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Wednesday, June 11, 2003


Vermont rated high on children's issues

posted by annatopia at Wednesday, June 11, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
The Annie E Casey foundation has come out with it's annual report on children's issues, and Vermont not only ranks high, but continues to improve. Some hilights:

- Vermont had the lowest teen birth rate in the country in 2000 - 10 births per 100,000 females ages 15 to 17, compared to 27 percent for the nation
- About 12 percent of Vermont children lived in poverty in 2000, compared to 17 percent nationally
- 7 percent of Vermont teenagers were high school dropouts - compared to a national average of 9 percent
- In 2000, the child death rate in Vermont was 13 out of 100,000 children ages 1 through 14; the national rate was 22
- The number of children in extreme poverty was 4 percent, compared to a national average of 7 percent
- The report said only 7 percent of Vermont children lack health insurance - compared to a national rate of 12 percent

The report rightly credits Dean's Dr Dynasaur Program with improving the lives and health of Vermont's children. In addition, current Vermont Governor (and Republican) James Douglas gives credit to his predecessors, "Governor Dean and all previous governors, all previous legislatures have had a commitment to improving the lives of Vermonters, and for that we are grateful. We've succeeded, at least in relative terms."

UPDATE (Aziz): Vermont is in stark contrast to Texas, which ranked dead last:

AUSTIN -- Texas again ranks worst in the nation with the highest percentage of uninsured children and near worst in teen pregnancy and high school dropout rates, according to new child poverty data released today.

The 2003 Kids Count Data Book compiled by the Annie E. Casey Foundation of Baltimore shows Texas lagging behind most other states in a range of indicators of child welfare.

Texas ranks 50th with 22 percent of its children lacking health insurance compared with 12 percent nationally.

"Texas already has the highest percentage of uninsured children in the nation," said F. Scott McCown, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, which participates with a Texas Kids Count program.

"As it stands, the 2004-2005 state budget will mean that even more poor children, and more children in low-income families, will go uninsured," he said.

This spring, legislators cut nearly $10 billion from the upcoming state budget without raising taxes. But advocates for children, the elderly and disabled complained that the cuts were made at the expense of needy Texans.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.