Arizona fares poorly in report on children

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- When the economy is not doing well, many different groups of people are affected and that includes children.

A new report reveals the impact of the recession on children in Arizona and the state's numbers are not good.

Child and family resources, offers many programs designed to help families in Tucson.

"We try to improve the quality of early childhood education. And build strong, healthy and resilient families," said Eric Schindler from Child & Family Resources.

They see firsthand the effects of negative rankings, such as those exemplified in the latest kid count data book.

It finds Arizona still ranks in the bottom 10-15 states in most categories.

That includes percent of children in single parent families, percent of children in poverty, percent of teens who are high school dropouts, and percent of kids without health insurance.

"It's common sense. You get what you pay for," said Schindler.

The numbers also show the effect of the recession on Arizona children. Only two states have a higher percentage of children who lost their family home to foreclosure.

And the data was only collected through 2009, which means the last two years of state budget cuts are not yet reflected.

Child and family resources CEO Eric Schindler believes the only way to turn the numbers around is to put more money into Arizona's children.

"I bet if we proposed raising revenues in a variety of ways, for children's education and health care, people would support it.  Our leaders need to hear that," said Schindler.

The good news in the report is that the child death rate went down and fewer teens are giving birth. But the state still ranks in those categories worse than most state.