Texas Continues to Fall Short on Equitable Health, Safety, and Education Outcomes for Children
New Texas KIDS COUNT Data Book from Every Texan offers policy recommendations to state leaders for improving child well-being
Austin, TX (March 24, 2023) – All children – regardless of race, class, gender, or national origin – deserve to fulfill their potential and have the opportunity to thrive. Over the last several years, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis have had a compounding effect on existing inequities affecting Texas children. It’s time for the Texas Legislature to make meaningful investments in our future to ensure all children in our state have their basic needs met.
Every year, Every Texan publishes a report on the status of children in Texas to measure how well they are doing across a variety of categories, such as economic security, health and safety, and educational outcomes. This year’s report reflects the increasing challenges that Texas children are facing as a consequence of not only the COVID-19 pandemic but the systemic inequities that have caught up with population health and social outcomes. Explore the full report and policy recommendations here.
In a panel discussion hosted by Every Texan and Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc., on March 24, policy experts discussed key findings and policy recommendations from the book. Every Texan's Chief of Legislative Affairs Luis Figueroa moderated the discussion with State Representative Diego Bernal, Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores, Councilwoman Adriana Rocha-Garcia, and Dr. Johnelle Sparks. See the recording of the event here.
“The data shows that too many children in Texas continue to face barriers to opportunity based on race and ethnicity, gender identity, and family financial security,” said Marisa Bono, Every Texan CEO. “Short-sighted public policies and inadequate investments have created barriers keeping children from reaching their maximum potential. Our legislators can – and must –offer children an equitable opportunity to experience a healthy, thriving childhood to prepare them to lead Texas into the future.”
“The Texas Kids Count Report is a valuable tool. It has long provided us with a comprehensive understanding of the current state of children's health in Texas, covering critical areas such as physical and mental health, access to healthcare, educational outcomes, and socioeconomic factors that influence overall well-being,” said Jaime Wesolowski, president and CEO of Methodist Healthcare Ministries. “We must use the insights from the Kids Count Report to drive meaningful action and collaboration between community organizations, healthcare providers, policymakers, and concerned citizens.”
Every Texan gratefully acknowledges Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc., for their financial support of this publication. This report is part of the Texas KIDS COUNT project, a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the U.S. funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The opinions expressed in the report are those of Every Texan and do not necessarily reflect the views of Methodist Healthcare Ministries or the Foundation.
About Every Texan
Every Texan believes that social justice requires public policy. Since its founding in 1985, Every Texan (formerly the Center for Public Policy Priorities) has leveraged public policy to expand opportunity and equity for Texans of all backgrounds. Every Texan is a nonprofit organization that researches, analyzes, and advocates for public policies to achieve equitable access to quality health care, food security, education, and good jobs. Learn more at everytexan.org.
About Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc.
Methodist Healthcare Ministries broadens the definition of healthcare by providing low-cost clinical care for the uninsured and by supporting community-led efforts that improve living conditions that cause people to be sick in the first place. We use our earnings as co-owners of Methodist Healthcare to ensure that people who are economically disadvantaged and uninsured can live their healthiest lives. We do this by advocating for, investing in and providing access to quality clinical care and addressing factors that affect health—including economic mobility, supportive relationships, food security, broadband access, and safe neighborhoods. Ultimately, we fulfill our mission of “Serving Humanity to Honor God” by advancing health equity so that more resilient individuals & families living in the 74 counties we serve can thrive. For more information, visit www.mhm.org.