Editorial: Slow Progress for Children

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama is a better place for children than it was a year ago, but not as good a place than 47 other states. That's not acceptable.

It is encouraging that the 2010 Kids Count data shows child well-being in Alabama improved because the percent of teens not in school and the percent graduating from high school improved.

It is discouraging that Alabama ranks 43rd in the percentage of children in single-parent families.

It is very discouraging that Alabama ranks 45th in the teen death rate; 49th in the infant mortality rate and 48th in the percentage of low birth-weight babies.

Our child poverty rate is better – dropping from 24 percent to 22 percent, but still much higher than the national rate of 18 percent.

We must do better.

It starts with a commitment to children from parents who commit to each other first.

It continues with legislators who appreciate the value of investing limited resources in areas that will give a big return on investment – and most child centered projects and programs deliver that ROI.

Alabama can be a world class state if we demonstrate that we not only believe KIDS COUNT but make the necessary sacrifices to make it happen.

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