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PNS Daily Newscast - August 14, 2020 


Trump rebuffs Biden's call for a national mask mandate; nurses warn of risks of in-person school.


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Survey: Minnesota "Tops" for Kids

July 30, 2007

The latest "Kids Count" survey, which measures 10 areas of childhood development, puts Minnesota in first place nationally. But, it also says there are areas that need attention. Megan Brown with the state Children's Defense Fund says we're tops in child well-being.

"We have a low percent of teens that are not attending school and not working. Relative to other states, we have a low dropout rate. And, we also have a low infant mortality rate."

Although it's good news, she notes it outlines areas that need improvement, including child poverty and kids without health insurance.

"We have seen a slight increase in the percent of low-birthweight babies. And, we've seen an increase in the percent of teens not attending school and not working. We've seen a 17 percent increase in the percent of children living in families where no parent has full-time year-round employment. We've seen a 19 percent increase in the percent of children in single-parent families. And, we've seen an increase in the percent of children living in poverty."

She adds that studies show investments in kids' well-being are paid back many times over in the form of better health, better school achievement, and better preparation in the work force.

Brown thinks one problem is that many families aren't aware of all the available programs out there to help kids get a good start on life. Plus, there are things to do on the state level.

"In Minnesota, we still have 80,000 children who don't have health insurance. And, that's far too many. And, one thing that we can do is make sure we get some legislation passed that's going to ensure that all children have health insurance, no matter where they live, no matter where their parents are working, and no matter what their family income is. That really is a basic right for them."

More information is available at www.coveringallfamilies.org and www.cdf-org. The annual national data book was produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Jim Wishner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MN