RALEIGH, NC (March 21, 2016) – A new report released today by the Public School Forum of North Carolina’s Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) highlights large areas of North Carolina where young people are at risk of not succeeding. The report was released today at the Center for Afterschool Programs 13th annual Synergy Conference in Raleigh.
The report, first published by the Public School Forum of North Carolina and NC CAP in 2010, uses data on health, youth behavior and safety, education, and economic development to assess the relative well-being of young people living in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties.
According to the report, the five top counties where young people have the greatest likelihood for success are Union, Orange, Wake, Cabarrus and Camden. The bottom five where young people are most at risk are Vance, Northampton, Anson, Halifax and Robeson. The makeup of the top 5 is unchanged from last year, while Vance replaced Edgecombe in the bottom 5 this year.
“Our latest report shows that North Carolina continues to be a state where the opportunity for young people to succeed can look dramatically different depending on where you grow up,” said Keith Poston, President and Executive Director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. “On one hand there are areas that are attracting jobs and industry and provide a quality educational experience both in and out of school. But there are still far too many areas in a state of economic decline, often with struggling schools and few out of school opportunities.”
At first glance, the Roadmap points to counties in eastern North Carolina as those most at risk. However, the nature of county-wide indicators often masks the variation occurring within counties, particularly our most populous urban counties where neighborhoods that alone would fare well on the Roadmap indicators exist in close proximity to neighborhoods with many young people in need.
Over the past three years, the Roadmap has been a key resource for afterschool providers and other education organizations in communicating with policymakers, funders, and citizens about the importance of their services, and to target areas for increased investment. School administrators, central office staff, nonprofits, community leaders, and parent advocates also use the Roadmap to demonstrate to others the needs faced by their community. Public education advocates have brought Roadmap data to the attention of school board members, county commissioners, and members of the General Assembly in order to inform their efforts to create state and local policies that address significant community needs.
The Roadmap of Need was made possible by a generous grant from GSK.