Black families pondering a move to the Midwest might want to read this, especially if they have young children. According to a national report, Wisconsin has been ranked the worst state in the country when it comes to racial disparities for children.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a 66-year-old charitable organization concentrating on family issues and well-being, spearheaded the study. “Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children” scored states according to 12 different factors, from educational access to socioeconomic status and home life.
Wisconsin scored a 238 on its ability to prepare black children for educational and financial success, the lowest of all states (the average score was 345). Interestingly, Wisconsin was ranked 10th overall in its preparation for white children.
Economically, the Casey report notes an immense difference in the the levels of economic security of children of different races in the state. While 70% of white children live in households above 200% of the poverty level ($47,700 for a family of four), only 20% of black children live in similar households.
What’s even more disturbing about these findings by the Casey Foundation is that they’re not dissimilar from similar findings in the 1980s by the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, which found that at that time 60% of black children in Wisconsin younger than 5 years old lived below the poverty line.
These findings are something I’d expect to see from a state like Mississippi or Alabama – not Wisconsin, and the fact that we appear to have made negligible (if any) progress towards addressing these problems shows just how badly we’ve failed.