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Report Finds Big Disparities in Well-Being of U.S. Kids
Date:4/2/2008

government's role in social issues as limited. Bottom states also generally have lower taxes, so they invest less in children's programs.

On the federal level, programs for children's health care, child abuse and poverty have been declining as government money earmarked for children has been cut. Federal funding is expected to be reduced even more in the next decade, the report said. Federal spending on children declined from 20 percent of domestic spending in 1960 to 15 percent in 2005, Petit said.

One expert agrees that the disparity in how children fare across the United States is a matter of concern that needs to be addressed.

"The marked variability in child mortality among the states suggests that we are too tolerant of disparities in financial security, education, and social services," said Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Yale University School of Medicine's Prevention Research Center.

"While it seems unlikely our society will eliminate all social disparities, those that impact the survival of children clearly deserve dedicated attention," Katz said. "A systematic comparison of programs and policies across states is a good initial step in narrowing the health gap that indicates we are not quite the one nation, for all, we aspire to be."

The Every Child Matters Education Fund is a nonprofit organization that says it seeks to make the needs of children a national political priority and to promote the adoption of smart policies for children and families -- including stopping child abuse, helping working families with child care, expanding preschool education and after-school programs, and ensuring that children receive good health care.

More information

To see the full report, visit the Every Child Matters Education Fund.



SOURCES: April 2,
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