Alex Gonzalez, Public News Service
Nevada’s children of color continue to experience disparities, according to new data.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s “Race for Results” report looks at 12 indicators from “cradle to career” – and says despite improvements, there are inequities for children of color that can keep them from thriving.
Tara Raines, deputy director and Kids Count initiatives director at the Children’s Advocacy Alliance of Nevada, said Black children in the state have what she calls “the steepest hill to climb.”
On the bright side, she said the state’s Asian/Pacific Islander population is seeing some progress, but more improvements are needed.
“I think we’ve got to take care of housing, because that is going to be foundational for so much,” said Raines. “Once the kids have a secure place to live and know that they have shelter, that’ll go a long way in their overall well-being. I think the other thing is education. Our education metrics – on this report and on many reports – are just abysmal, especially for our kids of color.”
Raines said many Black and Hispanic children in the Silver State have significantly different test scores than their white peers, despite access to the same curriculum and classrooms.
Her organization wants policymakers to not only create targeted policies to close well-being gaps, but to do so collaboratively with the groups most affected.
Leslie Boissiere – vice president for external affairs at the Casey Foundation – said in order for the United States to prosper, all children’s needs have to be supported.
Just last week, Congress announced it had reached a deal to bring back part of the pandemic-era Child Tax Credit – which Boissiere said helped lift more than two million children out of poverty.
“Over 800,000 Black kids, over a million Latino kids, and over 700,000 white kids lifted out of poverty by this single program,” said Boissiere. “When the program was allowed to lapse because it wasn’t extended, millions of children then fall back into poverty – and that’s a key underpinning of well-being for kids.”
Critics of the Child Tax Credit attack it as a wasteful giveaway.
But Boissiere said her organization also wants lawmakers to consider advancing universal policies – like baby bonds and children’s savings accounts, which would encourage more parents to save for their kids’ future.
She said young people can then use the funds when they turn 18 to pursue higher education, secure housing or even start a business.
This article originally appeared on Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.