Confronting Obstacles to Expand Opportunity for all Kids in Georgia

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The Annie E. Casey Foundation today released the second edition of its report, Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children, which underlines the urgency in making that happen. The Race for Results Index tracks 12 indicators to provide a measure of the impact children’s race or ethnicity has on their chances to succeed as adults. According to the report, there are stark differences in well-being among children in different racial groups in Georgia.

“Research shows us that closing gaps in well-being among children in different racial groups results in improved outcomes for all groups of children,” said Rebecca Rice, Georgia KIDS COUNT manager.

According to the national index, which gives a single composite score placed on a scale of one to 1,000, no single racial group at the national level has all children meeting all milestones, and Georgia is no exception.

Georgia received an index score of 383 for the well-being of African-American children, compared with the national index of 369. The state received an index score of 387 for Latino children, lower than the national average of 429. The report gave Georgia a score of 679 and the United States overall a score of 713 for the well-being of white children. And for the well-being of Asian and Pacific Islander children, Georgia received an index of 775 and the country 783.

No group received an index score of 1,000 and, in Georgia, index scores for the state for several children of color fall below the national average, indicating that the state has considerable work to do to improve outcomes for all children, while being mindful of closing gaps.

“Essentially, what happens to our most vulnerable children happens to all our children. We rise or fall together,” said Rice. “We can close the gaps in well-being while also working to achieve measurably better outcomes for all of Georgia’s children by strategically supporting the most vulnerable populations and examining systems that may further the inequities we see represented in the data.”

In addition to looking at racial disparities, the Race for Results report also examines how children in immigrant families, English-Language learners, and foreign-born young adults fared across nine of the 12 indicators used to make the composite score. The data show that in Georgia 60 percent of children ages 3 to 5 in immigrant families are enrolled in nursery school, preschool, or Kindergarten, compared with 64 percent of children in U.S.-born families. Early learning is critical to both social and academic success, so ensuring that opportunities exist for all children in Georgia to access high-quality early care and learning is crucial to the future social and economic well-being of this state.

As demographics in Georgia continue to shift, ensuring the success of all children and all groups is vital to creating a robust economy and a thriving state.

“Leaving any one group of children behind is, ultimately, short-changing our own future,” said Gaye Smith, executive director of Georgia Family Connection Partnership. “It’s essential for our state’s success to both focus on narrowing the well-being gaps between racial groups, as well as raising the overall bar for well-being and success for everyone.”

The 12 Race for Results Index indicators used to build the index are:

  1. Babies Born at Normal Birthweight
  2. Children Ages 3 to 5 Enrolled School
  3. Fourth Graders Who Scored at or above Proficient in Reading
  4. Eighth Graders Who Scored at or above Proficient in Math
  5. Females Ages 15 to 19 Who Delay Childbearing Until Adulthood
  6. High-School Students Gradating on Time
  7. Young Adults Ages 19 to 26 Who Are in School or Working
  8. Young Adults Ages 25 to 29 Who Have Completed an Associate’s Degree or Higher
  9. Children Who Live with a Householder Who Has at Least a High-School Diploma
  10. Children Who Live in Two-Parent Families
  11. Who Live in Families with Incomes Above 200 Percent of Poverty
  12. Children Who Live in Low-Poverty Areas (poverty <20 percent)

Read the 2017 Race for Results report.

Visit Georgia KIDS COUNT at gafcp.org/kids-count for interactive statewide data.

Contact:
Rebecca Rice
Georgia KIDS COUNT Coordinator
404-507-0488
[email protected]

Bill Valladares
GaFCP Communications Director
404-739-0043
[email protected]

 

Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) is a public-private partnership created by the State of Georgia and investors from the private sector to assist communities in addressing the serious challenges facing children and families. GaFCP also serves as a resource to state agencies across Georgia that work to improve the conditions of children and families. Georgia KIDS COUNT provides policymakers and citizens with current data they need to make informed decisions regarding priorities, services, and resources that impact Georgia’s children, youth, families, and communities. Georgia KIDS COUNT is funded, in part, through a grant from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charitable organization dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation creates a brighter future for the nation’s children by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow. KIDS COUNT is a registered trademark of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.