Few matters interest me more than the distress of Louisiana’s children. Consider this graphic to understand the context:

30-year history of Louisiana child well-being

Clearly, for too many decades, Louisiana’s children has lagged the nation. I believe Louisiana’s present condition and the future before us are the direct consequence of poorly meeting the needs of our children in the past.

Child Poverty Grows

While we do some things well – no state has more festivals than Louisiana – a history of personal poverty has held sway over progress for Louisiana’s children. In both rural and metropolitan areas, Louisiana has some of the most impoverished communities in the nation.

The stark irony about Louisiana’s poverty rates for children and adults is this: Louisiana is not a poor state! While we rank 49th for child well-being, Louisiana is No. 1 in port tonnage, No. 2 in crude oil refining, No. 3 in chemical production, and No. 4 in natural gas production.

While the percentage of children living in poverty decreased by 3% in the US during this past decade, Louisiana children have not benefited. Child poverty in Louisiana increased by 2%.