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Advocacy Group Report Card: California Is Underinvesting in Its Children

Tanu Henry, Lila Brown and Joe W. Bowers Jr. | California Black Media  

      Children Now, an Oakland-based advocacy organization released a report card on Jan. 10 that claims California is lagging in several areas key to the wellbeing of children, including preventing substance abuse, preventive screening, supporting mental health and providing resources for birthing health. 

      “The California Children report card grades the state on its ability to support better outcomes for kids from pre-natal to age 26” the report states. “Each grade is based on the state’s progress (or lack thereof) on passing and implementing state policies and making investments in the supports and services needed for all kids to reach their full potential.” 

      In California, the total number of children within the study’s age range is 13.7 million. Of that number, 5 % (roughly 685,000 children) is Black or African American. 

      After Gov. Newsom presented his annual budget to the California Legislature on Jan. 10, Ted Lempert, Children Now’s President said, “California has consistently underinvested in its kids.”

      “While we recognize the large deficit affecting the Administration’s budget proposal, we can’t continue down this path of deprioritizing kids that has led to alarmingly poor outcomes,” Lempert wrote.” We applaud the Administration’s renewed commitment to childcare rate reform, but are particularly concerned with some proposed reductions, including the elimination of the 24/7 hotline for youth in foster care and taking dollars back from state preschool.”

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