skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, April 15, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

25 million Blacks, Latinos missing from voter databases; major news organizations urge Biden and Trump to commit to presidential debates; NM gun-control advocates praise federal rule closing 'gun show loophole; Arkansas group raising awareness during Black Maternal Health Week.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

House Republicans want citizenship proof for federal election voting, under White House pressure Israel shows restraint after Iran's attack and Trump's hush money trial starts.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

Report Ranks OK Among Worst in Child Well-Being

play audio
Play

Monday, June 19, 2023   

Oklahoma ranks in the bottom five in a new report on child well-being.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual Kids Count Data Book ranks the state 46th overall. The ranking is based on four indicators in 2021: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.

Carly Putnam - policy director for the Oklahoma Policy Institute - said state lawmakers have focused on ensuring Oklahoma has low taxes for businesses, but are failing to address another issue that impacts families: the high costs of child care.

"There's really a lot of factors that go into whether or not someone can actually work a job and raise a child somewhere," said Putnam. "And what those numbers show is that for all of our efforts to be a business-friendly state, we're actually maybe focusing on the wrong things."

Oklahoma families spend more than $8,300 a year on center-based child care.

The state's worst indicator is in education, scoring 49th. Its highest ranking is in health, at 37th.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president for external affairs at the Casey Foundation, said the U.S. needs a functional child care system.

"The country has never had a childcare system that is affordable and accessible to families, and also pays a family-sustaining wage to workers," said Boissiere. "And it's imperative that we invest in a childcare system that can work not only for kids and families, but also for our businesses and the economy."

Putnam said Oklahoma received its highest ranking in health because voters passed Medicaid expansion. She said this is proof the state can improve in other areas as well.

"We know that when we do put forward concentrated investments," said Putnam, "we can turn this around."

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


get more stories like this via email
more stories
In March, state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, introduced House Bill 2063, which would reform the Educational Improvement Tax Credit and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit programs. (Jasmina/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report analyzes Pennsylvania's existing voucher programs, that divert public funds to private schools. This comes on the heels of Gov…


Social Issues

play sound

A bill vetoed by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin would have raised the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour starting in 2026. While the bill moved out …

play sound

By Erin Aubry Kaplan for Yes! Magazine.Broadcast version by Suzanne Potter for California News Service reporting for the Yes! Magazine-Public News …


There are more than 1,300 species listed as either endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, including the piping plover, a shorebird found on sandy beaches in southern Maine. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Conservationists in Maine said reinstated protections of the Endangered Species Act could help wildlife already struggling to adapt to climate change…

Social Issues

play sound

Haitian-led groups in Massachusetts are calling for a temporary pause in deportations as political instability and violence engulf the island…

Women ages 35 and older in Arkansas have the highest mortality rate, which was 3.9 times the rate of women younger than 25. (Andrey Popov)

Social Issues

play sound

Arkansas is taking critical steps to address its high maternal mortality rate, especially among women of color. In the Natural State, Black women …

Social Issues

play sound

In the midst of political tensions surrounding Israel's handling of the conflict with Hamas, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., has voiced her support for …

Health and Wellness

play sound

As the country observes Autism Acceptance Month, Nebraska families raising a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder are among those learning they will …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021