Voices for America’s Children, the nation’s largest network of multi-issue child advocacy organizations, last week released an updated report tracking questions about child policy – like
K-12 education, child health, child safety, and child poverty – raised in the first 20 presidential debates. The new edition examines each of the transcripts of the Republican presidential debates beginning with Greenville, South Carolina, on May 5, 2011, and ending in Mesa, Arizona on February 22, 2012.
“While children represent 24 percent of the population and 100 percent of our future, questions about their future constituted less than 2 percent of all questions raised in those debates,” said Bill Bentley, president and CEO of Voices for America’s Children. “America’s more than 74 million children can’t vote, but they should be heard, especially in a time of widespread hardship for families.”
The report, “Election 2012 Debate Watch Update: Moving America’s Children Into the Spotlight,” shows that candidates at the 20 Republican Party presidential debates fielded more than 1,000 questions on national security, the economy, immigration, social security, the federal deficit, and other issues, yet only 17 questions on K-12 education, child health, welfare and poverty. No questions were fielded on child protection, early childhood education, or children with disabilities.
The report also cited Kids Share, a study by Brookings and the Urban Institute, which shows that the federal government spends $374 billion annually for child health, safety, nutrition, education, and economic security programs, about one-third of all federal, state, and local public investments in children’s programs.
Members of Voices for America’s Children have signed a resolution calling for increased attention to children’s issues, which will be submitted to presidential candidates and candidates for Congress through member organizations and their policy coalitions.
Read the original report here: http://voices.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Moving-Americas-Children-Into-the-Spotlight-report-120511.pdf.