Study: Kids lag in poverty, education stats | Local – The Tand

Posted: January 2, 2020 at 7:41 am

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Many children in The T&D Region continue to live in poverty and fail to meet state education standards, according to data from the latest Kids Count study.

Considering a broad range of issues affecting children, including health care and education, Kids Count ranked South Carolina 39th in the nation in the well-being of its children. The state fell one spot from last years ranking.

While the nationwide report was released in June, Childrens Trust of South Carolina released its latest annual Kids Count child well-being county data in late fall.

The study ranks the states 46 counties on several indicators of child well-being across four domains: economic well-being, education, health and family and community.

Childrens Trust reported that a lack of significant improvements in poverty and education have hindered the states progress in improving child well-being.

This year we still continue to see about 70 percent of kids not meeting math and reading proficiency standards, which is very high. It really comes down to looking at our policies and seeing how we can ensure that a kid that lives in Bamberg is getting the same education as a kid that lives in Lexington County, said Dr. Aditi Srivastav Bussells, Childrens Trusts research and community impact manager.

That really requires us looking at how our schools are being supported. Are we able to recruit and retain a good workforce? Are there policies in place that can really help meet the needs of different types of students? Bussells said.

With data taken from the beginning of the 2015-16 school year, the latest county profiles indicate that 61 percent of third-graders in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties tested below state standards in math, while 49 percent of Bamberg County third-graders tested below the standards. The state average was 44 percent.

About 73 percent of Orangeburg County third-graders tested below state English/language arts standards. About 60 percent tested below state standards in Calhoun County and 66 percent in Bamberg County.

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The state average stood at 55 percent.

In other education statistics, 84 percent of Orangeburg County eighth-graders tested below state standards in math. About 78 percent attested below state standards in Calhoun County and 67 percent tested below state standards in Bamberg County.

The state average was 63 percent.

About 79 percent of eighth-graders tested below state English/language arts standards in Orangeburg County, 72 percent were below state standards in Calhoun County and 69 were below the state standards in Bamberg County.

Bussells said the area of childhood poverty has remained pretty much unchanged over the last several years across the state.

About a quarter of kids in South Carolina are in poverty, and then anywhere from 12 to 15 percent are in concentrated poverty over the last several years, which is even higher poverty, she said.

Bussells added, We have to ensure that parents have economic opportunities to provide for their families, and that also means that they have opportunities for continuing education or alternative kinds of options to pursue their education so that they can make more money to support their children and families.

Opportunities for affordable housing and full-time jobs are also key, she said.

About 35 percent of Orangeburg County children live in households with incomes below the poverty level.

In Bamberg County, 36 percent live below the poverty level. In Calhoun County, 25 percent fall in the same category.

Poverty is something that you cant solve overnight and theres so many factors that go into it. Its about supporting the entire family because the parents well-being is so closely linked with childrens well-being. And I say parents, but we also know there are often grandparents and other kin that are supporting, Bussells said.

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Study: Kids lag in poverty, education stats | Local - The Tand

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