WWL>Topics>>7-29-14 2:10pm Angela: on children in poverty

7-29-14 2:10pm Angela: on children in poverty

Jul 29, 2014|

Angela talks with Dr. Anthony Recasner of the New Orleans Agenda for Children and Phyllis Landrieu of the Childhood & Family Learning Foundation about how best to help the state's children in poverty.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Love our trending guys I hope you'll join us again tomorrow it's gonna be every day 1 o'clock. Learn what's going on in news sports and social media. But now we have I think a very important talk topic that we need to discuss. New Orleans and Louisiana are making headway in many areas business growth innovation and increased tourism. But children in the states are not making that much headway. The numbers are appalling in some ways 28% of children in Louisiana live in poverty. Almost 40% of children in New Orleans live in poverty. 48% of Louisiana children live in single parent families. 36%. Of kids live with parents who -- secure employment. These numbers are from annual and Casey foundation. Kids count date book. There are some improvements. But the core issues of poverty and education. Continue to keep our children at the bottom of too many lists. So here to talk about wine and what's being done and what should be done. Is doctor Tony were -- head of the agenda for children. And co-founder of first line schools which opened the city's first charter school and now manages five others. And -- -- co-founder of the early childhood. And family learning foundation. Two outstanding -- -- two experts when it comes to children and I'm so glad you're both here and I mean yet. I just when I read the the Casey report I thought yes there are some some areas we are making headway. But were still. 47. -- And -- the numbers and they don't think that the scent and they don't change but it all seems to be correct me if I'm wrong. Rooted in our poverty. So let's talk about why we can't get out of. I just would like at something to what you're saying. It all seems to be rooted in poverty but it's actually rooted in the lack of education. OK that's -- if you see those stages they go together. On education is the key to success than any in any field but the other people that they're not counting when they camp those poverty figures. By the people who. Don't earn a living wage many of these children's parents work. And they can't earn a living wage and that's why we need public housing public education public health. Public this in public that because now built salaries in this area are so low. And on sooner or later we're going to have to take a stand on. Improving people's incomes so that they can be independent. Doctor -- from this. Excellent point about. The importance of education because what we do know is that. These those with the least amount of education really firm the least amount of money. And that -- on national. The other challenges that we simply have to -- Have a more robust -- some more resources. To -- of -- remember a time when. Your -- to diploma you actually make him but but now with an increasing. Reliance on technology. And machinery that's run by. Relief -- two chips that can do almost anything it makes it more difficult. But that young man or woman to find a job that pays well to be support their family and so. You know the interest we've got to grow -- economy. We've also got to continue to. Really emphasized now you. A degree. It can be socialist degrees or. -- school and we just simply have to get our young men and women. In two career. Pipelines that hey he's pretty -- way -- -- -- and in erupted there because just yesterday sitting in your chair. Was the new. Chancellor -- Delgado men and this is a wonderful woman and she gets it. And Delgado has been on a roll for awhile. But the whole workforce. Development. Arm of this goes back to we have had people from lobby and other business groups. 40000 jobs coming down the pike. 40000 jobs they're very concerned will we have enough people so places like Delgado and others. Are really focusing on the two year degree. Talking to these industry knows what specific things do you mean. Because you can make 5067000. Dollars she was saying yesterday. -- that I think it was not an air conditioning -- young men and on air conditioning broaden his first chance to show learn. And she went while maybe I went into the wrong with -- in other words were on the same page that it is about we traditionally have had. Poor paying jobs. After what doctor casts of sang all of a sudden in the in the new world. That the jobs that used to exist don't but now all these jobs are coming back. How do we here's my question wait long -- How do we get to those kids to say you have a future and so yes you. We will train there's financially. -- Am I can't companies in industries to detain people. Why can't they have nighttime classrooms or you know training and locations where they can train people to be their employees. That is another thing but I mean just and I'm not stick with Delgado. Just because she was right here but -- they have nine campuses death they're going more people -- on -- getting ready to open the one in New Orleans east -- That the one on the on the North Shore is blossoming. In other words the very thing you're saying he used to be able to make a good tennis selling on. High school education now with a little training -- you can make a good sound picky on getting us and our world via. What's fascinating about what you just described is that when you talk to businesses. To looking forward employees when you talked individuals are looking for jobs and wonder. Why don't forget you can -- things get together and I and so. Part of it I think is that distances or looking for. Employees were certain skill sets yes and so word go outcomes it's just simply has to make sure that. It is treating individuals. To really. Require our bills unique skill sets and it but it takes time to develop a particular skill set. That makes you employable. In these industries are now relying more and different types of technologies and so sometimes it's it's it's alignment sometimes it's time. But Delgado I think has been less opportunity. To take advantage of these times. It's just simply going to be a matter but how many folks on the ground in that organization but can connect these two to. You know there was -- -- there was say an article in USA today and the headline is what struck me. It was planned to help or will cut costs. But not poverty. And it just made me think this is the eruption of Paul Ryan time costs a lot. Pardon costs of one. Well -- cut costs it in other words Paul Ryan rest of the Wisconsin has come up with an idea you may have read about. That is going to he's suggesting if we consolidate all of the national programs. That help for people and then give it to the states the states will better now the needs of their people. And and it will save money in the consolidation. But the question is will -- stop. Poverty of course not because all the people that they take the money from. Aren't even going deep war. If they take away all the free housing for instance across the country that -- planning a month. But where -- those people live how they pay for their homes. If they as the as the program goes away it's much better think he's eliminating I think he's just shifting. And I hadn't read it together. But I mean. There'll always be people who need help with that -- always you know people who need help with -- How do we how do we make a dent in poverty that's the question. I mean I think. It. Again that it seems to be a combination. Of education. And opportunity and then also it's a matter of a choice it's a matter of circumstances that there was a question of how much money. Are you do you need to release. I happen living wage meaning that you contain cure your. A family of four. And so it's a it's a question of which city you hear him. What you're lifestyle needs and and demand are what your aspirations are and so. One of those challenges is that it's a sort of a moving target. We don't we we can place a number in terms of below or above the poverty line. But the issue of how much money you need which means the options of it sort of creates an impoverished situation. Yeah it is and it's sort of a moving target and when you have freedom of choice which most people have. They will sometimes make good choices and bad choices. They're they're the objective is to have enough income. So that there regardless of your choices. You don't suffer as a family and your children don't suffering you can still live and in decent housing you can still. You know feed your family with with foods -- healthy nutritious. And so various. We here were element. That is an American citizen it's sort of difficult to dictate to each person what choices they should make. But also given the at the advertisement and -- in -- society we're. The cost of of everything you want seems to increase all the time. -- you make your choices every step of the way that sort of keeps him above. The Ferrari and somehow doesn't. Sort of you know larger electorate quick sale. Stay with us everyone we're gonna continue this discussion with doctor Tony we're -- and Phil Russell Andrew. We're talking on the the latest on report out of and Casey foundation on the kids count study we'll be right back. Well we're talking about the kids count annual study that the and Casey foundation does. Putting in Louisiana at 47. In the nation. Not good news there are some there are some bright lights and hear -- and we are ultimately going to talk about that. But that the things that keep reappearing but the poverty level we've discussed that wine. I also think there's glimmer of hope there with. The opportunity for jobs if we can just as you say doctor that connect the people who -- looking. To those opportunities. One of the other issues that again keeps coming up is. The growing number of single parent households. And that is a precursor often too. Living economically on the edge. If not the launchers. And also even though teen pregnancy is down nationally. Were still there yeah. So my question is sort of wears the conversation we need to have. About the fact that we're obviously not happening if others are improving then maybe somebody's getting a message. Well. I think that a lot of people in Louisiana feel like we are so in need -- that they can't we can't be fixed. They can't do anything about it. And I think this have been us whole social change in the country. Even. Less responsible for your neighbor less responsible for your community. That's responsible for your state I made it they can make it if they can't make his cousin lazier than not trying or they made bad decisions. On I think and as I was growing up I think that there was a much broader general attitude about. Trying to make sure that everybody. Came aboard that they were all lifted and and I think companies operated that way not a big big great expansion of industry. On -- everybody got a job there there was something for everybody do in and you expect did you next door neighbor to go to work everyday and they did. On that's changed on I think on the society in general has now content. How backed off of their concern for the general public in what they're willing to do to help. And and I think that there just to not enough policy makers and leaders that are speaking out about these issues and trying to gather people. Becoming a leader in a certain movement on most of the things that are getting organize his days are getting only an ass from the street. You know organizations of its citizens who have had enough with their streets have had enough with there. Low pay or their -- working in restaurants not getting paid this that these movements are coming from the street the -- coming from the higher raw. -- and that's what we're missing today I think we need more leaders. Well the difficulty with children who live in single parent -- is that what you know which by definition most of those. Those homes are really strapped for resources so there for the choices that mum. Estimate become -- limited depending all these socioeconomic status of the family. He sometimes. What we don't know is as to what extent. You have large numbers of families. Or -- yes yes. And socio economics yours where. As it was over divorce. The families just fine but what we do know is that. There are conditions that. Really increased the chances that the a -- world group. In the option to my husband with her children and that is where you've got high unemployment where you've got high incarceration. And when you've got a high dropout rate. That may have it's just not very attractive to. Women and so. It makes it more difficult. To sustain a family with a number of -- in the home who. Who has the most challenging circumstances. And so that mom -- door alone. While taking advantage of programs that the state and the federal government have to offer life. Food stamps. Assistance to needy families childcare assistance and those. Programs. Have been shrunken. Tremendously as a result of the recession and as a result of -- impacts on state government budgets and so. Were used to get X amount of dollars where you can actually feet two -- three children. You know pretty reasonable way. You'd get very little of those resources now because the whole notion that -- -- work -- -- to become dependent. And yet that's analysts say earlier that the child who worked in a -- city like the role is our state like Louisiana is. The wages missile that even when you work you've become part of the working war. And that's important. And if you do have a job to you lose something. Benefits do that some -- that's the catch 22 death instead of okay. It just her her heartbreak that is -- Because so we're both in the business of trying to change some portion of that issue. In education in particular. So Tony's trying to educate children down to zero victory and on trying to make sure that all the children -- -- schools K through twelve. Are in good health. So they don't drop out because of illness -- I'm losing too many days or. -- other reasons and so we both are working to try to change the current -- things that are going on through education. So you're zero to three helping children and you are. Let's make them healthy enough to stay in striped it right you know -- I remember when you started this program on your foundation known what was the catalyst and what. Moved you to do to her home with the president of the school board at that time and Daryl Gilbert was as superintendent. And not after the storm I went to him is who we had lost their. Entire system. And I said. -- we've we've spent so much we've tried so hard to help children improve in school what's the secret he says mr. -- too early childhood education. He said act children come to school they don't know their last names they don't know where they live some of them don't even live in a famine and move around from place to place. On -- and they just need to have a better education socially. And education and we don't need to just -- in reading and writing. We need to teach them how to communicate how to behave how to conduct themselves how to take care of their own body brush their teeth and wash the face things like that. On so the next day. My life became dedicated. To educating children. And now we established that on. -- -- and early chocolate center. And we had a very talented administrator common open to force -- -- concept was to educate the hotel out. Not just educate the child's mind but to make sure that they were in top physical condition if possible to learn. Because you know you can only miss nineteen I used the -- nineteen I think it's even less than -- days of school in order to pass to the next grade. When you can imagine a child who might have asthma. For. And then once they stay back. That they've become not. There's a trend that the Dallas where this -- back and they continue to be absent in the next great. Chris you know there fourteen -- fifteen years -- in the eighth grade trying to graduate and get that diploma. That's just not working. So we feel like if we can make sure that all the children -- schools are in good health. And also have great teachers now that that's been worked on all the teachers have really been upgraded and the schools have been upgraded. More resources more attention early childhood education and Tony's got a whole bunch of schools in the state that we didn't have two years ago. So on that's moving in the right direction that we can just get our program adopted. I want nationwide because of the US is 31 in the in the world and in health. Were also 31 in the world in education. Now for the richest and most powerful country in the world and and -- absolute crime yes but they consider that connection there and and Louisiana's in the same situation. With second the last in the country and -- and second analysts in the country in education. They obviously go together and years ago they did go together there was public health. And before you went to school you had to have you -- the certificate you have had to be in good. Health and if you've got a contagious disease you had to go home. And calm you know things like that -- and that's gone these two systems are separated now they don't. On their feet in fact Louisiana. Cut the teacher cut the schools reimbursements and they had to -- most of their nurses this school nurses. Or else pay for them out of the education funding MF -- So which under restore all of that missed trying to restore the concept. That on that children have to be in good health in order to Lennar. Stay with us everyone this is a very important conversation we'll be right back after the news. We are talking with the doctor Tony -- and -- slander about this. Recent reports about sort of the state were in when it comes to children. And the picture really isn't pretty. We do have some sort of shining lights and we are gonna get to those but let's go ahead and take our caller Lucy thank you for calling. Hi. You know. I used to really. Loved what was going on in the decade. We were making progress. By. -- -- -- -- Her her cute -- not a educate that child to three years old it's about -- -- parents accountable don't give them for. What -- -- working -- People have an entitlement issues now and it's ridiculous that all the young people who'll. He made her think basic. Be able. To work and I want to get out and get -- That learn in that social. And our government has not helping becomes. -- country this year. Would you basis statistics only because I don't know and never. Get that. I'm never I don't know anybody like that the people I know what we are actually able to earn a living in and paid an amendment. You know -- used to be when people had been public housing they -- The people who live in public housing -- days. No problem don't work yeah. I know most of them. -- tested. And we shouldn't projects. It would be you. Lucy I appreciate column I appreciate your comments and and you obviously feel the way you field. But those are very general very general comments and if you have facts and figures and say you know. In all the public housing 8% to 2% and that's something otherwise it's just. Again I appreciate your opinion and we we -- called an open mind because we are but thank you again for calling I wanted to. And that is a problem in our society we do have a very negative image of poor people. And and I think that's something that needs to change and we should by radio and television commercials and things -- on us and people really knew the challenges. Of someone who can't earn a living it doesn't earn a living works full time but doesn't earn a living. On you know I think that they would be more sympathetic. And I don't it's denied that there are people who said Iran on the street though. And and do that of course they do they always have. But I don't think that's the general problem I frankly I personally don't think as the general prop. From what I'm reading in this it goes back to. Poverty but it's something you touched on Phyllis in what your program is it's the life skills the more that need to be taught as well. And if it's not coming from the home this should then it's gonna have to come from the schools. You know when I first became aware of this on my only dedicated my hair he's Jackson's. Early childhood center I invited a classroom a little children calm saying fourth us we were waiting for the meeting. And so on it's still getting organized and I went and I was sitting on the steps and I went and sat on the steps with the mindset let's sing some songs while we wait. That's saying ABC. Now must low grandchildren at two starts singing ABC. And so they started singing maybe. At the twenty kids in May be five you know -- this -- leading singers who knew the song I was shocked at how many kids. Couldn't sing that song and I think that's the basic element of an education for young children. And I thought. -- I can see what would -- superintendent was saying that these children need a lot more education and they're getting in and they need to but but able to need to. Let's start in the home and I think everybody agrees with that sense and some homes more difficult than others Scalia but it does start in the home even before they go to schools -- -- forecaster. Your commitment is to the zero to three and so what is going on that can improve all of this. Well you know what they're researchers is telling us is that the earlier you start with giving kittens and we've really. Strong storm. The benefits of that wildlife flow and so my great discovery. Spent many years in K12 education. Parsley. Helping to support. The charms to her apartment in the city but my great discovery. Is that the willingness. And the enthusiasm. A -- To really help her it's to ensure that there -- get a good start and the the dedication. Just the thousands of -- which are professionals in the community. Who are somewhat invisible to do this. Very important job of really making house -- -- because in the options. Of Obama staying at home. Or children be able to attend. An early childhood program. Reverend the city would pretty much shut out and and so it's it's a significant profession. That makes a huge difference. On the quality of life and on the functioning of the city. And so I believe that the citizens we have to make it bigger investment. In ensuring that every -- Particularly children from low income families. Get off to a good start. The states a couple years ago the legislature passed between twelve. The early childhood education. And this is really the first order to tune in Louisiana. To really -- and the the spotlight on the me. To ensure that every kid gets off to a good start. It's difficult. As the caller demonstrated. Q who you know we -- at a time where we're not a sympathetic as we used to be about the plight of rebels. It is difficult for most people to cast that -- blame -- children. And so I think that while we debate about whether government should or shouldn't relief for continue to provide a safety net. I think that we all agree that. Children really deserve regardless of -- Family circumstances -- -- markets start and so we have this magical sector early -- -- That really is in need of support. The state now sees -- Department of Education. The legislature sees it. It is not a well funded. Sector and so as everything more resources will be -- But what. The economists are demonstrating is that for every dollar. That we spend on early childhood there's a seven dollar retire return on investment and that's a huge return enormous that's. Key word. Investment. -- not war money with throwing in the street or spending for fun -- to people to have -- this is an investment. And that's why it's important. Stay with -- everyone will be right back. We're back with Phyllis Landrieu and doctor Tony were cancer. Talking about we're talking about a lot of things but what comes to mind after this report from and Casey foundation. Is that we still have a lot of work to -- millions and and if it is about kids -- and it's what both the viewer saying. -- regardless of what parents are going through and we have a responsibility to children absolutely and if there are answers. Of this early childhood development and then we need to we need to focus on investment. Investment right. And so you are hopeful. We are hopeful we're moving in the right direction let's put it that way but it's slow. Very slow and we need to speeded up and we need to get more people involved and believing that it -- a good investment and supporting. What kind of reaction have you had since you started your foundation. Positive. Hump you know we first started talking about early -- education seven or eight years ago and immediately caught off I mean even in my program I can't talk to anybody about this program at that I said that's a good idea it's needed in let's do. I mean people at every level. The citizens as well as elected officials and whenever. On people bill with the problems aren't they recognize that they just don't know how to get involved how to solve it. And on and and that's what we need more of more people. Being involved and you can get -- involved in my program and you get involved in Tony's program. On our web site as children are awaiting dot org. Children are waiting odd sport he can make a contribution -- just fund that would their services arm what I. Program has and then -- -- up thank you -- to -- neighbor you know. We have so many children in this state that need an education and if we ever going to be anything that last in this country. Let's get together and make sure these children get an education what can we -- That's you know that's what's -- And in your focus now is you know first to twelfth. Just making sure the kids are healthy enough to get through school yes in the -- serve a number of daycare centers we have two -- they kansans we. The service to a mature and fourteen schools death and you literally go in with a band of of -- -- and even an -- and where they will check for I's in ten years in -- -- opposite you were saying about the number of kids who couldn't see. We when we first began testing schools we found out that 28% of the children in this certain school couldn't read. Couldn't say. On had vision problems 17% had hearing problems they could hear the teacher in fact we have a story that we tell about fourteen year old boy. In in one of our schools recently this year that this happened. And on he he already had an ankle bracelet he was about to get kicked down he'd really begun to have social problems in school and disrupt the classroom. And they called us in an excessive for advice. And the first thing Connie did was giving them physically in the imminent and that that he had been death from birth. Death from birth. Now when I heard this -- started crying because I was thinking of this port town of what a struggle. He has had four although as you -- they did you we -- people's lips to read -- -- body language he studied obviously this -- And he got by but he didn't succeed and is about to get kicked out. Once they operated on his ears and and fix this hearing problem he passed two greats in the next year. And graduated and he's in high school and. It's not hard to know her -- hardest if that's. What your understand rises we've got to get the kids healthy enough right to learn right and then if what Tony is saying is. If you have to at a very young age grant these children. It's it's you know it's just we know there -- early exit or restore. And good nutrition and held her hand and had relationships. That are caring and nurturing the -- foundation just pays off. Any sort keeps us from these other challenges that we see. I think what's the Casey foundation has demonstrated. An -- so. The report really is Louisiana. In the country's best for. That's when we make big investments but can choate oh -- analysts and and when we decide that we wanna make a difference we are -- great country we are rich -- country. That we can really make a difference but when we argue about our right -- wrong. And then we're fighting the adult fight and that children inevitably about helpless they're really struggling through and so what the Casey report shows this year after year -- that. When we make it about the children. We improve their world be when we make it about each other and we were looking to find fault. We we we -- -- -- and it happens to us as a country have sources of state and so. You're just not enough the most news in the city has to do to the workplace have diluted unit for years we have politicians about or just. Bickering with these two over in the works its. And you you know what is really tragic and -- we should. Post these on billboards all around the community. The statistics of children in prison. Who. Failed from school drop out of school the number of dropped out and the number of single. Children single mothers. Those statistics are like in the eighties and 90%. Of the children in prison. Have had that adults in prison who as children the move boats and they're teenagers and Pringle also adult prisons in Iraq you remind me of that. Prison population. Has the experience of being on children of single mothers or college dropouts from. In a lot Morgan has continued to talk about this it's -- -- -- the way. -- because I think if people really stop and think exactly what you're Sen if you focus on the kids we can solve this open your hearts people. You're only going to help yourself. You're going to make a whole lot of people happy and have a happy life thank you both for joining us thank you for joining us stay with this so we'll be right back. Can't thank you enough for staying with this it is about kids let's really think about that but stay with us. Our next -- very interesting we're going to the west bank and we're gonna talk to people from Al jeers and from tall timbers about the issues they face.