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Progress Report for Oregon Children Notes Lack of Progress

PHOTO: The 2015 Progress Report issued by Children First for Oregon shows very little progress for the state's children, with too many still in poverty and lacking access to early education. Photo credit: amyelizabethquinn/pixabay.com
PHOTO: The 2015 Progress Report issued by Children First for Oregon shows very little progress for the state's children, with too many still in poverty and lacking access to early education. Photo credit: amyelizabethquinn/pixabay.com
March 18, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Progress Report for Oregon Children released today notes a lack of progress on issues connected to a child's success in life.

Children First for Oregon issued the report, which found that a child in Oregon has a one-in-five chance of being poor, even if at least one parent works, and that the child poverty rate has increased 10 percent since the end of the Great Recession.

Tonia Hunt, executive director of Children First, said immediate action needs to be taken by the state's lawmakers.

"We're getting to the point where that is costing our state significantly in terms of child well-being, the economy," she said. "The overall future of our state is at risk if we don't correct course."

The report recommended enacting a $15-an-hour minimum wage, expansion of early education and increasing investments in policies to keep children and families safe, such as home visiting.

Sybil Hebb director of legislative advocacy at the Oregon Law Center, said poverty is strongly intertwined with barriers to a child's success in life, including domestic violence.
While the report makes recommendations for lawmakers, Hunt said, there is action that anyone can take that would help. Children First for Oregon has created United for Kids, which she describes as a statewide pro-child movement.

"Sign up to be a part of this movement that simply says kids should be a top priority for our lawmakers and our public policy decision makers in the state," she said.

Details are online at
ORUnitedForKids.org. The text of SB 503 is at Support our work. Get more headlines like this via email