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Connecticut Child Poverty at All-Time High

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114,000 Connecticut children live in poverty. (Amanda Mills, USCDCP/public-domain-image.com)
114,000 Connecticut children live in poverty. (Amanda Mills, USCDCP/public-domain-image.com)
January 27, 2016

HARTFORD, Conn. - New analysis shows that despite increases during the recession, the share of Connecticut's budget going to children has declined. According to Derek Thomas, a fiscal policy fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children, the poverty rate for children in the state is higher than ever at almost 15 percent, or 114,000 children, and the rate for children of color is five-times greater than for white children.

Figures that also vary from one community to the next.

"In Hartford, for example, nearly half of the children are in poverty," says Thomas. "And that's three times the state poverty rate and 25 times the rate in some of the state's wealthiest towns."

At its 15th annual Budget Forum Tuesday, Voices for Children called on policy makers to make strategic investments in child health and education, and to address the widening disparities.

Among the topics open for discussion is property tax reform, including a proposal to create a statewide property tax. Thomas says putting about 60 percent of property taxes in a statewide pool for education would help equalize school funding and bring a degree of progressivity to the system.

"So in towns with low to moderate incomes property taxes would go down an average of $200 and residents of the wealthiest communities would see an average increase of about $600," he says.

Connecticut Voices for Children has created interactive maps and briefing papers to advance discussion of policies to address racial disparities and child poverty in the state.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT