Statewide News
12:20 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Kids Count Report: Ohio Children Of Color Face Barriers To Opportunity

A new report from the Annie E. Casey foundation says children of color still face 'Troubling obstacles' when it comes to social and economic opportunity in the US.  The document states those obstacles are especially true for children in Ohio.

The annual Kids Count Policy Report measures how children in all racial groups are fairing as they reach certain milestones, from birth, through early education, and into adulthood. Sarah Biehl is policy director with Children's Defense Fund Ohio.  

"The goal obviously would be that a child's race or ethnicity is not a predictor of his or her future wellbeing," the director said, "but what the report really looks at is does it matter? And I think the answer the report comes up with is yes it does matter."

Black children in Ohio scored among the worst in the nation on the report. Only five states ranked lower in the report - Wisconsin, Mississippi, Michigan, Louisiana, and Arkansas. 

Other racial disparities keeping Ohio low on the equal opportunity list - Unemployment. In 2013, According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates for Blacks were almost double that of Whites. The same goes for Hispanics.

And Biehl emphasized that blacks are disproportionately affected by Ohio's high infant mortality rate, saying "So I think we really need to introduce explicit discussions about those racial disparities into our policy discussions, as we move forward and improving these indicators for all children."

The Annie E. Casey Foundation issues the Kids Count Policy Report: Race for Results, annually "to inform state and national decision makers on issues related to the well-being of America's children.