SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today highlighted the alarmingly mediocre to poor grades California received in a report on how well the state serves its children. The "report card" is based on the annual study by Children Now, a nonpartisan research and advocacy organization that focuses on youth-related issues. The California Report Card 2011 reviewed issues ranging from preschool education to health care, foster care, coordination of services, and data collection.
"The mediocre level of service to the youngest Californians is alarming, and a disgrace to a state that can do much better by its children despite the ongoing economic crisis," O'Connell said. "By holding up the mirror to state leaders with a well-researched review of current services and programs, Children Now provides timely, much-needed analysis and thoughtful recommendations as state budget issues are under discussion.
"Time and time again, we are reminded that if we fail to meet the needs of our children now, we will pay later in higher health costs, greater crime and costs for incarceration, more high school dropouts, and a decreased ability to compete in the global marketplace," O'Connell said.
"It is my hope that every state leader will read and consider the recommendations in the "California Report Card 2011: Setting the Agenda for Children." The report may be downloaded at California Report Card 2011 [http://www.childrennow.org/uploads/documents/reportcard_2011.pdf] (Outside Source; PDF; 1.9MB; 108pp.).