Montana received the worst rankings in its five-state region in key child health and well-being indicators, the Annie E. Casey Foundation reported in the 2011 Kids Count Data Book released Wednesday. In contrast, North Dakota ranked 10th, South Dakota 21st, Idaho 22nd and Wyoming 28th. "It's not the best news," state Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau said. Since taking office in 2009, Juneau has launched a statewide effort called Graduation Matters aimed at reducing the dropout rate. Legislators this year rejected her proposal to require students to remain in school until they are 18 years old or graduate from high school. Students now can drop out at age 16.Note that the states at the bottom have the highest numbers of minority children.
Annie E. Casey Foundation: red states failing their children
Nobody should be surprised by this piece in the Missoulian: