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Where does Tennessee rank in the annual KIDS COUNT report?


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT/TNS)  --  A new report says Tennessee is getting better at taking care of its children, but still lags behind much of the nation.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its annual KIDS COUNT report Tuesday. Tennessee moved up three spots in the state rankings to 35th overall. Linda O'Neal with the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth says the results are promising.

"We have had improvements in all indicators. A slight reduction in children in poverty. We have more children whose parents have secure employment and fewer children living in a household with a high housing cost burden. "

O'Neal is concerned, however, that the progress made in recent years could be lost. She notes that much of the funding the state uses for children’s programs are actually federal dollars. She worries much of that funding could go away as a result of President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts or the passage of the new Republican health care plan.

"So as a state, Tennessee is incredibly reliant on federal funds so we're very concerned about the impact of many of the proposed changes at the federal level in the budget. "

While the Casey report shows marked improvement, O’Neil notes that sixty-two thousand Tennessee children still do not have health coverage.

The Casey report says one reason for the improvement in Tennessee’s score is the state’s stable, growing economy.

Would you like to review the complete KIDS COUNT study?