Above is what is known in the journalism biz as a "standing headline," as in we could file it away for a year and then pull it back up with nary a change.
What is it about Arizona and children?
Doesn't seem to matter who's in charge -- Republicans (personified by the creepy-crawler in the photo, State Senator Russell Pearce) or Democrats (personified by God knows whom) -- things just don't change.
Our state, according to the annual "KidsCount" survey by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, again is near the bottom nationwide in how we deal with our children's well-being.
For the record, we rank 39th of the 50 states, overall, and are even lower in certain areas, such as the teen birth rate (61 per every 1,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19), where we are 45th.
In a perfect example of a glass being half-filled, the percentage of teenagers who aren't in school and haven't graduated from high school did drop from 18 percent in 2009 to 9 percent last year.
Sounds pretty good, until you see that we rank 44th in the nation in that category.
We also noted that 21 percent of Arizona's children -- 21 percent, for God's sake! -- now live in poverty, compared to 18 percent in the United States, overall.
Though we all live in a political environment where nothing seems to matter except getting the Mexicans out of Dodge, i.e. Arizona, these kinds of painful numbers about our kids ought to be as troubling to this state's citizens as SB 1070.
It is clear that the Arizona Legislature, an embarrassment of gargantuan proportions, could give a hoot about the welfare of our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.
As for Governor Jan Brewer -- ditto.
So, residents of Arizona, just take note that your kids are dying, getting knocked up, and living in poverty here more than in most other states in this great nation.
For the record, this is not a good thing.
And also for the record, don't blame the "illegals," okay?
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