Annual NM KIDS COUNT Data Book Released Amid Calls for Action on Children’s Issues

Youth Ask Lawmakers to Address State’s 50th Ranking in Child Well-Being

January 21, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ALBUQUERQUE—The 2013 New Mexico KIDS COUNT Data Book,  released today at the state Capitol, recommends policy changes to address New Mexico’s fall to 50th in the nation in child well-being. The annual report tracks child well-being by providing data on important indicators such as child poverty, child maltreatment rates, math and reading proficiency, teen birth rates by race/ethnicity, and more. A new section tracks the 16 indicators used in the national 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book, in which New Mexico placed dead last, ranks New Mexico counties on the indicators, and suggests policy solutions.

“This new section in our KIDS COUNT Data Book will help us monitor whether or not the state’s investments and policy changes move the needle on child well-being and provide a new level of accountability,” said Veronica C. García, Ed.D., Executive Director of NM Voices for Children, which publishes the annual report.

The report was released as part of Celebrating Children and Youth Day at the state Capitol. The release also included a launch of NM Voices’ NM KIDS are COUNTing on Us Campaign, which asks people to become Citizen Co-Sponsors of the NM KIDS are COUNTing on Us Policy Agenda. It’s all part of a larger effort to press policy makers to take action.

“It’s time for the Executive and Legislative branches to launch a coordinated, comprehensive effort to improve child well-being. Corporate well-being has been a big concern in the last few sessions, with the state giving out hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks—while our children suffer. It’s time to put New Mexico kids first,” said Dr. Garcia.

The NM KIDS are COUNTing on Us Policy Agenda offers policy makers a starting point for an integrated effort to improve child well-being,” said Dr. Garcia. “Child advocates and service providers—not just NM Voices, but many other organizations that work to improve outcomes for children—are disappointed in the lack of response from our elected leaders concerning the dismal state of child well-being. We find this unacceptable and will be encouraging our state leaders to come up with and implement solutions soon,” she added.

The 2013 New Mexico KIDS COUNT Data Book is available at http://www.nmvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/NM-KC-2013-data-book-web.pdf

The NM KIDS are COUNTing on Us: A Policy Agenda for a Better New Mexico is available at http://www.nmvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/KIDS-are-COUNTing-policy-agenda-2014-web.pdf  

More information on the Citizen Co-Sponsor campaign is available at http://www.nmvoices.org/citizen-co-sponsor-signup

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 KIDS COUNT is a program of New Mexico Voices for Children and is made possible by grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

New Mexico Voices for Children is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advocating for policies to improve the health and well-being of New Mexico’s children, families and communities.

625 Silver Ave. SW, Suite 195, Albuquerque, NM 87102; 505-244-9505 (p); www.nmvoices.org

Download this press release here (pdf)

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