LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It is gut wrenching to get the Kids Count Report each July and see increases in the number of children living in poverty in Kentucky and Indiana. That number tops 600,000, and represents 27% of the children in Kentucky and 22% of the children in Indiana, up 5% for both states in the last ten years.
It is encouraging that Kentucky children now outpace the national average in the numbers of children not insured (6% compared to 7% nationally) and in those who don’t graduate from high school (18%, compared to 19% nationally), but Indiana children are not as fortunate, slightly over-indexing the national average in both categories.
The plight of our children is caused in large part because three of every ten of them in Indiana and nearly four of every ten of them in Kentucky have parents that lack secure employment. And three of every ten of them in Indiana and nearly four of every ten of them in Kentucky live in single parent homes.
Both states are actually getting better compared to others, but moving into the top 20 nationally in child welfare should be a top priority for all of us, and continuing education improvements is a must for that to happen.
Kentucky should also join Indiana in permitting earned income tax credits, modeled after the federal earned income tax credit. Both states should reasonably raise minimum wages to not adversely affect job creation, and adjust the tax structure to make a more business friendly environment.
When kids truly count, we all win.
Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.