CIRS Blog about Rural California

By Daniel Weintraub

Nearly one in every four California kids lives in poverty – a familiar but still-stunning statistic in a land as plentiful as ours.

You would think this would be the top focus of the state’s policymakers – on the left and the right. Either by increasing public assistance, or increasing economic opportunity, or both, California must do something to lift the next generation out of this condition or risk supporting a permanent underclass for decades to come.

That’s why a recent report card on the wellbeing of children from kidscount.org, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is worth reviewing.

California, a state with an income per person ranked 15th highest among the states, finished 41st on the foundation’s broad-based measure of the condition of America’s children.

On 16 measures of economics, education, health and family and community characteristics, California kids rank near the bottom nationally.

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