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?
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.