Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - April 24, 2018 


Trump’s Secretary of State nominee gets a narrow thumbs-up, but his Veteran’s Affairs nominee is put on hold. Also on our rundown: protests against Wells Fargo set for Des Moines today; and cannabis advocates blame Florida officials for “reefer madness.”

Daily Newscasts

Report: Measuring Child Poverty is Key to Fighting It

PHOTO: Childhood is less fun and games and more of a struggle for Missouri kids who grow up impoverished. A new report encourages the use of an updated tool to measure and combat child poverty. Photo credit: Hilary Clarcq/Morguefile.
PHOTO: Childhood is less fun and games and more of a struggle for Missouri kids who grow up impoverished. A new report encourages the use of an updated tool to measure and combat child poverty. Photo credit: Hilary Clarcq/Morguefile.
February 26, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - It's been more than 50 years since the federal government's official measure of poverty was created, and a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation says it's time for a new ruler.

The current method for measuring poverty doesn't take into account assistance benefits or regional differences in the cost of living.

Missouri Kids Count coordinator Laurie Hines says policymakers and lawmakers need to have that data so they can accurately measure the impact their decisions have on children and families.

"There are programs out there that are really effective, and we need to enforce them and keep them going and fund them appropriately," says Hines. "In fact, in some instances, that would probably improve them and enhance them."

The report recommends using the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), created in 2011 by the U.S. Census Bureau, and factoring in the impact of programs like the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Using the SPM, researchers say the child poverty rate has dropped from 33 to 18 percent nationwide, and from 30 to 15 percent in Missouri.

Hines says lawmakers will be better equipped to tackle child poverty if they receive more accurate measurements of the problem. She says child poverty is something most kids will never outgrow.

"We know there's a physiological effect of poverty, there's a social effect, there's obviously an emotional effect," says Hines. "We know the effects of that chronic trauma that happens in families where they just can't ever get to a balanced state."

While some critics of federal and state assistance programs believe they are too costly, Hines argues that ultimately everyone pays the price when it comes to child poverty.

"Better educated kids, healthier kids, essentially are going to be working-age adults that contribute," she says. "Given the aging demographic, isn't it important for all of us to think about how many children are going to grow up to be working adults that contribute to those of us who want to retire at some point?"

The entire Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United States report can be found at the Annie E. Casey Foundation website.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MO