Report: SC Children Not Proficient in Math, Reading

State Remains in Bottom 10 Percent for Child Well-Being

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By Monique Williams

Columbia, S.C. (CCSC/WOLO) -- Close to 70 percent of South Carolina's children are not proficient in reading and/or math by grade-level milestones, which means the state remains in the bottom
10 percent for child well-being.

The annual KIDS COUNT Data Book shows South Carolina remains 45th in the nation in child well-being. While South Carolina children are showing progress in some areas, the progress is not significant enough for South Carolina's children to move out of the bottom 10 percent of the country.

"Most alarming are the education and poverty measures," said Children's Trust Chief Executive Officer Sue Williams. "With education, families can lift themselves out of poverty and greatly reduce the stressors that can lead to child abuse and neglect."

Williams adds, "Education is critically important for future success and family stability. Too many of South Carolina's children are missing important educational milestones. The data is painting a very alarming picture for South Carolina's future."

South Carolina's children struggle in education and economic well-being. For example:
57 percent are not attending preschool.
72 percent of fourth graders are not proficient in reading.
69 percent of eighth graders are not proficient in math.
27 percent of children live in poverty.
For children of color, the numbers are even more disparate. Only 13 percent of African-American children are reading proficiently by fourth grade and have math proficiency by eighth grade.

"If South Carolina is to thrive in a global marketplace, we must pay attention to these warning signs and work to change these statistics," added Williams.

Produced since 1990, this is the 25th edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT Data Book. South Carolina has not achieved a ranking higher than 42 since the beginning of the KIDS COUNT project.

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