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Local News

December 7, 2012

Southeast Iowa counties show increases in math and reading proficiency, high school graduation rates and reduced teen births

CENTERVILLE — Women, infants and teens in Appanoose County and neighboring counties in southeast Iowa have been vulnerable in several categories for at least the past decade, according to a report released in November.

The report, released in November by the Child and Family Policy Center, "Iowa Kids Count 2011: Trends in the Well-Being of Iowa Children," details what children and families in Iowa have been dealing with since 2000.

For the most part, writes Michael Crawford, Iowa Kids Count director, the economic situation for Iowa families hasn't shown improvement for several years. For the entire state, food stamp use almost tripled from year 2000 to 2011, the unemployment rate more than doubled, the child poverty rate and percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches increased substantially during the same years, Crawford writes in a press release that accompanies the report.

However, southeast Iowa counties, including Appanoose, showed improvements in several categories like eighth grade math and fourth grade reading proficiency, high school graduation rates and lower teen births.

And then the five southeast Iowa counties in this story have mixed results in some of the categories.

For instance, when it comes to youth enrolled in preschool, Monroe County showed a decline while the other four showed an increase. In the category of child abuse and neglect, Davis and Wayne counties showed a decline while the other three showed an increase. In the category of children receiving WIC, Lucas County showed an increase while the other four showed a decrease.

Here's what the report's raw data has to say about children in Appanoose, Wayne, Lucas, Davis and Monroe counties.

• Child abuse and neglect per 1,000 children, age 0-17 between years 2000-2011:

Appanoose County went from 19.7 percent to 27 percent, for a positive 37.1 percent change.

Wayne County went from 16.2 percent to 14.7 percent for a negative 9.4 percent change.

Lucas County went from 11.7 percent to 17.9 percent for a positive 53.2 percent change.

Davis County went from 15.5 percent to 12.9 percent for a negative 16.7 percent change.

Monroe County went from 12.3 percent to 23.4 percent for a positive 90 percent change.

• Child poverty, children who live below the poverty level, age 0-17, between years 2000-2010:

Appanoose County went from 18.4 percent to 24.2 percent, for a 31.6 percent change.

Wayne County went from 19.6 percent to 26.5 percent, for a 35.2 percent change.

Lucas County  went from 16.5 percent to 25.4 percent, for a 53.9 percent change.

Davis County went from 20 percent to 27.8 percent, for a 39 percent change.

Monroe County went from 14 percent to 18.5 percent, for a 32.2 percent change.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

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