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New Study Finds Suburban Poverty Climbing In North Texas, Affecting Children's Health


Five stories that have North Texas talking: suburban poverty on the rise, Fort Worth’s police chief will step down, a new storytelling project will follow first-generation Texans, and more.

While North Texas suburbs have seen a growth of 48 percent between 2000 and 2012, a new study has found that suburban poverty is also rising. The Dallas Morning News reports the poverty rate among children in Collin, Denton, Cooke, Grayson and Fannin counties was up 111 percent between 2000 and 2012.

The findings are from a study by Children’s Health System of Texas and the Institute for Urban Policy Research at UT Dallas. The study, called “Beyond ABC: Assessing Children’s Health in the North Texas Corridor,” also looked at the percentage of children in those counties who had health insurance, those who graduated high school, attended pre-K programs and more. Here are some other key findings:

The percentage of children without health insurance declined slightly, but the number of kids renewing coverage is also down. More students are graduating high school, but only half of graduates from Fannin and Cooke counties and two-thirds to three-quarters from Collin, Denton and Grayson are considered “college ready.” Third grade reading levels have dropped, despite most kids being enrolled in pre-K programs.

  • While cities across the country will celebrate Veterans Day with parades and ceremonies, KERA and other public media stations will also mark the day with stories focusing on the lives of military veterans. The national Veterans Coming Home public media effort will feature programming ranging from the memories of war to the transition to civilian life. Here’s a schedule of special programming that will air on KERA Radio and KERA TV. And of course, don’t miss your local Veterans Day celebration: the 2014 Dallas Veterans Day Parade will feature alumni from the Wounded Warrior Project riding in vintage cars.

  • Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead will step down from his job in January. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Halstead will make the announcement today at a pre-council meeting. The police chief has dealt with his fair share of controversy during his tenure, most recently, complaints filed against the department citing racial discrimination within its ranks.  

  • NPR’s David Greene sat down to talk with former President George W. Bush ahead of the release of his book, 41: A Portrait of My Father. The younger Bush told Greene he decided to write a biography of his father based on a comment from a family friend. He also shared moments in which he disappointed his father, and vice versa. NPR will air several parts of the interview in the coming days.  

  • KERA has launched a storytelling project that follows first-generation Texans. One in three Texas kids is either an immigrant or the child of immigrants. Over the next few weeks, KERA will explore the challenges these kids face in a series called Generation One. In the first chapter, you’ll meet David Kapuku, who enrolled in a Dallas school just two weeks after arriving from Africa.