Wednesday, August 03, 2005

"Getting worse faster"

The new Kids Count 2005 Data Book released last week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation deserves far more attention than it's been getting in Louisiana. When the lead researcher for the report said "Louisiana is getting worse faster than the rest of the country," it should have been front page news across the state. My column this week addresses the report and the implications for Louisiana -- ranked 49th in overall indicators of child well-being. The column expands on my earlier comments about Louisiana's performance last Thursday. Recent editorials in the Advocate and the Times Picayune have also commented on the state's 49th place ranking for indicators of child well-being. The Advocate implied that it will take more than a poverty summit to address Louisiana's child poverty crisis. The Times Picayune observed "Child poverty has been increasing nationally in recent years, but Louisiana isn't just a part of this distressing trend, it's on the leading edge." By now, the scope of the problem is quite clear. The question is what will Louisiana do about it?