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Oklahoma drops three spots in state rankings for overall child well-being

Oklahoma now ranks 39th in the annual Kids Count Data Book by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The state ranked 40th and 43rd the previous years.

"Demographic, social and economic changes combined with major policy developments have affected the lives of lower-income children in both positive and negative ways since 1990," the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 25th edition of its annual Kids Count Data Book says.

The good news is that there has been steady improvement in the number of children attending preschool and a decline in the number of schoolchildren not proficient in reading and math.

More children also have access to health insurance coverage than before the recession.

The teen birth rate is the lowest it has been in many years and the death rate for children and teens has fallen as a result of medical advances and increased usage of seat belts, car seats and bike helmets. There was also a drop in the percent of children who were living in a home where the household head lacked a high school diploma from 22 percent in 1990 to 15 percent in 2012.

Although the child poverty rate has dropped from 18 to 16 percent from 1990 to 2000, the rate had reached 22 percent by 2010 and has remained at roughly that level. Just two years ago nearly 16.4 million kids were living in poverty.

The percentage of children living in single-parent families has risen. In 1990, 25 percent of children lived in a single-parent household and by 2012 the figure had risen 10 percent to 35 percent. Since 1990, the rate of children growing up in poor communities has also increased, with 13 percent of children living in a neighborhood where the poverty rate is 30 percent or more.

The KIDS COUNT Data Book is an annual publication that assesses child well-being nationally and across the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

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  • Responding to concerns about personal security for lawmakers after last week’s gun attack at a Congressional baseball practice, U.S. House leaders are moving to provide extra money to members for protection back home, as well as new funding to bolster the work of police and security officials on Capitol Hill. Under a plan approved by a House spending subcommittee on Friday, the Congress would provide an extra $7.5 million next year to the Capitol Police for an “increased security posture” around the Capitol, along with $5 million to the House Sergeant at Arms to help with security for lawmakers back in their districts. “We are taking a new fresh look at security,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), the Chairman of subcommittee that deals with funding for the Legislative Branch. Our FY18 Legislative Branch funding bill increases efficiency & transparency in Congress, enhances security for Members & our constituents. pic.twitter.com/FI36tF2XeH — Rep. Kevin Yoder (@RepKevinYoder) June 22, 2017 “The tragic events of June 14 weigh heavily on these deliberations,” said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which could vote on the extra money as early as this next week. Also being put into motion is a separate plan to funnel an extra $25,000 to each member of the House – about $11 million in all – to help them increase security back in their districts. “The scariest part for us is there used to be this impression by the public that we all had security everywhere we went,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH). “Now, everyone knows that isn’t the case,” Ryan added, as he lent his support to the extra funding for security as well. The money in this budget bill would not take effect until the new fiscal year – which starts October 1 – so, House leaders are ready to okay extra money immediately for members worried about security back in their districts. Roll Call newspaper reported that could be approved in coming days by the House Administration Committee. Yoder said Congressional leaders are also waiting to see if money raised in campaign contributions for House elections could be put to use for security as well. “Pending an FEC (Federal Election Commission) decision, we’re also looking at whether campaign funds could be used to continue to support security upgrades at personal residences,” Yoder added.
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