By Antwan Harris
Eyewitness News

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Michael Pitman said the latest numbers from Kids Count Program is a reflection of what many low income families have been accustomed to for years.

The study shows Tennessee's child poverty numbers are among the highest in the nation.

He said personally, child care costs increased and paying for two kids to go to school can be a hardship.

He reached out to the Signal Center where his daughter's Pre-K classes are now free.

That allows him extra income to support his family.

"It help a lot for the simple fact, I have another son in daycare and it is expensive, so we were paying for daycare and preschool."

The Signal Center Director, Donna McConnico says she has worked with plenty of low income families that make it day-by-day.

The study says the average household income in Chattanooga is about $14,000 less than what is actually needed to survive.

McConnico said, "There are a lot of people that exceed the poverty line, but still live in poverty. Those numbers don't represent what it takes to exist."

Traci Sloan says better government programs and improved education can many times, stop history from repeating itself.

"For many families, they become products of their environments and for parents, it is vicious cycle."


By Rich Sobolewski
Eyewitness News

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – Tennessee and Georgia's children are still among the most at-risk according to the new Kids Count survey.

The survey examines indicators such as education, health, and poverty of children under the age of 18 in all fifty states.

According to the recently released survey, Tennessee ranks 41st and Georgia ranks 42nd out of the 50 states.

New Hampshire ranks number one overall, while Mississippi is ranked 50th.

Among the critical reductions the survey for suggests targeting in Tennessee:

Low Birth Weight Babies (TN ranks 44/50)

Infant Mortality (TN ranks 47/50)

Child Death Rates (TN ranks 34/50)

Teen Deaths from All Causes (TN ranks 44/50)

Teen Birth Rate (TN ranks 42/50)

Children living with parents who don't have a full time job (TN ranks 41/50)

Teens who are High School Dropouts (TN ranks 23/50)

Children in Single Parent Families (TN ranks 43/50)

Teens Not Attending School and Not Working (TN ranks 31/50)