A report recently released by Center for Public Policy Priorities paints a mixed picture of the state of children in the Rio Grande Valley. Despite poverty rates nearly double those of the State of Texas, children do well on certain key indicators of well-being. However, much remains to be done. Key finding in the report include:
- The majority of the children in the Rio Grande Valley live in high poverty areas (68%), while statewide 18% of children live in high poverty areas. High poverty areas tend to have fewer public and private resources, which means Rio Grande Valley children are more likely than other Texas children to attend under-resourced schools, have unequal opportunity for job training programs and more.
- 40,800 children in Cameron County are food insecure, meaning they lack consistent access to enough food for a healthy diet. When growing children lack essential nutrients, they can experience delays in physical, intellectual and emotional growth. Hungry children have a harder time focusing in school and are more likely to have social and behavioral problems.
- PreK enrollment for 4 year olds is higher in the Rio Grande Valley than in Texas as a whole, and Cameron County's high school graduation rate is higher than in Texas overall.