Sunday, April 06, 2008

Children and What Matters

As part of AAUW's ongoing commitment to education about public policy issues which affect women and girls, AAUW New York State is a member of several coalitions which support our values. One of them, Every Child Matters has recently published a study of the welfare of children in all fifty states at www.everychildmatters.org.

It shows that New York ranks at 36 of the 50 states is overall child health and welfare. We are not above average. More than 20% of our two-year-olds are not immunized. 43% are not enrolled in pre-K, and 31% of our fourth-graders score below minimum levels in reading.

At the same time voters rank children's issues third in overall importance well above lowering taxes. 82% of American voters believe that every child should be covered by a federal health care policy if the parents cannot otherwise afford health care. Even 64% of "conservatives" support this.

If children's issues are so important, why don't we do better? Why is education funding equity in NYS still in jeopardy? It is easy to blame the economy or the forces of evil. But is it in part because we have not told our leaders how we feel? Have you written or called your representatives lately?

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