Article: Report: TN kids improve in health, education by Jordyn Pair. Knoxville News Sentinel, June 27, 2018.
Overall Tennessee ranks 35th in the national for kids health and education in the KIDS COUNT report. Is this good? We are still in the bottom half of the rankings. We have the highest childhood obesity rate in the country and Knox County has a high rate of diabetes. I would like to see us move up in these rankings by expanding Medicaid and providing more outdoor recreation activities for children. Children love to ride bikes and play on playgrounds. I would like to see us improve and create neighborhoods so they are bike and pedestrian friendly and have playgrounds. Every subdivision and neighborhood should have a community playground. We should also give children more time for recess and physical education classes in school. Moving is good and learning how to move is even better.
The article also stated that 60% of our children lack access to Pre-Kindergarten. Being able to create universal Pre-K is another reason why I am running to be the next State Representative for District 89. We need to give our children the best preparation for school and that starts with universal pre-K. Our school board is upset about low reading scores in Knox County Schools. I challenge them to implement universal pre-K as a way to increase our childrens’ reading abilities.
In our community it is important to note that this study found 75,000 children are at risk of not being counted in the 2020 Census. This will effect spending and resources for education, transportation and political districts. We need to make sure we are getting our children 5 years old and younger counted in the Census.