PNS Daily News - December 6, 2019 

A Trump impeachment vote in the House could come before Christmas; students rally for climate action again today; and other-abled workers fuel a vertical farm in Wyoming.

2020Talks - December 6, 2019 

Impeachment is ramping up, and so is Iowa campaigning and Democratic endorsements. 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry endorsed former VP Joe Biden, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders, and VoteVets endorsed Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Iowa Ranks 3rd in Nation for Child Well-Being

To improve the well-being of kids, Iowa should boost the percentage of young children attending preschool, according to a new report. (
To improve the well-being of kids, Iowa should boost the percentage of young children attending preschool, according to a new report. (
June 17, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa – An annual report measuring the well-being of children ranks Iowa third among all 50 states based on indicators in four areas.

Michael Crawford, director of Iowa KIDS COUNT, maintains the high ranking reflects the importance Iowans place on providing for children and families, noting a decline in the teen birth rate by 45% since 2010, and a 25% reduction in the percentage of children without health insurance.

Crawford says one improvement Iowa could make is qualifying more parents for financial assistance so a larger percentage of children can enroll in preschool.

"And the second thing is just continue our access to health insurance for all Iowans,” she states. “Right now we have a very high participation rate for children and we obviously want to keep that up there, at that level, so not to eliminate the Affordable Care Act or in our case the Hawki insurance program for children."

The Annie E. Casey Foundation 30th edition of the annual report ranks Iowa second among all states in the economic well-being domain and in the top 10 in the three other domains: seventh in education, eighth in health, and eighth in family and community.

Leslie Boissiere, the Casey Foundation’s vice president, external affairs, says overall, children in the United States had a better chance at thriving in 2017 than in 1990 when the first Data Book was released, with improvements in 11 of the 16 index measures of child well-being.

Boissiere says, however, that racial and ethnic disparities continue, and states should be asking hard questions.

"Are we fully funding public education and are we doing it in a way that's equitable across all communities and neighborhoods?” she states. “Have we expanded Medicaid? Are states making health care and health insurance available to all families? "

The Casey Foundation found that more than 13 million children in the U.S. are living in poverty, and despite economic growth and reduced unemployment, there's been virtually no progress on child poverty since the publication of the first Data Book in 1990.

Disclosure: Annie E Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Education, Juvenile Justice, Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Roz Brown, Public News Service - IA