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California Ranks 41st Nationally in Children’s Well-Being, Shows No Improvement versus Year Ago

Oakland, CA—For the second consecutive year, California ranks 41st out of the 50 states in children’s overall well-being, according to The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2013 KIDS COUNT® Data Book, released today in partnership with Children Now. The Data Book ranks each state and the District of Columbia on 16 key indicators of how children are faring across the four fundamental domains of Economic Well-Being, Education, Health, and Family and Community.

California’s Rankings in:
Children’s Overall Well-Being -  41
Economic Well-Being - 46
Education - 39
Health - 29
Family and Community - 42

“The KIDS COUNT Data Book shows California’s leaders aren’t giving enough attention to the fundamental issues undermining our children’s – and our state’s – success,” said Ted Lempert, president of Children Now. “It’s a mis-prioritization problem. While our state ranks 11th nationally in per capita state and local tax revenues, we are well below the national average in per capita spending on education but 2nd in per capita spending on corrections/prisons.”

In response to the state’s chronic underinvestment of attention and resources in children, over 600 Pro-Kid organizations have joined The Children’s Movement of California to collectively push for the changes kids in the state clearly need, but that aren’t happening. The Movement’s members are an uncommonly diverse mix of businesses, non-profits, faith- and community-based organizations, parent groups, direct service providers and thousands of individuals that have come together under the banner of doing what’s best for children. Spearheaded by Children Now, the Movement provides the infrastructure needed to coordinate and empower the tremendously broad-based support that exists for children across California’s ideological spectrum. It is the first organized constituency for kids of its kind in the state.

“Why kids aren’t getting the level of attention they need and deserve is largely a function of their lack of power and influence relative to other interest groups,” said Lempert. “The Children’s Movement is changing that dynamic by translating the remarkably high but historically unorganized public support for kids into a force that can effectively demand and produce better policymaking and better outcomes for kids.”

Read the 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book

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