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Mon., June 24, 2013, 5:08 p.m.

KidsCount survey shows Idaho kids slipping in economic measures

The annual Idaho KidsCount survey, released today, shows more Idaho kids live in two-parent families than kids across the nation, but Idaho kids are faring worse in economic measures. The survey showed 20 percent of Idaho children lived in poverty in 2011, up from 18 percent in 2005. The number of children whose parents lacked secure employment in 2011 is also up to 31 percent, up from 26 percent in 2005. The survey also showed Idaho ranks 46th nationally in preschool enrollment, with 65 percent of 3 to 4-year-olds not attending. Click below for an AP report on the survey.

Report: ID ranks high in family; low for education

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — More Idaho children live in two-parent households compared to their national counterparts, but a new study also shows tougher circumstances for Gem State children living in poverty and feeling the sting of the economic recession.

The annual survey released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows only 26 percent of Idaho children live in single-parent households, compared to 35 percent nationally. Idaho has also seen a decline in teen births with 33 per 1,000 in 2010, down from 38 per 1,000 in 2005, and that fewer children are living in families where the household head lacks a high school diploma.

But Idaho doesn't fare as well on economic measures studied by the foundation for its annual "Kids Count" report.

The report finds 20 percent of Idaho children lived in poverty in 2011, up from 18 percent in 2005. The number of children whose parents lacked secure employment in 2011 is also up to 31 percent, up from 26 percent in 2005.

The biggest weak spot identified in the report for Idaho is education. While the state has improved in preschool attendance and the percentage of eighth graders proficient in math, progress in these areas has stalled.

Idaho ranks 46th nationally in preschool enrollment, with 65 percent of 3 to 4-year-olds not attending, according to the survey. The state ranks 20th in eighth grade math scores, with 63 percent not proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Other Idaho findings include:

— Percentage of students not graduating on time decreased from 20 percent to 16 percent.

— Children without health insurance declined to 9 percent in 2011, down from 14 percent in 2008.

— Teens who abuse drugs or alcohol fell to 7 percent in 2011 from 10 percent in 2006.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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