With all of Louisiana’s attention drawn toward our Legislature’s work to resolve this year’s budget crisis, you may have missed some very good news about two significant advances Louisiana has made regarding child well-being.

The first good news: Louisiana’s high school graduation rate has reached a record high of 75%. Louisiana’s Department of Education provides the information at “High School Graduation Rate Vaults to All-Time High

Continuing to improve Louisiana’s high school graduation rate is important because people with a high school diploma usually have higher earning potential than those without. Also, the better educated a community’s citizens are, the more likely the community will experience productivity and economic growth.

The second piece of good news: Louisiana’s teen birth rate has declined to 37.5 per 1,000 teens aged 15 to 19 years. Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals reports the details in “DHH Secretary Celebrates Declines in Teen Birth Rates“.

Researchers have found the age of a girl’s mother at the time the girl was born may be just as accurate as her family’s income level in predicting the girl’s prospects for success. Children whose mothers are 25 or older have the best outcomes of all. Continuing to reduce teen birth rates in Louisiana means good things for this generation and the next!

Rick Wheat
President and Chief Executive Officer
Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services

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