The California budget debate is about children as abstractions -- how will we fund their schools and the health and social services programs upon which they depend.
A new report from the Public Policy Institute of California puts a face on California's poor children -- who are nearly one in four of all California children.
Poor children in California are more likely to be from the Central Valley (where the major counties have high poverty rates) or Los Angeles. (The five Bay Area counties have child poverty rates below 13 percent, compared to 23 percent statewide).
The child poverty rates for Latinos, African Americans, and kids with single parents are much higher than the statewide average.
The report dispels some myths about California and its children.
Child poverty is not at some record high today -- the poverty rate was higher during the big early '90s recession. California isn't some sort of national leader in child poverty -- our rate is only slightly higher than the national average.
Most poor children aren't from other countries -- they were born here.
Most distressingly, the child poverty rate is on the rise -- up from 16 percent, a record low in this measurement, in 2001.
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