Lieutenant Governor Mae Schunk and Minnesota Planning have released the latest statewide report on Minnesota’s youth, the 1999 Children’s Report Card, in a traditional printed format and a new Internet site that will give all Minnesotans access to the latest information about the youth in their communities and counties. The 1999 Children’s Report Card includes trends and current data on 26 aspects of the lives of Minnesota’s children.
The Children’s Report Card, using data from five Minnesota agencies, shows a mixed picture of the status of Minnesota’s children. More children are on time with their immunizations, scores on the state’s basic education skills tests are rising, infant mortality is dropping and teens report less sexual activity and less violence in their lives. Unfortunately, the rate of school transfers is rising and more Minnesota children are eligible for free- and reduced-price school lunches.
“With school starting, all of us are looking at how our children are doing in class,” said the Lieutenant Governor, “and that makes this an ideal time to look at our children’s lives outside the classroom, as well. It is no secret that what happens outside the classroom affects kid’s school success, too.
“And there are things that we can do, school by school, community by community, county by county all across the state to make things better for our kids. We have the information right here in the Children’s Report Card. You do not have to use guesswork, assumptions or wishful thinking to get a picture of what is happening with the kids in your community,” Schunk added.
Detailed county-by-county information on the status of Minnesota’s children is available in the electronic version of the Children’s Report Card.
“I encourage community members and policy-makers to look at this information. Go to the website. See where your county stands and come up with the action plans that WILL make a difference for our kids,” Schunk concluded. Schunk, who co-chairs Minnesota’s Alliance With Youth, urged community leaders statewide to become active participants in the Alliance as one way of building supportive environments for children.
The 1999 Children’s Report Card is the third in a series initiated in 1994 to help the state and its 87 counties gauge the well-being of Minnesota’s children and youth. The Children’s Report Card assesses state and county performance in six major goal areas: child poverty; stable, supportive home environments; health; learning-readiness; academic achievement and caring communities. The 1999 Children’s Report Card includes six new and five revised indicators.
The Children’s Report Card includes data gathered by five Minnesota agencies: the Minnesota departments of Health; Human Services; Children, Families and Learning; Public Safety and Minnesota Planning. The electronic version of the Children’s Report Card will be updated as new data becomes available. Minnesota Planning published summary reports in 1994, 1996 and 1999.