Texas' economic situation may look relatively strong at first glance, but even the most cursory glance under the hood should give citizens and policymakers a lot to worry about, contends Baker Institute Rice scholar Rachel Kimbro.

In an op-ed for the Houston Chronicle, Kimbro notes that more than one-quarter of the children in a Texas public school classroom live under the federal poverty line -- about $22,000 per year for a family of four in 2011. She also discusses looming budget cuts in education.

"As your child or grandchild starts school today, ask yourself if you want them growing up in a state that ranks dead last on so many indicators of child well-being," she writes. "Where are our priorities, Texas?"