By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Californias report card shows shortfall in college graduates
After-school programs, like the one at Osborn Elementary pictured above, are the one area where California has historically excelled. - photo by Journal file photo
California Report Card 2010

Health Coverage D+
Oral Health D+
Asthma  D+
Mental Health C
Infant Health C+
Adolescent Health C+

Early Learning and Development C
K-12 D
After-school B+

Cross-System Issues
Integrated Services D
Obesity C-
Child Safety D+

Source: Children Now

Children all around the state aren’t the only ones getting a report card at the end of their classes. The Children Now organization gives the state a report card every year on how well the California takes care of their children, and their grades don’t look so good.   
With five “C”s, six “D”s and one “B,” the state’s report card released Monday shows that California isn’t holding their children at a high priority, according to the Children Now.
“California’s failure to prioritize children is jeopardizing the state’s chances for a sustainable long-term economic recovery,” stated Children Now in their analysis of the report card.
The overall consequence to California children is an estimate that the state will face a shortfall of one million college graduates by the year 2025, according to the report card. The funding being cut in education, healthcare for children, and lack of priority with the achievement gap all contributes to California ranking near last in the nation on the amount of money spent per child.
The report card goes into detail about children’s health, education and cross-system issues regarding obesity and child safety.
According to the report, California is home to 13 percent of the nation’s children with over 9.4 million children; and 6.3 million of those children attend public schools.
With more budget cuts soon to come down from the federal government, the state has cut $196 million from its Children’s Health Insurance Program and the California Healthy Families Program.
Before these budget cuts left children with no health care, California was making steady progress with an increasing percentage of children with health care insurance, according to the report card. Between 1998 and 2007, the number of children without health care insurance decreased from 19 percent to 11 percent. Now, the state can barely afford the children it does support with costs of about $1,200 per child for health coverage.
“The 2009-2010 California budget, however, cut $196 million in funding for Healthy Families, the state’s main public health insurance program, thereby reversing the years of progress,” stated Children Now in their report card.
Over the past 25 years, California has spent less per student than the national average, according to the report card. With this, California students are ranked near the lowest in measures of academic achievement.
Children Now gave California a grade of C for Early Learning and Development; a grade of  D for K-12 Education; and a B for Afterschool Education.
According to the report card, California is best known for its afterschool programs that are offered to over 500,000 students annually. California also leads the nation in having one of the best afterschool programs offered.
Health care was definite down point for California, according to the Children Now report card. The state received a D+ in the categories of Health Coverage, Oral Health and Asthma. The state received a C from Children Now in Mental Health and a C+ in both Infant Health and Adolescent Health.
Children Now also noted the lack of focus on childhood obesity. There are over one million California children who are obese that contribute to the $7.7 billion in charges regarding the obesity-related hospitalizations, doubling in the past year.
“Clearly, a long-term and sustainable economic recovery relies on the strength of future generations,” said Ted Lempert, president of Children Now. “But, as Children Now’s 2010 California Report Card shows, children’s well-being in the state continues to decline. This is due in large part to underinvestment in and poor prioritization of the state’s most valuable asset: our kids.”
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.