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State Agency to Haslam: Do more for poor kids

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT/TNS)  --  A state agency is calling on Governor Haslam and the State Legislature to spend more on Tennessee’s children.

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth cites data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count report to suggest more needs to be done for Tennessee’s under-five children. Agency Commissioner Linda O’Neal is calling for three changes.

"One is to expand the voluntary high-quality pre-kindergarten program we have so it reaches more children. A second is to expand home visiting programs for new parents, and the third is to accept the federal Medicaid funds so all children have access to health care."

In Tennessee, O'Neal says  there are nearly 400-thousand children living in poverty, and hundreds of thousands more in families considered low-income.