Minnesota is falling behind other states in making sure children have health insurance, according to a coalition of advocacy groups.
The Children's Defense Fund and about 40 other groups say 85,000 Minnesota children do not have health coverage. They say that puts them at a disadvantage in school.
Mary Catherine Ricker is president of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers. She said students without health care miss more days than they should for preventable and easily-treatable problems.
"You have children missing an excess number of days for impetigo, for head lice, you have a child missing five or seven days of school for head lice, I don't get to subtract five or seven questions from their MCA tests," Ricker said.
The groups are backing a measure that would cover every child whose family income is lower than 300 percent of the poverty level.