Will Success Reducing Senior Poverty Work for WV Kids?
West Virginia Public News Service - West Virginia - and the United States as a whole - have dramatically reduced poverty among seniors, and a growing movement says it's time for the state to do the same for children. Read
Census figures say the portion of West Virginia seniors living below the poverty line has fallen by about three-quarters during the past 40 years. Stephen Smith, director of the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, said that shows poverty isn't inevitable - a lesson to be applied now to the state's poor children.
"There is a very powerful myth that this is 'just the way it is.' That is flatly not true," Smith said. "Not only is child poverty not inevitable, we know how to change it."
One-third of the state's young children live in poverty, according to a new report from the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition and the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. The report estimates child poverty costs the state almost $4 billion a year because those children grow up to be more troubled, less healthy and less productive.