Report: Minnesota Ranks High for Well-Being of Kids; Improvement Needed

Updated: 07/22/2014 11:04 PM By: Brandi Powell

A new report out Tuesday, called KIDS COUNT, shows Minnesota ranks among the top five states in child well-being. However, there's also room for improvement.

Minnesota's Children's Defense Fund found serious disparities in economic stability and education for children of color in the state.

For example, nearly half of Minnesota's black children live in poverty.

Minnesota's Children Defense Fund is working on two solutions for the disparities in poverty and single-parent households.

One solution is to try to get the Child Care Assistance Program fully funded next legislative session.

Right now, they're adding what are called Freedom Schools to help build self-esteem and remove low expectations, primarily with children of color in low-income families. The area is where the report found the disparities to be most startling.

Stephanie Hogerson, Research and Policy Director at Children's Defense Fund Minnesota, said "primarily it's in the summer because we want to curb that summer learning loss that low-income families and children of color experience at higher rates."

St. Paul Public Schools allocated $600,000 for its first Freedom School.