Advocacy group Texans Care for Children last week released a new year-long study finding that Texas spends between $14.3 billion and $20 billion more than the rest of the country every year because it fails to address child well-being. The report says Texas' child poverty rate is seven percentage points higher than the rest of the U.S. While 20 percent of U.S. children grow up poor, some 27 percent of Texas children are raised in poverty, the report says.
The report also cites Texas higher-than-average rates of teen pregnancy, uninsured children, and high school dropouts, and says failing to address these metrics spells trouble for the state's economic outlook.
"What this report makes clear is that the decisions today by the legislature to get more children on the right path — so children are prepared for school and can grow up healthy, safe, and thriving — represent a choice to advance our state's prosperity for years to come," said Texans Care for Children CEO Eileen García in a prepared statement. You can read the full report at texanscareforchildren.org.