Study Shows Poverty Is Holding Nevada's Children Back

Jul 21, 2015

Nevada still ranks near the bottom nationally for the overall well-being of children.  That’s according to new data released today from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray explains.

The annual KIDS COUNT Data Book ranks Nevada 47th in the nation in overall child well-being, moving up by just one ranking from last year.

Louise Helton is a spokesperson for KIDS Count Nevada.  She says that in the Silver State, almost a quarter of children under the age of 18 were living in poverty as recently as 2013.

“You know you can’t do well in school no matter how great the educational resources are, you’re pre-occupied with the chaos poverty causes at home as parents struggle to afford basic living expenses," Helton says.

Helton says the state’s poverty rate has a huge impact on education where Nevada ranks dead last.

“During our recent legislative session, we celebrate that significant investment was made in our children’s education," Helton says, " but since poverty is the greatest risk factor children face, it’s possible this will not be enough.”

Last month, the Nevada legislature approved the state’s largest-ever tax hike that will raise more than $1 billion to help implement education reform in the state’s K-12 education system.