Delaware Ranks 22nd For Child Well-Being; Poverty Levels Rise - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Delaware Ranks 22nd For Child Well-Being; Poverty Levels Rise

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DELAWARE - While many parts of the country seem to be coming back from the recession,  reports show the economic downturn is still affecting children in the First State.

Delaware ranks 23rd nationally in education in the new Annie E. Casey Foundation report on child welfare.  A ranking far behind neighboring Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

US Senator Tom Carper of Delaware believes one piece of data doesn't tell the whole story.

"There have been several different studies. We've been number one, number three, this Annie E. Casey study says we're somewhere in the middle of the pack.  Actually Delaware is rising."

An idea this study supports.  The Foundation shows reading proficiency and math scores are on the rise in the First State.  The Laurel School District is putting a new focus on math and sciences.

"We were very happy to be selected as an elementary pilot for project 'Lead The Way'.  A premiere program for STEM curriculum," says John D. Ewald, Superintendent of the Laurel School District.

Education may be increasing, but apparently, so is child poverty.  The report finds that in 2005, 14 percent of Delaware children were living in poverty.  By 2011, that had jumped to 17 percent.  

"Poverty and stress in families is a great challenge to all our students, and the key is to continue to have quality teachers like we do in Laurel," says Ewald.

In the Indian River School District, the percentage of students using free and reduced rate meals climbed from 46.1% in 2007 to 61.1% in 2013, a sign that more students need to use the meal assistance services.

In terms of education, Maryland ranks 5th, Virginia 10th, and Pennsylvania 8th.

For the full report, click here for the Annie E. Casey Foundation's "Kids Count" report.

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