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New Report Snapshots Idaho's Health, Education And Financial Stability

Mary Esch
AP Photo

A new statewide Community Assessment has some dramatic findings, especially for Idaho kids.

The United Way of Treasure Valley released their latest Community Assessment Thursday. Conducted every three years, the research is a snapshot of local issues, from health to education to financial stability.

In the health category, the report found that 20 percent of high school students in Idaho have seriously considered suicide. More than half of high school seniors in Idaho have used e-cigarettes. And the number of kids needing a free lunch across three Treasure Valley counties went up, from a 2008 number of 34,000 to 50,000 in 2015.

Other key findings: more than 25 percent of children in Canyon County live below the Federal Poverty Level. The percentage of Idaho kids entering kindergarten ready to read? Just over 50 percent. And more than 3,500 kids in the Treasure Valley were homeless sometime in 2015. That’s more than doubled in the last decade, from 1,000 kids back in 2006.

The United Way used data from state and federal sources to collect the numbers, along with interviews, focus groups and surveys.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio

As Senior Producer of our live daily talk show Idaho Matters, I’m able to indulge my love of storytelling and share all kinds of information (I was probably a Town Crier in a past life!). My career has allowed me to learn something new everyday and to share that knowledge with all my friends on the radio.