and less likely to engage in other risky
behaviors (e.g., teen pregnancy).67
Three specific strategies could significantly improve child
and family health care coverage and access in Texas:
• Accept federal dollars for Medicaid Expansion to cover
1 million uninsured, U.S. citizen, Texas adults living
below poverty;
Compared to White babies,
Black newborns are: 66
50 %
• Rebuild the family planning infrastructure to ensure
statewide access for women; and
• Ensure timely access to enough doctors to provide
preventive and sick care by updating the Medicaid
reimbursement rates to keep up with inflation.
It’s time to get back to basics. Improved health outcomes
for Texas kids starts with state health care policies that
match our goals for kids. We need to make policy choices
that help women access both preconception and prenatal
care, allow kids to see a doctor when they need one, and
pay doctors enough to cover their costs. It doesn’t get any
more basic than that.
87%
more likely
to weigh less
than 5.5lbs
more likely
to be preterm
19
Hear more from Texas kids at
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I LIKE TO LEARN
ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE’S
JOBS SO I KNOW WHAT
JOB IS RIGHT FOR ME.
Family Economic Security = Child Economic Opportunity
Poverty is arguably the most important measure of
child well-being. Poverty can create toxic stress that
physically alters a young child’s developing brain and
body,68 is related to gaps in health and education,69 and
is predictive of worse employment outcomes as adults.70
Because poverty is defined by a household’s income,
parental economic opportunity and mobility is the
best antidote to children falling into or lingering in
poverty. Unfortunately, even after the end of the Great
Recession, the percentage of Texas kids living in
poverty continues to climb.
20
Even in a vibrant local economy, there can still be very
little economic mobility. In fact, kids living in poverty
in Brownsville only have a 10 percent chance of
moving into the top fifth of income earners as adults;
and only a 6.4 percent chance if they live in Dallas.
Across the country, these differences are related to
high income inequality in cities, income segregation
in neighborhoods, the quality of local schools, the
percentage of two-parent families, and level of civic
engagement.71
What is Poverty?
2012 Federal Poverty Thresholds72
FAMILY SIZE
MAX. YEARLY INCOME
for HOUSEHOLD (or less)
$11,945
$15,374
$18,480
$23,283
MAX. HOURLY WAGE
(or less)
$5.97
$7.69
$9.24
$11.64
The Texas child poverty rate is growing
faster than our child population
Poverty and opportunity differ dramatically across Texas74
Highest versus lowest county-level child poverty rates in Texas
Between 2000 and 201173
IN 2011 BROOKS COUNTY had the highest child poverty rate in Texas.
18
%
from 5.9M
TEXAS’ CHILD
POPULATION GREW
CHILD POVERTY RATE
48.1%8.9%
to 6.9M
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
$24,567
IN 2011 ROCKWALL COUNTY had the lowest child poverty rate in Texas.
47
%
from 1.2M
TEXAS KIDS LIVING
IN POVERTY GREW
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
CHILD POVERTY RATE
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
9.1%7.2%
to 1.8M
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
$84,763
Poverty Continues to Climb Even as Economy Recovers75
Great
Recession
24.7%
26.6%
22.5%
20.7%
18.5%
17.5%
15.8%
14.6%
9.5%
6.8%
5.3%
4.2%
4.1%
2000
2001
2002
2004
2005
8.2% 7.9%
4.7%
4.7%
3.2%
2003
8.0%
2006
2007
2008
All Poverty
Child Poverty
Unemployment
2009
2010
2011
Jobs Below or at
Minimum Wage
21
Texas’ single-parent families are much more likely to live in poverty.76
Percentage of households in poverty, 2009-2011
SINGLE MOTHER
SINGLE FATHER
25%
TWO-PARENT
13%
42%
What does a single parent with two kids need to get by?77
Most vs. least expensive metro areas in Texas
METRO AREA
NEEDED ANNUAL SALARY
NEEDED HOURLY WAGE
JOBS IN THE AREA THAT
DON’T PAY ENOUGH
$$$
AUSTIN
$41,532
$20.77
65%
$
BROWNSVILLE-HARLINGEN
$26,508
$13.25
70%
WHAT CAN WE DO?
We can make choices at the local and state level that
can reduce the occurrence and experience of poverty,
and increase the opportunity to move up the economic
ladder. The significant decline in elder poverty over the
last 40 years is proof that deliberate action yields positive
results. Thanks in large part to federal policies such
as Supplemental Security Income and Medicare, elderly
poverty now stands at about one-third of the child
poverty rate.
We’ve also proven that state policy matters for Texas kids.
Over the last 20 years, when Texas invested in policies
that improve families’ economic security (i.e., child care
subsidies, child support enforcement, Temporary Assistance
22
for Needy Families [TANF], and youth job training), we saw
an improvement in children’s economic well-being, meaning
they were less likely to live in poverty, be food insecure, or
housing burdened.78
But when Texas still ranks 30th in child economic wellbeing.79 we know we can do more. That means investing
in proven tools that protect kids from the effects of poverty
and give them and their families a chance to move up the
economic ladder—receiving a strong public education,
making higher education affordable, providing access to
doctors before they get sick, and helping put healthy food on
the table. Our policy choices can significantly reduce poverty.
We’ve done it before, and we can choose to do it again.
Child Protection
All children need safe, loving, and permanent homes.
The best-case scenario is that all families safely care for
children in their own homes. When that’s not possible,
Child Protective Services (CPS) may have to step in to
provide in-home services to a family or remove the child
from a home. Although the majority of cases involve
providing services to families with the child remaining at
home, about a third of cases lead to substitute care.80
After large budget cuts to prevention and early
intervention services during the 2011 legislative session,
the 2013 Texas Legislature restored funding and increased
investments by $24.8 million for the biennium. The
Texas Legislature also added $18 million for other at-risk
services and added $10.1 million to provide substance
abuse services for families.81 Supporting these services is
the right move. In 70 percent of CPS family cases, children
remain in the home, and 97 percent of these cases are
closed without need for further intervention.82 But in tight
budget times, prevention and early intervention are often
the first area cuts—it happened in 2003 and again in 2011.
In 2012 83...
16,969 kids entered substitute care
Substitute care, or conservatorship, is when a child is
removed from a home. In 2012, about 30 percent of CPS
family cases opened for services resulted in substitute
care. That’s up from 20 percent in 2009.
42,725 kids total lived in
foster care or with kin
30,571 in foster care84
In 2012, 4.3 out of every 1000 children ages 0-17 lived in
foster care in Texas, a 12 percent increase since 2009.
Furthermore, foster care is not always available where
needed. In August 2013, only 43 percent of children in
foster care lived in their home county.85
12,154 in kinship placement
Children in substitute care generally live in foster care or
with a relative (an unrelated adult with an established
relationship is also considered “kin”86). Relatives get
preference as placements for children.
17,619 kids exited substitute care
WHAT CAN WE DO?
No child should fall through the cracks, even in lean years.
Protecting our most vulnerable kids means investing to
keep them with or return them to their families whenever
possible. This approach is typically better for kids and
cheaper for the state—a win-win solution.
• Family reunification: 5,873 (33%)
• Custody given to relatives: 5,129 (29%)
• Non-relative adoption: 2,682 (13%)
• Relative adoption: 2,358 (15%)
• Aged out/emancipated: 1,363 (8%)
• Other: 214 (1%)
Under federal law, the preferred way to leave substitute care is
for a child to be safely reunified with the family,87 and in Texas,
one in three kids exited substitute care through reunification.
The least preferred outcome is for kids to “age out” of the
foster care system, or turn 18 and lose eligibility to remain in
care before finding a permanent home. These kids are much
less likely to graduate from high school and much more likely to
experience homelessness, joblessness, and poverty as adults.88
23
Risky Youth Behavior
Committing a violent crime or becoming a parent at
a young age can have far-reaching consequences in
children’s lives. Fortunately, both experiences are
becoming less common for Texas teens.
education on the benefits of delaying pregnancy until
adulthood and reducing risky behaviors, and improving
access to reproductive health services for teens. Repeat
births to teens remains a significant challenge. About 23
percent of mothers age 17 and under did not report using
contraceptives after giving birth,91 and more than one in
five were born to teens who were already mothers.92
Over the last 10 years, the teen birth rate has slowly
fallen, but the number is still too high. In 2010, 48,417
babies were born to teen mothers ages 13-19, accounting
for 12.6 percent of all live births.89 Teen mothers are more
likely to drop out of school, narrowing their employment
opportunities and increasing the likelihood they will
live in poverty. Children of teen moms are more likely to
experience health problems and developmental delays,
drop out of school, and experience poverty. They are also
more likely to become teen parents themselves.90
Juvenile violent crime arrests also continue to fall. The
violent crime arrest rate for children ages 10-17 fell 34
percent between 2007 and 2011,93 mirroring a national
trend—nationally, juvenile violent crime arrests fell 32
percent during the same period.The decrease in juvenile
violent crime contributed significantly to the overall decline
in crime, outpacing the drop for other age groups—adult
arrests fell only 7 percent in the same period, and young
adult crime (ages 18-24) fell 12 percent.94
Although the trend is moving in the right direction,
Texas could do more by encouraging comprehensive
Juvenile violent crime arrest
rate is declining95
WHAT CAN WE DO?
The juvenile violent crime arrest rate fell
from 185 arrests per 100,000 children ages
10-17 in 2007 to 122 arrests per 100,000
children in 2011.
Juvenile
Arrests
Down
We know that when we invest in children’s health
and education, juvenile violent crime and teen birth
rates decrease.97 Healthy, educated kids have more
opportunities and are better prepared to live up to
their potential.
34%
Percentage of all live births
Rate of births to teens improving,
but primarily for married teens.96
24
Focusing on prevention is the smartest way to tackle
both juvenile violent crime and teen births. Chief among
preventive strategies is positively connecting kids to
school or work. Nationally, 20 percent of teen mothers
have already dropped out of school before becoming
pregnant. Strengthening connections to college and the
workforce provides a positive and attainable vision for
the future, giving kids a reason to stay in school, delay
pregnancy, and avoid risky behaviors.98
18%
16% 15.3%
14%
Total Teen Birth Rate
12%
Married Teen Birth Rate
10%
8%
12.6%
5.0%
10.3%
1.9%
10.7%
Single Teen Birth Rate
6%
4%
2%
0%
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
CUTTING BACK ON THE YOUNG
IS LIKE EATING THE SEED CORN:
SATISFYING A MOMENTARY NEED
BUT LEAVING NO WAY TO GROW
A PROSPEROUS FUTURE.
Anna Bernasek, Newsweek, Oct. 25, 2013
Conclusion
Every child should have the chance to reach his or her full
potential. That means seeing a doctor when they need one,
having access to nutritious food, feeling safe at home, and
obtaining a high quality education. But positive or negative
outcomes for kids don’t just happen. They are the inevitable
results of effective or failed policy choices.
Our policy choices reflect our priorities and what we choose
to invest in for the future. But you can’t expect returns on
investments you don’t make. With devastating cuts in 2011
that were only barely soothed by meager investments
during the 2013 legislative session, our future returns may
be quite small. It’s time we made kids a state priority the
same way good parents make them a family priority.
Who keeps kids healthy? Who keeps kids safe? Who helps
educate our kids? We do . . . with our voice. Talk to your
families, friends, neighbors, and leaders about how our
choices matter. Because Texas KIDS COUNT.
25
Kids Count Data Center
Access Data on Child Well-Being Through the Improved KIDS COUNT Data Center
The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS
COUNT Data Center is now easier to
use. Access hundreds of child wellbeing indicators related to education,
employment and income, health, poverty
and youth risk factors. Data are available
for the nation and for states, as well as for
many cities, school districts, counties and
congressional districts.
NEW SITE FEATURES
––Take advantage of a more powerful search
tool. Enter any location, topic or keyword
in the comprehensive new search function.
––Learn how children are faring where
you live by using the new interactive map.
––Search by topic to find the data you need.
––Easily create attractive tables, maps
and graphs.
––Share information with your social networks.
26
datacenter.kidscount.org
Kids Count Data Center
Analyze, Create and Share Information on Child Well-Being in Your County
Create your own maps to show differences in
outcomes for children within or across states.
Compare states, cities and communities
on indicators of child well-being.
Create line graphs to highlight
changes over time.
Create bar graphs to illustrate differences
across characteristics and geographies.
Share your custom graphics on your own
websites, blogs and social networks.
datacenter.kidscount.org
27
Endnotes
1: P otter, L. (2013). Texas Population, Characteristics,
Trends, and Projections. 2013 Texas SDC/BIDC
Conference. http://bit.ly/1ffIph7
2: F or data on racial inequities in child well-being, visit
http://datacenter.kidscount.org.
3: U
nless otherwise noted, all population data are CPPP
analyses of 2011 Population Estimates, Texas State
Data Center.
4: R acial and ethnic categories and definitions are
provided by the source agency for the data, which may
lead to differences in labels between indicators.
5: S ee note 1
6: M
artin, J., et al. (2013). Births: Final Data for 2011.
National Vital Statistics Reports, Centers for Disease
Control. http://1.usa.gov/17L0ETI
7: C PPP analysis of Texas Department of Health 2010
birth data.
8: See note 5
9: K IDS COUNT Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation.
http://bit.ly/18Omoyl
10: T exas Education Agency Enrollment Data. (2013).
http://bit.ly/17wJsXg
11: C PPP analysis of 2011-2012 Texas Enrollment Data,
Texas Education Agency. TEA defines economically
disadvantaged as students eligible for free or reducedprice lunch. http://bit.ly/1gOVcHD
12: C oley, R.J., & Baker, B. (2013). Poverty and education:
Finding the way forward. Educational Testing Service
Center. http://bit.ly/19o3ei8
13: T exas Head Start State Collaboration Office, Texas
Early Childhood Professional Development System.
14: T he White House. (2013). Impact of March 1st cuts
on Middle Class Families, jobs and economic security:
Texas. http://1.usa.gov/175DXwb
15: C PPP Analysis of 4 year olds in Texas enrolled in PreKindergarten programs.
16: A
yub, C., et al. (2009) Cognitive skill performance
among young children living in poverty. Early Childhood
Research Quarterly, 24(3), 289-305.
17: B elfield, C.R., et al. (2006). The High/Scope Perry
Preschool Program. The Journal of Human Resources,
41(1),162-190.
18: B arnett, W.S. (2011). Effectiveness of early educational
intervention. Science. http://bit.ly/188tOQo
19: M
uennig, P., et al. (2009). Effects of a prekindergarten
educational intervention on adult health. American
Journal of Public Health, 99(8), 1431-1437.
20: A
nalysis by the Office of Representative Mike Villarreal
of Texas Education Agency 2011 TAKS data. See p. 14
at http://bit.ly/HPdiuf
21: P rekindergarten enrollment: TEA. Population data used
to calculate rate: Texas State Data Center.
22: C hildren at Risk. (2012). Doing more with less? Public
education in a new fiscal reality. http://bit.ly/1aWfFrN
23: C PPP analysis of 2013 STAAR data, TEA.
24: C hapman, C., et al. (2010). Trends in high school
dropout and completion rates in the United States:
1972-2008. National Center for Education Statistics.
http://bit.ly/1eRHXW0
25: J ohnson, R.L. (2013). Texas public school attrition
study, 2011-12. Intercultural Development Research
Association. http://bit.ly/1gOYQkP
28
26: 2010 National Center for Education Statistics,
as reported on KIDS COUNT Data Center.
http://bit.ly/1cto0Qk
27: See note 22.
28: Villanueva, C. (2013). 2013 Lege wrap-up: Public
education. CPPP. http://bit.ly/1fEXYMF
29: Heckman, J.J. (2011). The economics of
inequality. American Educator, 35(1), 31-35,47.
http://1.usa.gov/1dmd6ku
30: Chingos, M.M., & Whitehurst, G.J. (2012). Choosing
blindly: instructional materials, teacher effectiveness,
and the common core. The Brown Center of Education
Policy at Brookings. http://bit.ly/1j7PGNf
31: Rockoff, J.E. (2004). The impact of individual teachers
on student achievement. The American Economic
Review: 94 (2).
32: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Centers for Disease Control. (2010). The association
between school-based physical activity, including
Physical education, and academic performance.
http://1.usa.gov/1cZ6dFQ
33: United Nations Children’s Fund. (2012). A brief review
of the social and economic returns to investing in
children. http://uni.cf/1gOO7a5
34: Food Research and Action Center. (2011). Food
insecurity and obesity. http://bit.ly/I1x8SN
35: Coleman-Jensen, A., et al. (2010). Household food
insecurity in the United States in 2010. United States
Department of Agriculture. http://1.usa.gov/1dv8gxA
36: Cole, C. (2011) New report on school breakfast
shows Texas outperforms most states.
CPPP. http://bit.ly/1h60DSP
37: 2011 Women, Infant and Children Program Participation
data from Department of Health Services.
38: Prah, P.M. (2012). Why are fewer moms applying for
safety net program? The PEW Charitable Trust.
http://bit.ly/1fEQyZD
39: Texas Department of State Health Services
(2012). Texas WIC policy: certification periods.
http://bit.ly/HP8x3Q
40: 2011 SNAP data from Texas Department of Health and
Human Services.
41: USDA. (2011). Food security of SNAP recipients
improved following the 2009 stimulus package.
http://1.usa.gov/Ij2BzR
42: Hoynes, H.W., et al. (2012). Long run impacts of
childhood access to the safety net. National Bureau of
Economic Research.
43: Dean, S., & Rosenbaum, D. (2013). SNAP benefits will
be cut for all participants in November 2013. Center on
Budget and Policy Priorities. http://bit.ly/1fowKN4
44: Hartline-Grafton, H. (2013). SNAP and public
health. Food Research and Action Center.
http://bit.ly/17NTKCm
45: Based on calculations for the average price of milk,
bread and apples for 2013, U.S. Department of
Labor Statistics.
46: Based on Texas average daily attendance data, Texas
Education Agency.
47: 2011/12 National Survey of Children’s Health, Child
and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative.
http://bit.ly/I4b0Id
48: C PPP analysis of uninsured data, Current Population
Survey’s March Supplement, U.S. Census Bureau.
49: S ee CPPP’s Texas health legislation recaps at
http://bit.ly/I4aYQI and http://bit.ly/1bPgx02
50: See note 48
51: 3 -year average (2010-2012), Current Population
Survey’s March Supplement, U.S. Census Bureau,
as reported on the KIDS COUNT Data Center.
52: U
.S. Government Accountability Office (Feb. 2011).
Medicaid and CHIP: Given the association between
parent and child insurance status, new expansions may
benefit families. http://1.usa.gov/I4b3DS
53: D
eVoe, J. E., et al. (2009). Children’s receipt of health
services and family health insurance patterns. Annals
of Family Medicine, 7(5), 406-413.
54: P ogue, S. (2012). Essential health benefits in Texas.
CPPP. http://bit.ly/1dW6Lsc
55: D
unkelberg, A. (2013). Sizing up the 2014-15 Texas
budget: Medicaid and CHIP. CPPP. http://bit.ly/1875tfK
56: See note 55.
57: D
ubay, L., & Kenney, G. (2003). Expanding public health
insurance to parents. National Institutes of Health.
http://1.usa.gov/18On5aU
58: See note 48.
59: H
ealth Reform Subsidy Calculator, Kaiser Family
Foundation. http://bit.ly/18On8n8
60: T exas Medical Association. 2012 Survey of Texas
Physicians. http://bit.ly/1c0Dnjf
61: D
unkelberg, A., & Pogue, S. (2012). What happened
and what work remains: Health care and the 2011
legislature. CPPP. http://bit.ly/1bPgx02
62: J ohnson, K.A., et al. (2012). Action plan for the national
initiative on preconception health and health care.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
http://1.usa.gov/19FsZKW
63: P ogue, S. (2013). Sizing up the Texas budget: Family
planning. CPPP. http://bit.ly/1ehkHOk
64: K ingsley R. (2012). 2010 Annual report: Texas
Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System.
Texas Department of State Health Services.
http://bit.ly/1gLdeuw
65: See note 7.
66: See note 7.
67: B obbitt, K., & Deviney, F. (2013). Invest in Texas kids. It
matters. CPPP. www.forabettertexas.org/investinkids.
68: G
arner, A.S., et al. (2012). Early childhood adversity,
toxic stress, and the role of the pediatrician. Pediatrics.
http://bit.ly/1h1W5g1
69: B rooks-Gunn, J., & Duncan, G. J. (1997). The effects of
poverty on children. The Future of Children, 7(2), 55-71.
70: N
ational Center for children in Poverty (2009). Ten
important questions about child poverty and family
economic hardship. Mailman School for Public Health
and Columbia University. http://www.nccp.org/faq.html
71: C hetty, R., et al. (2013). Equality of Opportunity. www.
equality-of-opportunity.org and Raj Chetty on PBS
Newshour, July 24, 2013. http://to.pbs.org/1dg979i
72: 2 012 Federal Poverty Thresholds; Hourly Wage
assumes 2000 hours of work annually.
73: C PPP analysis of population: Texas State Data Center;
and Poverty: Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates,
U.S. Census Bureau.
74: P overty and Income: Small Area Income and Poverty
Estimates, Census Bureau; Unemployment: Texas
Workforce Commission
75: See note 74; Jobs: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
76: 2 009-2011 American Community Survey (3-year
average estimates for Texas), U.S. Census Bureau.
77: B etter Texas Family Budgets. CPPP.
www.familybudgets.org
78: See note 67.
79: K IDS COUNT. 2013 Data Book: State trends in child
well-being (National report). Baltimore: Anne E. Casey
Foundation. http://bit.ly/1ehl5wl
80: S ubstitute care is provided when a child is removed
from the home and placed in DFPS conservatorship, or
DFPS legally assumes parental responsibility for the
child. Texas Family Code § 263.001; Data from Texas
Department of Family and Protective Services. (2012).
Annual report and data book. http://bit.ly/1dr7gKJ
81: A
nalysis by Ashley Harris, Policy Associate, Texans
Care for Children.
82: DFPS defines this as no further intervention required
within 6 months of confirmation of initial allegation.
Texas Department of Family and Protective
Services. (2012). Annual report and data book.
http://bit.ly/1dr7gKJ
83: Unless otherwise noted, data in this chart are CPPP
analyses of data from the Texas Department of Family
and Protective Services.
84: Some relatives are also licensed as foster parents, but
Texas does not require relatives to be licensed foster
parents. Children with licensed foster parents are
counted as in foster care only.
85: Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
(2013). Regional statistical information about children
in DFPS care. http://bit.ly/1hGBYpc
86: Texas Family Code § 264.751. http://bit.ly/1el3fZj
87: State plan for foster care and adoption assistance, 42
U.S.C. § 671. http://bit.ly/17wmvkO
88: Wertheimer, R. (2002). Youth who “age out” of foster
care: troubled lives, troubling prospects. Child Trends.
http://bit.ly/HNmO0P
89: See note 7.
90: S hore, R. (2009). KIDS COUNT indicator brief: Reducing
the teen birth rate. Annie E. Casey Foundation.
http://bit.ly/1bvoM17
91: T exas Department of State Health Services. (2010).
Texas pregnancy risk assessment monitoring system
(PRAMS) 2010 annual report. http://bit.ly/1gLdeuw
92: See note 7.
93: C PPP analysis of 2007-2011 arrest data from Texas
Department of Public Safety. Violent crime includes
murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and
aggravated assault.
94: B utts, J. A. (2013). Crime drop II: Young people
are leading the newest violent crime decline.
http://bit.ly/185UDEB
95: See note 93.
96: See note 7.
97: See note 67.
98: See note 90.
This book was authored by Frances Deviney, Ph.D., Texas KIDS COUNT Director,
Anthony Vincent LeClair, Texas KIDS COUNT Intern, Jennifer Lee, Research
Associate, and Kaeley Bobbitt, Ph.D., Texas KIDS COUNT Intern.
For more information on this research, visit www.forabettertexas.org/childwellbeing.html
We would like to thank Methodist Healthcare Ministries, IBM, and the Annie E. Casey
Foundation for their generous and continued support of the Texas KIDS COUNT project. The
findings and conclusions in this report, however, are solely those of the Center for Public
Policy Priorities, as are any errors or omissions.
About CPPP
The Center for Public Policy Priorities
believes in a better Texas, where economic
and social opportunity is available in fair
measure to all. We work on public policies to
improve conditions for low- and moderateincome Texans through independent
research, policy analysis, public education,
and advocacy.
Join us across the Web
@CPPP_TX
Facebook.com/bettertexas
YouTube.com/CPPPvideo
29
We believe
in Texas.
We believe in the people of Texas—our friends and neighbors, our
sons and daughters. All Texans. We stand for community. People
from all walks of life. United. We stand for justice. Working to
improve public policy. Advocating at the Capitol and on the Hill. We
stand for telling the truth—respectfully but with courage. And we
mean the whole truth based on hard facts and rigorous analysis.
When 1 in 5 of us lives in poverty. 1 in 4 doesn’t have health care.
And 1 in 5 children in this state is at risk of going hungry. Things
have to change. And that’s why we’re here. Together we can make
our state a better place for all of us. A place of opportunity and
prosperity. Because we all do better when we all do better. We
never shy away from the tough conversations. About affordable
health care, strong schools and colleges, good jobs, and child wellbeing. We stand for economic and social opportunity for all Texans.
Because Texans believe in opportunity. For over a quarter of a
century, we’ve strived to do our best. Finding meaning in our work.
Fighting for what’s right.
Because we believe in a better Texas.
30