Report shows troubling trend for Kentucky minority students



LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – The 2021 ‘Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book’ shows worrying trends for children from minority groups.

The data collection measures the well-being of children and young adults and whether performance in the Commonwealth has improved, worsened or remained the same over the past five years.

Trends for 2021 have shown improvements or stability in family and family life, health, education and economic security, but this does not hold true for all communities, especially those who identify as Black or Métis. .

Family and family life:

Children are entering foster care more than leaving, according to the report, with an increase of 14.5%.

A total of 53,868 children, almost equal to the entire population of Jessamine County, are currently living with a host family. Fewer Kentucky children are also returned to their families: 7,205 or 3%.

In Kentucky, black parents, especially males, are incarcerated at higher rates than parents of other races; for example, 16.1 per 1,000 black parents are in state custody, compared to 2.8 per 1,000 for white parents.

The Kentucky Youth Advocate Website stresses that progress has been uneven for children based on their race and ethnicity. The use of group homes and institutions in Kentucky has declined over time for non-Hispanic white children, but has increased for non-Hispanic, black, and multiracial children.


Overall, low birthweight only increased 0.1%, but black mothers experienced 16.6 underweight births per 100 births, compared to a rate of 8.7 for black mothers. white mothers and 6.4 for Latin American mothers.

Fewer mothers reported having smoked during pregnancy, 26,795, which represents a decrease of 3.1%.

Kentucky Youth Advocates advocated for strengthening access to quality health coverage at all stages of pregnancy and for filling gaps in the use of support programs by different racial groups will reduce disparities in critical outcomes from birth to black babies and mothers.

Data collection shows a significant decrease in teenage births, 11.4%. Kentucky still ranks 13th for the highest teenage pregnancy rate according to the CDC.

Kentucky Youth Advocates also advocated for stronger programming for teens and for showing young women and girls the opportunities available to them if they delay pregnancy.


Latino and Latino students are less likely to be screened as ready for kindergarten compared to their peers, according to the report, but the screening tool has not been tested for bilingual learners. New America reports that nationally 1 in 4 American children could learn dual language.

Extracurricular suspensions increased by 1.9%. Suspensions increased for all students in their sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Black students experience extracurricular suspensions at a rate of 47.8 per 100 students, but white students only 10.9 per 100.

Kentucky Youth Advocates said using corrective measures that do not exclude children from the classroom, such as mental health supports and restorative justice practices, could reduce the disproportionate impact on the classroom. black student learning.

Students planning their future studies increased by 16%. Kentucky students are nearly 2% more likely to graduate on time compared to 2015-16 data, rising from 88.6% to 90% in 2021.

While graduation rates are quite similar between groups, only one in four Black and Latin American students are ready to succeed in college or career path.

Economic Security:

Children living at 100% or below the poverty line fell 5% for all of Kentucky.

Black and Latino children, however, still experience poverty at a higher rate than the 2014 statistic of 25.9%, or about 10% higher. One in five Kentucky children of color has experienced food insecurity.

In Lexington, the gap is even greater with 42% of black children living in poverty.

The rate is also high in parts of eastern Kentucky, particularly in the counties of Clay, Lee and Owsley.

Kentucky Youth Advocates said the permanent expansion of the federal child tax credit and increased use of programs such as the Child Care Assistance Program could make up for the income gaps for all families.

Researchers with the Annie E Casey Foundation have compiled this data for over 30 years, and heads of state have used the data to shape policies and programs to help students statewide.


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