From the Minneapolis Star Tribune, writer Warren Wolfe fills us in.
Rising child poverty means that more Minnesota children are suffering physical and emotional "toxic stress" that, for some, will result in irreversible delays in brain development, according to a new report that tracks 14 indicators of child well-being over the last decade.
Even in the best years, more than 100,000 Minnesota children live poverty. But the past few years have not been good for children, according to the 2009 Kids Count report by the Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota.
About 140,000 Minnesota children were in poverty last year - up from 106,000 in 2001 - and the current recession may have pushed that number as high as 180,000, said Kara Arzamendia, the report's main author and the agency's research director.
"Kids are resilient, and the wonder is that some overcome the effects of poverty," said Jim Koppel, president of the nonprofit agency. "But there's a lot of research that shows a lasting impact of poverty on many children. That hurts the children and it hurts society with more crime, fewer trained workers and a range of social problems."
In its annual Kids Count report, the Children's Defense Fund examines a range of demographic, education, health, income and other government-collected data.
The report expands on a state-by-state analysis by the Annie E. Casey Foundation released in August that found Minnesota second-best among the states.