Report Says Nevada Child Welfare Lagging

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The general welfare of the state's children has improved in the past decade, although Nevada teen-agers remain more likely than the average teen to give birth and drop out of high school.

That's according to a new national survey being released Wednesday.

The annual Kids Count report shows Nevada had the second-highest high school dropout percentage in the nation in 2000, with 14-percent.

State officials disagree with the dropout statistics, saying they don't match those gathered from Nevada schools. The state's figures show a dropout rate of five percent in 2001.

Nevada has also seen a number of improvements, reducing child death, child poverty and infant mortality rates.

Nevada reports one of its largest drops in the rate of violent teen deaths, but the state's rate is still higher than the national average.

On the Net: Kids Count 2003,

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)