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AZ Dept. of Child Safety investigation complete

CBS 5 – KPHO

‘Healthy packs’ feed hungry Scottsdale kids over the weekend

Arizona Sees A Slight Drop In Poverty Level

New Arizona Data

New data released last week from the Census Bureau shows that more than one in every four children in Arizona – more than 400,000 children – live in poverty. The number of poor children in the state is higher than the population of Scottsdale and Tempe combined. This is the 10th highest child poverty rate in the country.
  
        children living in poverty 2013 data                           round scottsdale and tempe                The “good” news is that the percent of children living in poverty in our state remains largely unchanged from last year. (Although the percentage of poor children in Apache county climbed from an already high 41% to 51%, the highest rate of any county in the state.)

The Census Bureau also released the latest data on the percentage of people who had health insurance coverage sometime in 2013 and the news is mixed for Arizona’s children. While Arizona’s rate of uninsured children dropped for the first time in several years to 12%, Arizona still has the nation’s third highest percentage of children without health insurance.

Click here for tables on the most recent health insurance coverage and poverty rates for children throughout Arizona’s counties and cities.

Both poverty and the lack of health insurance pose serious risks to childhood development and have lasting consequences well into adulthood. This election season as you consider your vote, ask what candidates would do to expand children’s health coverage and reduce childhood poverty.

You can see where the candidates in your legislative district stand on these issues by viewing our legislative district candidate questionnaire page here.

Thank You’s All Around

This morning, Children’s Action Alliance and Scottsdale Unified School District hosted nine legislative candidates at the Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center (ANLC) to talk about childhood hunger and its impact on health and learning. Several years ago, ANLC started the Healthy Packs program in partnership with the City of Scottsdale, Vista del Camino, and Concerned Citizens for Community Health.

Healthy Packs provides weekend food packs to students with little or no access to food when not in school. Many candidates were surprised to learn how many Scottsdale families struggle to provide healthy meals for their children. Along with representatives from Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema’s office, candidates from legislative districts 23, 24, and 28 attended the event including Lela Alston, Kate Brophy-McGee, Kelli Butler, Ken Clark, Adam Driggs, Bill Follette, Jay Lawrence, Eric Meyer and Paula Pennypacker

Candidates delivered the Healthy Packs to students, visited classrooms and saw the Community Gardens at ANLC. Thanks to all the candidates who came out to learn about this important issue!
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CAA President and CEO Dana Wolfe Naimark was honored last night by the Association for Supportive Child Care (ASCC) with the Spirit of the Child Award. Nearly 100 people came out to cheer Dana for her hard work and commitment to Arizona’s children and families. All of us at CAA want to thank ASCC staff Susan Jacobs and Dawn Henry, and ASCC Board members (especially Beth Swadener and Brenda Fleming!) for a lovely event and such kind recognition of Dana and Children’s Action Alliance.

AZ Candidates Asked to Focus on Children’s Issues

Arizona revives child-care aid after 6-year hiatus

State Spending on K-12 Education Is Up – Barely

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee staff has issued its annual calculation of K-12 education spending over the last ten years – from fiscal year 2006 through the current fiscal year (2015).

Budget and Taxes photo finalCompared to last year, fiscal year 2015 per-pupil funding, adjusted for inflation, has increased by $17 to $3,529, a 0.5% increase. This is still significantly less than fiscal year 2008, when per-pupil spending was $4,654. So spending per student this year is $1,125 and 24% LOWER than fiscal year 2008.

FY 2006 to FY 2015 Per Pupil Spending Chart

Beginning in fiscal year 2014, the legislature is once again following the voter mandate to include annual inflationary adjustments in the K-12 statutory formula. This formula was only partially funded during fiscal years 2011 through 2013. An ongoing court case will require the legislature to increase annual funding by $317 million and may require payment of the funding that was missing during those three years.

Ask the Gubernatorial Candidates a Question

PE0004Tomorrow Arizona’s candidates for Governor, Doug Ducey (R) and Fred DuVal (D), square off in a debate focused on a topic important to the well-being of every child: the economy.

The debate, sponsored by SRP, Arizona State University, Chandler Chamber of Commerce and East Valley Partnership will be live on TV on 12 News at 6 p.m. for those in the Phoenix area and will be live streamed on azcentral.com for everyone else.

You can also participate in the debate by asking questions of the candidates on twitter with the hashtag #azgov. This is a perfect time to ask the candidates how they plan to help children succeed in school, a matter very important to the future success of Arizona’s economy.

2014 National Latino Children’s Summit

On Friday, October 3rd, you’re invited to attend the kick off reception for the 2014 National Latino Children’s Summit featuring Arturo Vargas, the Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, and the PBS Documentary, Latino Americans – “Peril and Promise”. Food, fun and entertainment will be provided at the event held at the Virginia G. Piper Auditorium on 550 East Van Buren in Phoenix. The reception starts at 6 p.m. and is scheduled to run until 8 p.m. Please RSVP to olga.aros@elatinavoices.org.

2014 National Latino Children’s Summit

You’re also invited to attend The National Latino Children’s Summit which begins the next morning at 7:30 a.m. at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix, 340 N. 3rd Street in Phoenix and runs until 5 p.m.

Both the summit and the kick off reception are convened by eLatinaVoices. They bring together over 400 participants, including 100 child serving organizations and 150 Latino youth leaders, from throughout Arizona and the nation. The Summit is a collaboration to discuss the state of Latino children and issues of importance that are affecting their future on a national and an Arizona state level.

Please register for the Summit here.