Friday, July 15, 2016

John Thompson: We will all pay the price for Oklahoma's 'decency deficit' - NonDoc

We will all pay the price for Oklahoma's 'decency deficit' - NonDoc:

We will all pay the price for Oklahoma’s ‘decency deficit’

decency deficit

I‘ve got good news and bad news.
Perhaps the best news is that children’s health outcomes are improving, so now Oklahoma is ranked 34th nationally. Further, Oklahoma children’s well-being is improving — from 37th to 35th in the nation. We now only need to pass four states to become average in our children’s economic welfare. Last, the child-poverty rate dropped by a point to 22 percent, which is average for the nation.
The bad news is that the modestly improving metrics listed above must be considered along with other sad statistics. For example, more than 10 percent of Oklahoma children are in extreme poverty (which is half of the poverty level), and the New York Times’ Nick Kristof recently compared our state’s extreme poverty to that of Bangladesh.
In terms of economic opportunity, poor Oklahoma County children rank 19th nationally, or four points below their counterparts in Baltimore County.
Perhaps worst of all, Oklahoma is tied for first in the nation in the percentage of children who have endured three or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Also, the percentage of children whose parents don’t have secure employment has increased to 30 percent. Perhaps even more frightening, between 9 percent and 18 percent of Oklahoma teens are not in school and unemployed.
Oklahoma has seen minor improvements in student performance and high school graduation rates, but it remains 42nd in the nation in education, depending how you score the topic. Estimates of the Oklahoma City Public School System spending range as low as $8,118 per student. That is 40 percent below the national average, and is even before this year’s and next year’s budget cuts are counted. (Other estimates indicate that the OKCPS spends only 29 percent less.) The OKCPS is 86 percent low-income (as We will all pay the price for Oklahoma's 'decency deficit' - NonDoc:



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