Children of immigrant families fare worse in Arkansas than those in most other states, according to a report released Tuesday.
The “Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children” report says 69 percent of Arkansas’s children who are either immigrants themselves or have at least one parent born outside of the country are growing up in low-income families. Rich Huddleston, Executive Director of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families said he hopes this data will inspire policy changes.
“Doing things like investing to improve access to high-quality pre-k programs, like the Arkansas Better Chance program. We need to do a better job of, quite frankly, starting to fund the Positive Youth Development Act, which has never been funded, which would invest in quality after school and summer programs in Arkansas,” Huddleston said.
Huddleston believes the report, developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, could help improve educational and financial opportunities for both children of immigrants and all children in Arkansas because it could bolster support for policies already being advocated by many of the state’s business leaders.
According to the report, there are nearly 80,000 immigrant children in Arkansas.