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Report card on state of Kern children released

Highlights poverty, education and safety
Posted at 2:07 PM, Jul 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-12 17:08:53-04

A report card examining the state of Kern County children was released on Tuesday.

The report is used to "gauge how well we, as a county, are taking care of our children," according to the Kern County Network for Children, who put the report together.

The report says that although children made up 29% of Kern's 2014 population, they accounted for 40% of Kern residents in poverty. These numbers are expected to get worse as unemployment from plunging oil prices will likely expose more children in poor conditions.

Some other interesting facts and figures released in the report:

  • In 2015, Kern County boasted the 3rd largest child population percentage among California counties.
  • Kern County's 2014 median family income was 30% less than the state and 26% less than the nation.
  • Every third child in Kern County was poor in 2014.
  • Kern's K-12 public school enrollment hit an all-time high with nearly 180,300 students enrolled during the 2014-15 school year.
  • Kern's public high school graduation rate increased in 2015, while the dropout rate declined and reached a record low.
  • After five straight years of decline, Kern County's teen birth rate was the highest in the state in 2013.
  • From 2012-2014, the rate of syphilis cases in Kern County increased by 340% and is the highest in the state.
  • Kern's chlamydia infection rate among teen females was 55% higher than the state rate in 2014.
  • Although declining at a steady rate, Kern County's rates of domestic calls for assistance and juvenile felony arrests remain higher than California's overall rates.
  • In 2015, 18, 409 children were reported to Child Protective Services with child abuse and neglect allegations.

You can access the full report card here.