Report: NV ranks last in education, some say not so for Washoe

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Report: NV ranks last in education, some say not so for Washoe

Nevada comes in last for education out of the fifty states. That's according to The Annie E. Casey Foundation's newest Kid Count report. Despite those poor numbers, the state has actually improved in all measures of education since 2005.

For example, this year's report shows that 70 percent of children didn't attend pre-school between 2009 and 2011, which is lower than the 75 percent back in 2005 to 2007.

Denise Hedrick, who's the executive director of the Education Alliance of Washoe County, says the state's poor economy and resulting budget cuts had a role to play in why education has lagged in recent years. Still, she says those numbers are not representative of Washoe County necessarily:

"As we look at the whole state of Nevada, you know, our numbers get pulled down by some of the more populated areas. So am I concerned about this for the state of Nevada? Absolutely. But am I hopeful that again we are seeing some improvement and growth in that area? Absolutely."

She says the same goes for graduation rates. The reports finds 42 percent of high school students are not graduating on time statewide. That's nearly double the national average. But Hedrick says that number is generally 30 percent or less for Washoe, and she expects that to continue to improve as more focus is put on kindergarten funding at the state level. In addition, she says Washoe County School District has ramped up its effort to fund k-12.

Another major area of trouble that the report draws attention to is healthcare. In 2011, 16 percent of children were without healthcare, which is also double the national average.