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California receives lackluster grade in kids well-being
Kids well-being info box

A report card released by Children Now revealed less-than-satisfactory grades in the well-being of children for California, which is a state that over 9 million children call home.

The report by the research, policy and advocacy organization highlighted 31 key areas in three overarching categories: education, health and child welfare.

“California is a wealthy state, with more assets than most to devote to its children’s well-being,” said Children Now President Ted Lempert in the report. “It’s time to put more of our resources to work for kids, by investing in quality programs to help lift them out of poverty and set them on the road to success.”

Lempert noted that the most powerful solution to all the insufficiencies in California is investing in quality programs for kids.

“Not only do children suffer disproportionately from poverty, they also hold the key to ending it,”
said Lempert. “Making sure all children have the supports they need to thrive will dramatically lower the poverty rate in the future.”

The report covers everything from “State Standards” to “School-Based Health Services” to “Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention.” The only A grade California received was an A- in “Health Insurance,” which showed that the percentage of uninsured children has steadily decreased from 15 percent in 2000 to only 4 percent last year.

Aside from that, California scored average at best in “Education,” with grades ranging from a D in “Teacher Training and Evaluation,” which stresses the impact that quality teachers have on student achievement, to a B in “Linked Learning,” which includes programs that help students succeed with rigorous academics, career-based learning and real-world experiences.

The State did even worse in “Child Welfare,” which was the lowest on average.  “Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention,” “Foster Youth Education,” and “Juvenile Justice” all earned D grades, while “Placement Stability,” “Permanent Connections” and “Foster Youth Health” earned C grades.

“Over four million California children come from low-income households, and more than two million live below the poverty line,” said Lempert. “Those numbers are too big to ignore. The future of millions of children depends on California’s ability to make smart, quality investments in children’s well-being.”

To view full report results and analyses, visit