The 25th annual Kern County Network for Children Report Card has been issued.The study shows good progress in making the lives of local kids better. Researchers find teen pregnancies are at an all time low and graduation rates are higher than the state average. Dropouts are at record lows and 97-percent of children in our county have healthcare coverage. Even the stubborn problem of childhood poverty saw a slight decline, however, kids five-years-old and younger living in poverty jumped from 34 to 37-percent. As of last year, more than 81,000 kids lived in poverty in Kern County, enough to fill Bakersfield College Memorial Stadium four times over.

Sean Michael Lisle