Health and education gains, poverty slips in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - On a day when President Obama's health care act took a legal hit, advocates here in Arkansas are trumpeting the health care gains children in this state have made.

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families say in their latest Kids Count Data Book that the state has made gains in both health care and education for kids.

When it comes to children in poverty overall, Arkansas kids are losing ground they say. In 2005, 1-in-4 kids lived in poverty in the state. By 2012, they say that number is closer to 1-in-3.

"The report ranks all the states in child well-being and Arkansas actually fell from 40th to 41st, but the report looks at a variety of different factors. The child poverty rate increased in Arkansas, but we actually made huge gains in education and in health care," said Gerard Matthews, Communications director at AAC&F.

The report singles out the AR Kids First health care program and improving pre-K trends as reasons for the improving numbers in those sectors.


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