While we can rejoice that we did not make the top five of financial site WalletHub's study of states with the worst quality of life for children, our energy and concern should be more devoted as to why we do, in fact, rank eighth overall. Although the factors that contribute to this are multifarious and widespread, there are many glaring issues that have stood out for some time but are now exacerbated by the pandemic.
One of the most offensive is how we rank number one in the criterion of food insecurity. Statistics show that at least one in five of our children is not sure what or when his or her next meal will be. Our schooling system is also yielding children who have notoriously low math scores, with a staggeringly low ranking of 48th in the nation. As many know, a poor education is one of the key springboards in the poverty cycle. Low levels of education aren't conducive to finding well-paying jobs, and considering the large number of single-mother households in Louisiana, these moms are often left working in a minimum-wage environment simply to keep food in their children's mouths and a roof over their heads. Proof of this comes in the form of a statistic from this same study, which details that a shocking two-thirds of all minimum-wage workers in our country are women.
This all speaks to a larger American issue with our public-schooling system. Poverty is a cycle, and if those in underserved communities are not at least offered a proper education, then their fate is almost certainly doomed to be passed on to their children.
For more information or to read the full report, click HERE.