NM again at bottom of states for child wellness - Albuquerque Journal

NM again at bottom of states for child wellness

New Mexico, for the third year running, remained 49th out of 50 states for child well-being, though there were some improvements, according to the latest Kids Count Data Book survey from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The report, released Tuesday, reveals that New Mexico is faring worse than ever on education and child poverty compared to the rest of the nation, sliding to 50th on both for the first time. But there were strides on the rates of teen drug and alcohol abuse, low birth weight babies and uninsured children, which bumped the state from 48th to 44th for health outcomes.

“We can give a lot of the credit for this improvement on the fact that New Mexico chose to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act,” said Amber Wallin, MPA, New Mexico Kids Count director. “Some 35,000 kids who were already eligible for Medicaid but who were not signed up received insurance when their parents enrolled. States that didn’t expand Medicaid didn’t see such a dramatic increase in children with health insurance. It just goes to show that public policies can lead to dramatic improvements for our children.”

Veronica C. García, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, which runs the state’s Kids Count program, noted that “some of our success is overshadowed by the fact that other states are seeing more significant improvement. Once again, New Mexico is falling behind.”

That struggle is also reflected in the education and child poverty rankings. New Mexico actually saw preschool attendance increase and child poverty dip slightly, but couldn’t keep up with the rest of the nation and dropped to the bottom of the rankings.

The Data Book measures states on 16 indicators grouped under four domains: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. Overall, only Mississippi performed worse than New Mexico. Both states consistently struggle on nearly every measure of educational success.

The issue generates heated debate and a wide variety of proposed solutions.

New Mexico Public Education Department spokesman Robert McEntyre highlighted his administration’s push for an end to “social promotion,” calling the Data Book survey “yet another reminder that Senate Democrats need to embrace reform and end the failed practice of passing our kids from grade to grade when they cannot read.”

On the other side, American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly laid the blame squarely with the Gov. Susana Martinez’s and Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera’s “six years of failed education policy.”

“We’re dead last in education, and the governor and secretary have yet to realize they are solely responsible for the results in today’s report,” Ly said.

To García, the key is tackling child poverty, which she considers the survey’s most important measure because it is intertwined with every other problem. Effective early childhood education can improve outcomes for low-income kids, she said, leading to better test scores, graduation rates and college readiness.

Home » News » New Mexico News » NM again at bottom of states for child wellness

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
Ready for Rihanna? A look at five songs that ...
ABQnews Seeker
Journal Staff WriterI am not sure ... Journal Staff WriterI am not sure if you have heard, but there is a football game this ...
2
Walmart near Highland High School to close next month
ABQnews Seeker
The roughly 287 employees who work ... The roughly 287 employees who work at the store are eligible for transfers to nearby Walmart locations, the company said.
3
House committee endorses automatic voter registration in New Mexico
ABQnews Seeker
In-person transactions at MVD offices would ... In-person transactions at MVD offices would register new voters, and Election Day would be a school holiday
4
Alford, Nevada break Lobo hearts yet again
ABQnews Seeker
Kenan Blackshear's final-second shot pushed Nevada ... Kenan Blackshear's final-second shot pushed Nevada past the UNM Lobos and continued Steve Alford's dominance over his former team.
5
Police investigating death in International District apartment complex
ABQnews Seeker
Homicide detectives have been called out ... Homicide detectives have been called out to the scene.
6
Not a winter wonderland, but it’s something: ABQ to ...
ABQnews Seeker
The snow accumulations weren’t above an ... The snow accumulations weren’t above an inch at the Albuquerque International Sunport.
7
From piñon to petrichor: 4 aromas that define Albuquerque ...
ABQnews Seeker
A group of Las Cruces fifth ... A group of Las Cruces fifth graders recently pitched a bill that would name the scent of roasting green chile the official state smell. ...
8
Scoring King: James passes Abdul-Jabbar for NBA points mark
ABQnews Seeker
LeBron James got the first official ... LeBron James got the first official statistic of his NBA career on a rebound. His next entry on the stat sheet was an assist. ...
9
Emptying the Notebook: Lobos losing 3-point battle every night ...
ABQnews Seeker
Some extra notes, quotes and analysis ... Some extra notes, quotes and analysis from Tuesday night's UNM Lobos loss to the Nevada Wolf Pack in the Pit.