LAS VEGAS -- A national report released today on the well-being of children in the United States ranked Nevada dead last in education and 48th overall among the 50 states.
The 2012 Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charitable organization based in Baltimore, also ranked Nevada 49th for the economic well-being of children, 46th for health and 41st for family and community support.
Among the reasons Nevada received such a poor ranking for education: 71 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds were not enrolled in preschool from 2008 through 2010, the nation's highest percentage; and 44 percent of the state's high school students in the class of 2008-2009 failed to graduate in four years, also the highest percentage in the nation.
Kids Count also found that 75 percent of Nevada 4th graders weren't proficient in reading as of last year, tied for third worst in the nation, and 71 percent of 8th graders weren't proficient in math in 2011, placing the state in the bottom quartile.
As for economic well-being, the report stated that in 2010 22 percent of Nevada's children lived in poverty, 36 percent had parents who lacked secure employment, 47 percent lived in households with a high housing cost burden, and 15 percent of teens weren't in school and weren't working. The teen statistic was highest in the nation.
In 2010, 17 percent of Nevada's children lacked health insurance, which was also worst in the nation.