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Report Card: Oregon Gets a “D” in Kids Well-Being, But Change is in the Air

October 16, 2007

Portland, OR – Oregon gets a passing grade, but just barely, when it comes the well-being of its kids. The advocacy group Children First for Oregon has just released its latest annual "report card" and, while the state's overall grade of "D" has not improved since last year's findings, some progress has been shown.

Children First's Robin Christian says some of the improvements were prompted by the 2007 Oregon Legislature's new investments in education and childcare programs, including "Head Start."

"While the report card grade reflects the continuing struggles for children and working families, there is hope. The new investments made in the legislature signal a improved policy environment for kids. We’re not going to see the fruits of these investments for another couple of years, because it take a while for the data to catch up with the investments."

Christian explains the "D" grade is, at least partly, the result of stricter grading standards this year.

One area in which Oregon received a failing grade is children's health, for its increasing rate of uninsured children. Christian adds voters are considering the issue in next month’s election; they'll vote on "Measure 50," which would change the state constitution to increase cigarette taxes, in order to pay for an expanded children's health insurance program.

Read the full 2007 "report card" by Children First for Oregon online, at
www.cffo.org

Dondrea Warner/John Robinson, Public News Service - OR