Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Study: Nearly 40 percent of Wyandotte County's children live in poverty

By NICK SLOAN, nick@kansascitykansan.com

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- While you hear a lot of positive stories about the economic growth in Wyandotte County, here's a quick reminder that the "status quo" in Wyandotte County isn't great for everyone.

According to a study performed by the Kansas Action for Children organization, 39.7 percent of Wyandotte County's residents under the age of 18 live in poverty.

That's over twice the average of the state of Kansas' rate, which is at 18.79 percent.

Along with poverty, the study also examined other educational and economic indicators for the children in Wyandotte County.

Some of those numbers:
  • Just 69 percent of fifth graders in Wyandotte County met the 2011-12 school reading assessment standards. State-wide, the number is 87 percent.
  • 71 percent of those individuals who entered the 2007-08 school year as freshmen graduated on time. That's compared to 85 percent across the state.
  • Compared to a teenager in the rest of the state, a teenager in Wyandotte County is two times as likely to be killed by an act of violence or car accident. However, if there's a silver-lining, the percentage has decreased by 11 percent over the past five years.
  • Nearly 80 percent of Wyandotte County students are on free and reduced lunch programs provided by the local school districts. Across the state of Kansas, nearly half of students are on free and reduced lunch programs.