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California Children and Economy Would Benefit If Proven Policies Were Implemented

Jan 17, 2006

SACRAMENTO, CA—A new report outlines how California can improve the status of its children and overall economic prosperity by implementing public policies proven effective in other states. The report, Policy Matters, issued by the Center for the Study of Social Policy, offers a state-by-state analysis of effective policies in the areas of employment, education and health care, and recommends specific policies for California to consider. Children Now, a nonpartisan research and advocacy organization focused on children’s well-being, is distributing the report in California.

“The report shows that when children do well, they grow into contributing members of society, and states do well, in turn,” said Ted Lempert, Children Now president. “It strongly supports our position that investing wisely in children’s health and education today is less expensive than paying for the future strains on public systems caused by not fixing the problems now.”

According to the report, California has the opportunity to better ensure the well-being of its children and economy by implementing a mix of proven policies, such as:

  • Providing health insurance for all children, funded by raising the state’s tobacco tax, which currently ranks well below the national average;
  • Expanding access to quality preschool programs for all four-year-olds, which would produce economic benefits that far exceed the state’s initial investment;
  • Improving K-12 teacher quality by establishing tougher competency testing requirements for teachers; currently, California is one of ten states with the lowest standards for assessing the quality of its teachers;
  • Reinstating mandatory physical education requirements in K-12 public schools to help prevent obesity.

“Every governor and state legislator wants to increase their state’s economic prosperity and help families do well by their children,” said Frank Farrow, Center for the Study of Social Policy director. “Policy Matters is designed to help them accomplish these goals. It provides information about state policies that work and make a difference. We believe the policies highlighted in this report are not only cost-effective, but in the long run, they can save states money.”

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