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Without federal aid, 1 in 3 Tenn. kids below poverty line

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT/TNS)  --   A report released this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation looks at the impact federal programs have on poverty rates.

The report finds those programs cut the percentage of Tennessee children living in poverty by half. The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth’s Linda O’Neil says that in spite of that assistance, 17 percent of the state’s children still live below the poverty line.

"What we know is that poverty has a tremendous negative impact on children, on their developing brains and it creates what's essentially referred to as toxic stress so the more we can support these children and help them be able to grow and develop in a healthy way the better their outcomes will be in school and in life "

The Casey report recommends state and federal governments expand access to early childhood education, change tax credit policies to keep more money in the hands of struggling families, and streamline food and housing subsidies.