Better Health, Better Learning Report - July 2017 SCORE Better Health Better Learning Report_July 20 - Page 5
According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Tennessee ranks 35th among states in
overall child well-being. 7 In Tennessee, 16 percent of surveyed parents said their children
are not in “excellent or very good health.” 8 This finding means parents of nearly
240,000 young Tennesseans do not regard their children as in the top categories of
well-being. 9 As an indicator of the extent to which Tennessee students need consistent
health services, in a state with nearly 1 million enrolled during the 2015-16 academic
year, students visited school nurses 3,885,680 recorded times. Students receiving
attention from an on-site nurse are able to return to class approximately 90 percent of
the time, rather than mis s additional time for off-site care. 10 Still, time in a nurse’s office
represents time away from instruction and the classroom learning environment.
Research and experience have shown unhealthy and hungry children face higher
hurdles to achieving academic success; after school-aged years, adults with higher levels
of education tend to live longer, healthier lives. Improving both the overall well-being
and academic achievement of students, therefore, should be a priority of the highest
concern for the future of Tennessee—and all Tennesseans.