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Delaware kids getting healthier, falling behind in education


Children in Delaware are getting healthier, but they’re falling behind in education. Those are the key findings in this year’s Kids Count Report.

The report was released this week and finds the annual median income for single-parent families has dropped from $29,000 to $25,000 in the past five years. More than 40 percent of children living in one-parent homes are living in poverty. That number drops to 10 percent for children living in two-parent homes.  

In education, graduation rates have declined in the past four years, from 87 percent to 84 percent. However, the high-school dropout rate is the lowest it's been in more than 30 years -2.1 percent.

About half of all 3rd graders (54%) are reading at a proficient level. And about a third of 8th graders (35%) are proficient in math. This is the first year these numbers have been collected in Delaware.

The report finds a noticeable race gap in education. White students are outperforming all other races in both math and reading across multiple grade levels.

Among the positive findings in the report, teen pregnancies continue to decline. Reported cases of child abuse are also down.

The number of babies with low birth weights has declined. And infant mortality continues to improve for the second-straight decade. The number of children without health insurance has also decreased by large margins.

The report also finds that Delaware’s children are getting more diverse. Black and white populations have both declined, while the Hispanic population continues to increase. It has doubled since 2000 and is currently at 14 percent.

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