One of the issues candidates need to address is what to do about child poverty. The recession has affected many Americans, but it has been hardest on children. From 2000 to 2010, an additional 3 million children became poor, totaling nearly 15 million children overall.
While 9 percent of seniors and 14 percent of working-age adults are in poverty, nearly 22 percent of children are poor and one in four children under the age of 6 is poor. Imagine, a quarter of each kindergarten class being in poverty!
Candidates may have different views about how to address child poverty, but we need to know what their positions are and have a public dialogue about them. If the elections are to truly help set a positive direction for our country, the next few weeks will require that much more attention be devoted to child policy and the one in four kids who will start kindergarten in poverty.
The Children’s Policy Coalition, representing 32 Iowa organizations, is seeking to raise these issues in Iowa and is a source of information on child policy to support voters in raising these issues (www.itsaboutourkids.org).
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