A new report from the Data Center shows New Orleans’ rate of child poverty is still just as high as it was at the time of Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures, almost ten years ago. Senior Researcher Dr. Vicki Mack tells us about how New Orleans ranks nationally in child poverty, and some of the far-reaching consequences.

Mack notes that about 39 percent of children in New Orleans live in poverty. That puts New Orleans about ninth nationally, next to cities likes Cleveland and Toledo, even though the metro area's overall economy is better than those cities.

Bindaas Madhavi / Flickr

Tulane University’s Cowen Institute released a report Wednesday about poverty and educational outcomes in New Orleans, with some unexpected results.

Eighty-four percent of students in New Orleans are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, an indicator of poverty. And that number has grown by 9 percent since Katrina.

And yet, the average school performance score in New Orleans rose 41 percent during that same period.

It's been almost 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a "War on Poverty." But today, the poverty rate in the U.S. is the highest it's been in 17 years, affecting some 46 million people.

The economy is partly to blame, but even in good times, millions of Americans are poor.

That's been a longtime concern for Maurice Lim Miller. He ran social service programs in the San Francisco Bay Area for 20 years. Then one day, the painful truth hit.

"The very first kids I had trained back in the early '80s, I saw their kids now showing up in my programs," he says.