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Report: Services for N.H. Kids 'Tremendously Variable'

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Flickr/Meriwether Lewis Elementary School
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A new study from New Hampshire’s Endowment for Health says despite the state’s high rankings in child well-being, some families aren’t getting enough services.

The study, conducted by the RAND corporation, focused on the cities of Claremont, Manchester, and Nashua, and Coös County.

It praised efforts there to offer preschool and coordinate nurse and social worker home visits, but it says only a tenth of families that would benefit from homes visits are getting them.

And it says that in the poorest quarter of New Hampshire school districts, only half of students reach academic proficiency, and nearly a third don't graduate from high school.

The study's author, Dr. Lynn Karoly, says programs in these regions are spread too thin.

“If you rely simply on the federal funding streams, you can't get to all the families and children,” she says.

Karoly cites studies that show families and individuals who participate in these programs contribute more in taxes, are more likely to avoid jail, and graduate at higher rates.

Based on this, Karoly estimates every dollar New Hampshire spent on childhood investment could save it around $4 in the long run.

 

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.

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