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Election 2012: What About West Virginia's Children?

PHOTO: picture of Charles Brunner. Courtesy of the Child & Family Policy Center.
PHOTO: picture of Charles Brunner. Courtesy of the Child & Family Policy Center.
August 29, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - So far, the 2012 presidential race has focused variously on unemployment, job creation, tax cuts, the candidates' tax returns, even the London Olympics. What's missing?

Charles Brunner, executive director of the Child and Family Policy Center, says children often are absent from the discussions in the presidential campaigns.

"There's been very little attention given to important child-policy issues around children's health, education, child safety, family economic security and ensuring all children have opportunities for success."

Brunner says it is critical for leaders to discuss their plans to help improve health, safety and education for all children. He says the real key to the nation's economic success is making sure the next generation is educated and productive.

"For the first time in our country's history, our children face the prospect of growing up less healthy, living less-long lives and being less equipped educationally to lead and compete in a world economy."

According to a report by the center, issues that affect children were brought up only 2 percent of the time in the past 20 Republican presidential debates. At the same time, Brunner says, they are not hearing President Obama focus on child-centered policies, either.

The report is online at

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV