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Annual Kids Count report shows Tenn. in the bottom half states for overall childhood well-being

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Posted at 10:38 PM, Jun 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-23 23:39:19-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's the latest version of a report that paints a concerning picture of Tennessee's Kids.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released the latest annual Kids Count report, and this report shows the impacts of the pandemic.

The annual report showed that Tennessee's children are once again in the bottom half of overall childhood well-being across the state, compared to kids across the country.

The good news, says the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, are factors like graduation rate -- which were on the right track before the pandemic, with only 10 percent of students in the state not graduating on time.

The report suggests after a pandemic that kept kids home for months on end, states should strengthen pathways to colleges, trade schools and other post-secondary education options.

But it's where kids were spending that time away from school that also worries the authors of the Kids Count report -- with 1 in 5 kids living in poverty. While that trend is on the right track, it's still worse than the national average.

And the report revealed the financial impacts of the pandemic on kids and their parents -- with 23% of Tennessee parents telling the survey team they had little to no confidence last year, to pay their next rent or mortgage bill.