NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - A new report says Massachusetts ranks third in the nation for child wellbeing.
Massachusetts 8th-graders have a higher proficiency in math than in any other state. Massachusetts' teen pregnancy rate has dropped along with teen drug use. The Annie Casey Foundation's 2013 Kids Count data also found more teenagers are graduating high school on time and fewer children are living in poverty.
While these are all very positive, one top education leader says there are still too many young kids not getting the support they need. Date revealed a gap in the state's 4th graders, almost half are not reading proficiently.
"Young people who come into first grade and cannot read or are way below the reading level aren't getting the interventions that they need so they can succeed by the time they go into the 4th grade," said Joan Schuman, Executive Director of Collaborative for Educational Services .
Schuman says major cuts in food stamps and Headstart services in the next year will impact these figures.
According to the White House, sequester cuts will eliminate Headstart services for more than 1,000 children in Massachusetts.