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Report: state plans to withhold funding to kids, even as their needs rise



A study released this week shows that while state lawmakers consider deep cuts to state services for children, cases of child abuse, teen pregnancy and overall child poverty have increased in Texas over the past decade. The State of Texas Children 2011 report, compiled by the Center for Public Policy Priorities from state and federal data, shows that child poverty in Texas has gone up 17 percent over the past decade. The child poverty rate statewide hit 24.3 percent in 2009 and was slightly higher in Bexar County at 25.1 percent. Meanwhile, pregnancies among unmarried teens in Texas rose 7 percent to nearly 45,000 cases a year, the report states. Cases of child abuse or neglect spiked 27 percent since 2000, with over 68,000 confirmed cases in 2009. Infant mortality in Texas also rose 10 percent in the past decade, according to the report. Teen pregnancy in Bexar County was relatively flat during that time at around 3,000 cases each year. Infant mortality in the county, according to the study, has risen slightly, from 119 cases in 2000 to 162 in 2007. Child abuse and neglect in Bexar County also rose to 5,727 confirmed cases in 2009, up from 3,573 in 2000, according to the study. The center released the numbers as lawmakers in Austin eye proposals that would cut state spending for children by roughly 13 percent.

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