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PNS Daily Newscast - September 24, 2020 

President Trump refuses to commit to a peaceful transfer of power post election; and COVID vaccine #4 needs volunteers.

2020Talks - September 24, 2020 

A new report highlights importance of keeping guns away from the polls; and Florida wants an investigation of a fund to help pay returning citizens' court fees and fines so they can vote.

Annual Kids Count Report: West Virginia in "Bottom Ten"

July 25, 2007

This year's "Kids Count" report, released today, shows West Virginia still has a ways to go. The state ranked in the bottom ten on things like child poverty, economic security, and death rates for teens and children. Margie Hale with the West Virginia Kids Count Fund says there's hope for the state's children, but it will take a major investment right from the start, in things like early education, health, and childcare.

"Investment in early childhood can turn things around. We have all kinds of research that backs this up, and in fact, if you have a high-quality program, it can totally pay for itself in six years."

She believes West Virginia can make the biggest improvement by supporting quality childcare, investing in well-trained teachers, and bringing the state's childcare providers up to national standards. The annual "Kids Count" report is used to track progress on children's well-being state-by-state and nationwide.

Hale adds that poverty relief is a key part of helping kids. While the new federal minimum wage increase could help many in West Virginia, she says another important step is spreading the word about the Earned Income Tax Credit.

"The Earned Income Tax Credit is widely believed to be the most extensive anti-poverty program in the country, and there's still lots of families that aren't aware of this."

The report also calls for changes in the foster care system, to make sure children are placed in permanent families. In West Virginia, almost 5,000 children a year spend time in foster care, and over a hundred children "age out" of the system before finding a permanent placement.

The report is at

Rob Ferrett/Eric Mack, Public News Service - WV