FulFilliNg The ProMiSe

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					FulFilliNg The
   ProMiSe
  State Progress Toward
 Meeting Children’s Needs
  for a Better Tomorrow




       2007
                           FulFilliNg                                     ThE      ProMiSE                             2007



                                               Table of Contents

Foreword................................................................. 3       Mississippi..............................................................62
Authors.and.Acknowledgements......................... 4                           Missouri.................................................................63
                                                                                             .
Executive.Summary............................................... 5                Montana.................................................................66
Chart.of.State.Legislative.Sessions...................2
                                                    .                             Nebraska................................................................67
                                                                                  Nevada...................................................................68
                                                                                           .
S TAT E S                                                                         New.Hampshire....................................................70
Alabama..................................................................3       New.Jersey.............................................................72
Alaska.....................................................................4
        .                                                                         New.Mexico..........................................................75
                                                                                                    .
Arizona...................................................................5      New.York...............................................................78
Arkansas.................................................................7
            .                                                                     North.Carolina......................................................8
California...............................................................20       North.Dakota........................................................83
Colorado................................................................22        Ohio.......................................................................84
                                                                                       .
Connecticut...........................................................24          Oklahoma..............................................................86
                                                                                                .
Delaware................................................................27        Oregon...................................................................88
District.of.Columbia.............................................29               Pennsylvania..........................................................90
Florida....................................................................3     Rhode.Island..........................................................93
Georgia..................................................................33
           .                                                                      South.Carolina......................................................95
                                                                                                        .
Hawaii....................................................................35      South.Dakota.........................................................96
Idaho......................................................................38
       .                                                                          Tennessee...............................................................99
Illinois.....................................................................40   Texas.................................................................... 02
Indiana....................................................................43     Utah..................................................................... 08
Iowa........................................................................45    Vermont.............................................................. 
Kansas....................................................................47
         .                                                                        Virginia................................................................ 3
Kentucky................................................................49        Virgin.Islands...................................................... 6
Louisiana................................................................50       Washington. ....................................................... 8
                                                                                                   .
Maine.....................................................................52
        .                                                                         West.Virginia...................................................... 22
Maryland................................................................54        Wisconsin........................................................... 24
                                                                                                .
Massachusetts........................................................56           Wyoming............................................................ 26
Michigan................................................................58
Minnesota..............................................................60         Listing.of.VOICES.members



F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                                                  
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                      FulFilliNg                              ThE           ProMiSE                        2007



                                                      Foreword

Each.year.Voices.for.America’s.Children.compiles.the.pledges.that.the.nation’s.governors.lay.out.in.their.annual.state.of.
the.state.addresses.to.improve.the.lives.and.opportunities.for.the.children..These.speeches.usually.serve.as.the.launch.for.
the.legislative.sessions.and.set.the.states’.policymaking.priorities.for.the.year.ahead..Pulling.these.priorities.together.in.a.
single.report,.Promises to America’s Children, has.proven.to.be.an.invaluable.tool.for.children’s.advocates.as.it.allows.us.to.
map.the.trends.in.addressing.the.challenges.facing.our.nation’s.children..With.state.governments.frequently.serving.as.a.
forum.for.innovative.and.effective.policymaking,.identifying.the.governors’.promises.also.allows.VOICES.to.better.empower.
advocates—by.sharing.where.progress.is.being.made.and.the.policy.ideas.that.are.bringing.about.that.change..



Perhaps.most.important.of.all,.identifying.the.promises.                 Below.are.the.Vision and Policy goals of VoiCES:
made.by.state.leaders.provides.advocates.with.an.impor-
tant.platform.for.accountability..If.there.is.one.ideal.that.            H. EQuiTY AND DiVErSiTY: All.children.achieve.their.
unifies.all.people,.it.is.the.strong.desire.to.ensure.that.our.               full.potential.in.a.society.that.closes.opportunity.gaps.
children.have.an.equal.opportunity.to.reach.for.their.                        and.recognizes.and.values.diversity.
dreams.and.achieve.their.full.potential..By.monitoring.the.
commitments.made.by.the.governors,.VOICES.ensures.                       H hEAlTh:.All.children.receive.affordable,.comprehensive,.
that.our.leaders.are.not.just.upholding.children’s.issues.as.                 high-quality.health.care.
inspiring.pictures.and.stories,.but.are.following.a.defined.
plan.of.action.and.keeping.their.promises.                               H. SChool rEADiNESS:.All.children.and.their.parents.
                                                                              receive.the.services.and.supports.to.enable.them.to.start.
This.year.we.have.taken.our.state.assessment.efforts.a.step.                  school.prepared.for.success.
further.and.have.compiled.a.listing.of.the.specific.progress.
and.setback.the.states.and.territories.have.made.toward.                 H. SChool SuCCESS:.All.children.have.an.equal.
fulfilling.the.promises.in.the.governors’.state.of.the.state.                 opportunity.to.attend.an.adequately.and.equitably.
addresses..We.recognize.that.no.matter.how.committed.                         financed.public.school.meeting.rigorous.academic.
governors.may.be,.they.cannot.bring.about.policy.change.                      standards.aligned.with.the.needs.of.the.21st.century.
unilaterally..State.legislatures.also.play.an.essential.role.                 workforce.
and.governors.and.legislators.must.work.together.in.
crafting.policy.and.generating.progress..Fulfilling the                  H SAFETY:.All.children.are.safe.in.their.homes.and.
Promise: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a                 communities.from.all.forms.of.abuse,.neglect,.
Better Tomorrow.details.the.efforts.made.by.each.governor.                    exploitation.and.violence,.avoid.risky.behaviors,.and.
and.the.legislature.in.addressing.the.critical.needs.of.children.             contribute.to.community.well-being

We.have.compiled.these.state.policymaking.efforts.in.                    H. ECoNoMiC STABiliTY:.All.children.live.in.families.
alignment.with.the.six.key.policy.areas.where.VOICES.                         that.can.provide.for.their.needs.and.make.investments.
seeks.progress...                                                             in.their.future.
                                                                                                                   continued on next page



F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                       3
While.we.examine.state.government.efforts.from.the.                 they.have.the.courage.and.political.will.to.truly.make.
perspective.of.our.own.policy.framework,.the.legislation.           children’s.needs.a.priority.in.midst.of.competing.budget.
and.policies.detailed.within.this.report.are.not.necessarily.       and.policy.pressures..As.as.child.advocates.we.will.accept.
efforts.that.were.endorsed.or.supported.by.VOICES.                  no.less.
members..Rather.we.have.sought.to.identify.and.compile.
the.efforts.undertaken.on.key.children’s.issues;.even.if.           This.report.also.offers.a.snapshot.of.the.incremental.
VOICES.members.did.not.agree.with.the.policy.                       progress.that.can.build.comprehensive.changes.for.
approach.or.outcome,.it.is.important.to.note.when.action.           children..As.we.look.at.the.effort.undertaken.at.the.state.
occurs.and.how.state.policymakers.are.defining.progress.            level,.we.have.the.opportunity.to.share.lessons.learned.
                                                                    and.communicate.effective.advocacy.strategies.with.the.
Fulfilling the Promise.provides.a.check.on.the.progress.            entire.VOICES.network..We.can.leverage.victories.
made.toward.creating.a.nation.in.which.every.child.can.             secured.by.one.member.into.shared.strategies.to.generate.
thrive..It.is.an.opportunity.for.all.of.us—advocates,.              progress.for.children.across.the.nation..We.also.see.the.
elected.officials,.and.concerned.citizens—to.assess.the.            common.points.where.states.are.acting,.the.issues.that.
roles.we.play.in.advancing.child.well-being..                       need.more.high-level.attention,.and.the.emerging.
                                                                    opportunities.that.we.hope.will.pay.dividends.for.child-
Since.the.very.beginning.of.our.nation,.accountability.             well.being.down.the.road.
has.played.a.fundamental.role.in.our.democratic.system..
As.James.Madison.wrote,.“Knowledge.will.forever.govern.             Fulfilling the Promise.is.also.a.status.report.on.how.we.are.
ignorance..And.people.who.mean.to.be.their.own.                     doing.as.a.nation..It.illuminates.how.well.we.are.fulfilling.
governors,.must.arm.themselves.with.the.power.which.                our.shared.ideal.of.ensuring.that.every.child.has.an.equal.
knowledge.gives.”.                                                  opportunity.at.reaching.their.dreams.and.achieving.their.
                                                                    full.potential..
Fulfilling the Promise offers.news.to.applaud,.however.
much.work.remains.to.be.done..We.know.that.there.is.a.              Our.nation’s.future.strength.and.prosperity.is.dependent.
long.road.ahead.as.we.continue.to.push.for.progress..In.            on.how.well.we.do.in.achieving.this.ideal,.which.makes.
today’s.tough.economic.times,.and.with.growing.challenges.          this.report.critical.reading.for.policymakers,.advocates.
on.the.horizon,.there.are.few.issues.more.pressing.than.            and.concerned.citizens.
ensuring.that.all.of.our.children.are.safe,.secure,.and.have.
the.opportunity.to.reach.their.full.potential..
                                                                    William.H..Bentley
The.work.ahead.will.not.be.easy..It.will.require.policy-            President & CEO
makers.at.the.state.and.federal.level.to.demonstrate.that.          Voices.for.America’s.Children




                                          AuThorS & ACKNoWlEDgMENTS
                 This.report.was.developed.by.Voices.for.America’s.Children.under.the.direction.of.Carla.I..Plaza...
            It.was.written.by.Natalie.Eisenbarth,.Carla.I..Plaza,.David.Laird,.Joanna.Shoffner.Ph.D.and.Tiffany.Rush...
                                Contributions.also.were.provided.by.Sarah.Horn.and.Christine.Yi.

            The.report.was.edited.by.Halle.Czechowski,.Lisa.Macey.and.Joe.Theissen.and.designed.by.Kelley.Albert..

                  VOICES.would.like.to.thank.the.chief.executives.and.staff.of.VOICES’.member.organizations..
                                            for.their.review.of.the.state.profiles.

                 VOICES.also.would.like.to.thank.The.Annie.E..Casey.Foundation.for.its.continued.support.of..
            VOICES’.efforts.to.inform.child.advocates.and.the.public.about.the.comprehensive.action.states.are.taking..
        to.improve.the.lives.of.children..The.findings.and.conclusions.presented.in.this.report.are.those.of.VOICES.alone,..
                                    and.do.not.necessarily.reflect.the.opinions.of.the.Foundation.




4                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
                      FulFilliNg                              ThE           ProMiSE                        2007



                                   Executive Summary
                               Too often the American ideal seems to falter
                when it comes to supporting our children. Despite a $3 trillion economy,
                 families are struggling to meet their children’s basic needs for nutrition,
               safe and affordable housing, adequate education and quality health care.




i
    n.2009.the.number.of.available.jobs.is.expected.to.decrease,.the.price.of.food.and.other.staples.to.increase,.
    and.with.these.economic.changes.the.challenges.for.families.and.children.grow..Fortunately,.there.is.a.grow-
    ing.group.of.elected.officials.at.the.state.and.federal.levels.that.recognizes.the.societal.investments—even.
during.these.economically.uncertain.times—pay.crucial.dividends.in.shaping.the.future.strength.and.prosperity.
of.our.nation..


It.is.clear.that.investment.choices.made.by.elected.officials.             VOICES’.Vision.and.Policy.goals.take.a.holistic.approach.
today.will.determine.whether.the.next.generation.of.children.              to.improving.children’s.lives.by.advocating.for.public.policies.
will.be.poised.to.compete.and.succeed.in.the.global.market-                that.narrow.societal.gaps,.support.healthy.development,.ensure.
place..Sound.public.policies—at.any.level.of.government—                   school.readiness.and.success,.prevent.child.maltreatment.
can.bolster.the.commitment.of.families.and.communities..                   and.foster.economic.stability..This.report.is.a.companion.
to.ensure.children’s.needs.are.met..Indeed,.the.vision.and.                piece.to.VOICES’.Promises to America’s Children,.which.
energy.that.our.political.leaders.bring.to.ensuring.that.every.            summarized.governors’.priorities.for.children.laid.out.in.
child.has.the.building.blocks.for.a.healthy,.strong,.and.stable.           their.state.of.the.state.speeches.at.the.beginning.of.the.2007.
childhood.is.a.key.indicator.of.their.commitment.to.the.                   legislative.sessions.
ongoing.vitality.of.the.United.States.
                                                                           It.is.the.vision.of.VOICES.that.public.policies.at.all.levels.of.
Although.2007.brought.limited.progress.on.children’s.                      government.must.further.the.positive.and.healthy.develop-
issues.at.the.federal.level,.many.states.made.incremental.                 ment.of.all.children.in.the.United.States..Developing.the.
improvements.that.will.better.position.the.nation.as.a.whole.              policies.needed.to.achieve.this.vision.must.be.seen.as.a.top.
in.the.years.to.come..Fulfilling the Promise: State Progress               priority.across.all.levels.of.government.and.must.be.recog-
Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                      nized.as.fundamental.to.America’s.future.growth.and.global.
highlights.the.progress.made.across.the.states.that.are.in.                leadership...VOICES.is.committed.to.ensuring.that.all.
line.with.the.Vision.and.Policy.Goals.of.Voices.for.America’s.             children—regardless.of.race.and.economic.status—receive.
Children..This.report.is.not.meant.to.serve.as.a.compre-                   the.necessary.supports.needed.to.reach.their.full.potential..
hensive.compilation.of.all.state.legislative.action.taken.                 Fulfilling the Promise.highlights.the.state.policies.adopted.in.
relevant.to.children.but.rather.to.highlight.legislative..                 2007.that.will.make.a.positive.difference.in.the.lives.of.
initiatives.touted.by.America’s.governors.and.efforts.made.                children.and.shape.a.better.future.for.our.nation.
by.VOICES’.members.across.the.country.to.advance.a.
strong.children’s.agenda.                                                                                             continued on next page



F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                          5
Addressing Equity:                                                  Laws.were.passed.in.Colorado,.Georgia,.Indiana.and.
Narrowing Societal gaps                                             Pennsylvania.focusing.on.disparities.in.education.for.
                                                                    students..Colorado’s.Department.of.Education.was.tasked.
VOICES’.vision.for.equity.and.diversity.calls.for.all.children.
                                                                    with.finding.federal.funding.to.create.a.base.line.for.
to.achieve.their.full.potential.in.a.society.that.closes.
                                                                    academic.performance.in.an.effort.to.prevent.disparities.
opportunity.gaps.and.recognizes.and.values.diversity..
                                                                    from.escalating,.with.the.goal.being.to.reduce.high.school.
Achieving.this.goal.requires.explicit.and.concerted.efforts.
                                                                    dropout.rates.among.African-American,.Latino.and.
to.address.child.health,.education,.justice.and.other.
                                                                    American.Indian.children.by.50.percent.within.a.decade..
disparities.using.a.lens.of.race,.ethnicity,.national.origin,.
                                                                    Georgia.and.Pennsylvania.adopted.initiatives.directed.
language,.sexual.orientation,.disability.and.income..Given.
                                                                    toward.increasing.equity.for.students.with.disabilities...
the.current.anti-immigrant.political.climate,.VOICES.               The.Georgia.Legislature.passed.the.Deaf.Child’s.Bill.of.
believes.that.policies.regarding.immigrant.and.refugee.             Rights,.which.requires.school.systems.to.take.into.account.
children.must.meet.their.health,.safety,.education.and.             the.communication.challenges.of.deaf.and.hard.of.hearing.
developmental.needs.and.are.critical.to.this.population..           students..The.Legislature.also.passed.the.Georgia.Special.
Moving.in.this.direction.requires.a.multicultural.approach.to.      Needs.Scholarship.Act,.which.provides.vouchers.for.public.
policy.design.and.implementation.as.well.as.the.enhance-            school.students.with.disabilities.to.attend.private.schools..In.
ment.of.workforce.strategies.that.develop.culturally.diverse.       higher.education,.the.General.Assembly.in.Indiana.passed.
and.competent.professionals.in.systems.serving.children.            .a.bill,.later.signed.into.law,.to.create.diversity.committees.
and.families.                                                       on.the.state’s.university.campuses..These.committees.are.
                                                                    charged.with.reviewing.and.recommending.practices.that.
In.2007,.several.states.took.steps.to.reduce.or.study.trends.       address.diversity.in.employment.practices,.hiring,.and.
in.racial.disparities.in.services.provided.to.children.and.         recruitment.and.retention.among.minority.students..
families..In.New.Mexico,.the.state’s.2007.budget.contained.
funding.for.a.racial.impact.assessment.on.state.services.and.
                                                                    Supporting healthy Development
programs..In.New.York,.an.interagency.task.force.was.
created.to.address.racial.disparities.throughout.the.state’s.       VOICES’.vision.for.children’s.health.calls.for.all.children,.
human.services.system..Michigan.and.South.Dakota.                   regardless.of.their.economic.environment,.to.receive.
enacted.laws.that.expand.cultural.or.sensitivity.training.for.      affordable,.comprehensive,.high-quality.health.care.that.
program.staff.providing.services.to.children.and.families..In.      spans.the.life.of.a.child–from.infancy.to.adulthood..Having.
Texas,.community-based.outreach.for.the.Texas.Children’s.           access.to.adequate,.comprehensive.health.insurance.coverage.
Health.Insurance.Program.must.be.conducted.in.English.              from.birth.reduces.the.risk.that.a.child.will.fall.behind.
                                                                    developmentally..In.2007,.the.reauthorization.of.the.state-
and.Spanish..
                                                                    federal.State.Children’s.Health.Insurance.Program.(SCHIP).
                                                                    shone.a.spotlight.on.the.number.of.uninsured.children.
In.2007,.states.also.focused.on.specific.policy.areas.to.study.
                                                                    living.in.the.United.States..Nearly.9.million.children.are.
racial.disparities..Colorado.and.Virginia.passed.initiatives.
                                                                    uninsured,.two-thirds.of.whom.are.eligible.to.access.medical.
related.to.health.disparities..Virginia.passed.a.law.requiring.
                                                                    services.through.public.health.insurance.programs,.such.as.
the.state’s.Health.Commissioner.to.designate.a.licensed.
                                                                    Medicaid.and.SCHIP..2,3.
physician.as.a.senior.staff.member.at.the.Department.of.
Health.to.oversee.minority.health.efforts..In.Colorado,.the.
                                                                    Despite.the.overwhelming.support.of.the.public.and.the.
Office.of.Health.Disparities,.housed.within.the.Department.
                                                                    efforts.of.a.broad.coalition.of.state.and.national.advocates.
of.Public.Health,.is.charged.with.creating.two.advisory.
                                                                    and.legislative,.religious.and.business.leaders,.Congress.and.
councils.to.work.toward.assessing.conditions.and.identify-
                                                                    the.President.were.unable.to.reauthorize.SCHIP.in.2007..
ing.solutions.for.reducing.health.disparities.in.the.state..
                                                                    Instead,.the.Medicare,.Medicaid.and.SCHIP.Extension.Act.
Other.states.focused.on.disproportionality—the.unequal.
                                                                    (S..2499).was.signed.into.law.on.December.29,.2007,.extending.
proportion.of.the.total.population—of.children.of.color.
                                                                    the.program.for.15.months.through.March.2009..The.
receiving.specific.services..In.2007,.Washington.state.focused.
                                                                    continuation.of.SCHIP.ensures.that.no.child.enrolled.in.a.
on.disproportionality.in.child.welfare,.while.Indiana.
                                                                    state.SCHIP.program.will.lose.coverage.due.to.budgetary.
focused.on.child.welfare,.juvenile.justice.and.mental.health..
                                                                    shortfalls,.but.does.little.to.support.states’.efforts.to.move.
                                                                    forward.and.expand.children’s.health.care.coverage..


6                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
   FigurE : Expansion of Children’s health Coverage Programs in 2007




In.2007,.at.least.18.states.enacted.legislation.to.ensure.that.            this.directive.and.other.potentially.devastating.regulations,.
more.children.have.access.to.public.health.care.coverage..                 CMS.has.compromised.the.momentum.of.extending.health.
Through.expansions.in.eligibility.or.the.removal.of.                       insurance.coverage.to.children.at.the.state.level..Although.
administrative.hurdles.that.made.it.difficult.for.families.to.             legislation.was.enacted.in.more.than.half.a.dozen.states.to.
access.public.insurance.programs.for.their.children,.states.               extend.coverage.to.300.percent.of.the.FPL,.officials.in.
continue.to.lead.efforts.to.chip.away.at.the.number.of.                    Louisiana.and.Oklahoma.decided.to.roll.back.their.coverage.
uninsured.Americans.by.focusing.on.children..Legislation.                  plans,.while.the.CMS.denied.requests.from.New.York.and.
in.at.least.eight.states—Indiana,.Hawaii,.Louisiana,.Ohio,.                Ohio.to.extend.their.programs..
Oklahoma,.North.Carolina,.Washington.and.Wisconsin—
and.the.District.of.Columbia.was.adopted.to.expand.                        To.support.youth.aging.out.of.the.foster.care.system,.coverage.
children’s.coverage.programs.up.to.300.percent.of.the.                     under.the.Medicaid.program.was.extended.in.Colorado,.
Federal.Poverty.Level.(FPL),.with.New.York.adopting.a.                     Missouri,.North.Carolina,.Ohio,.Texas.and.Washington.
measure.extending.coverage.up.to.400.percent.of.the.FPL..
                                                                           Improving.mental.health.services.for.children.also.continues.
However,.the.President.continues.to.institute.bureaucratic.                to.be.a.top.priority.for.state.officials..Lawmakers.in.at.least.
hurdles.that.make.it.difficult.for.states.to.expand.their.                 14.states.adopted.legislative.measures.to.address.the.
Medicaid.and.SCHIP.programs..On.August.17,.2007,.The.                      inadequacies.of.mental.health.services,.with.at.least.six.
Centers.for.Medicare.and.Medicaid.Services.(CMS).issued.                   states—Kansas,.Missouri,.Nebraska,.New.Jersey,.Pennsylvania.
a.memo.to.SCHIP.directors.to.“clarify.existing.law.and.                    and.Texas—enacting.autism-related.measures..
regulations”.for.states.planning.to.expand.children’s.public.
coverage.programs.above.250.percent.of.the.FPL..Through.                                                             continued on next page


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                        7
Lawmakers.continue.to.seek.solutions.to.curb.childhood.             Colorado:.In.his.2007.state.of.the.state.speech,.Governor.
obesity.rates..According.to.the.Centers.for.Disease.Control.        Bill.Ritter.(D).pledged.to.make.more.pre-kindergarten.slots.
and.Prevention,.since.1976.childhood.obesity.rates.have.            available..Legislators.agreed,.and.5,500.Colorado.Preschool.
nearly.doubled.for.toddlers.aged.2.to.5,.tripled.for.children.      and.Kindergarten.Program.slots.will.be.added.over.the.next.
aged.6.to.11,.and.more.than.tripled.in.children.aged.12.to.19.4.    two.years.
Obesity.rates.have.increased.in.boys.and.girls—from.toddlers.
to.teens—with.minority.and.low-income.children.and.                 North Carolina: The.2007.budget.provides.an.additional.
adolescents.at.greater.risk.for.becoming.overweight.or.obese.5.     $56.million.for.the.More.at.Four.program—allowing.an.
                                                                    additional.10,000.young.children.to.have.access.to.pre-
At.least.10.states.adopted.obesity-prevention.policies.in.2007..    kindergarten..
Such.measures.call.for.increased.physical.activity.in.schools;.
                                                                    ohio: To.ensure.that.preschool-age.children.are.receiving.
set.nutritional.guidelines.for.snacks.and.meals,.including.
                                                                    high-quality.instruction.and.care,.the.state.expanded.
beverages,.offered.in.schools;.and.establish.gubernatorial..
                                                                    licensing.requirements.to.mandate.that.all.teachers.have.at.
or.legislative.commissions/taskforces/committees.to.study.
                                                                    least.an.associate’s.degree.by.July.1,.2011.
further.and.offer.recommendations.for.curbing.childhood.
obesity.rates.                                                      Pennsylvania: Pre-K.Counts,.the.state’s.pre-kindergarten.
                                                                    program,.received.full.funding.in.the.amount.of.$75.million,.
School readiness:                                                   allowing.an.additional.11,000,.3-.and.4.-year-old.children.
Focus on Early Care and Education                                   to.participate.in.the.program.

VOICES’.vision.for.school.readiness.calls.for.all.children.         rhode island: A.new.voluntary.quality.rating.system.
and.their.parents.to.have.access.to.necessary.services.and.         received.approval.from.state.lawmakers..The.system.will.be.
supports.that.will.enable.children.to.start.school.prepared.        developed.to.assess.the.quality.of.early.care.and.education.
for.success..Recent.research.has.shed.light.on.the.fact.that.       programs,.including.child.care.centers,.family.child.care.
investing.in.early.childhood.development.is.a.sound.                homes,.group.family.child.care.homes,.school-age.child.
economic.decision.when.compared.to.other.public.policy.             care.programs,.and.preschools.
priorities.6..From.strengthening.and.supporting.the.child.
care.and.early.education.workforce.to.ensuring.that.infants.        Washington:.Legislation.was.enacted.that.creates.a.
and.toddlers.have.access.to.high-quality.early.education.           Quality.Rating.and.Improvement.System.(QRIS)..The.
regardless.of.the.setting,.state.policymakers.continue.to.          QRIS.will.give.families.standardized.information.about..
invest.in.early.care.and.education.initiatives..                    the.quality.of.child.care.centers,.and.offer.support.and.
                                                                    incentives.to.providers.to.improve.their.programs.
At.the.beginning.of.the.year,.governors.in.25.states.recog-
nized.early.childhood.education.among.their.2007.priorities..       Lawmakers.also.made.available.new.funds.to.support.
By.the.close.of.the.2007.legislative.sessions,.significant.         increases.in.child.care.subsidies..Such.subsidies.allow.working.
investments.and.improvements.to.state.early.education.              families.to.receive.assistance.to.support.their.child.care.
services.were.successfully.enacted.in.at.least.21.states..          costs..Lawmakers.in.at.least.15.states.extended.child.care.
Highlights.of.some.of.the.action.taken.across.the.country.          subsidy.programs.to.allow.more.families.to.receive.support.
are.provided.below.
                                                                    School Success: Focus on K-2
Alabama:.For.the.first.time,.the.state.provided.funding.to.
support.the.Home.Instruction.for.Parents.of.Preschool.              VOICES’.vision.for.school.success.calls.for.all.children..
Youngsters.(HIPPY).initiative..HIPPY.teaches.parents.how.           to.have.an.equal.opportunity.to.attend.adequately.and.
to.prepare.toddlers.for.school.by.providing.weekly.trainings.       equitably.financed.public.schools.that.meet.rigorous.
and.lessons..HIPPY.trainers.visit.homes.on.a.weekly.basis.          academic.standards.which.are.aligned.with.the.needs.of.
                                                                    developing.a.21st.century.workforce..Creating.a.21st.century.
Arizona: In.2007,.Arizona.began.to.implement.First.Things.          workforce.was.a.priority.for.both.Democratic.and.Republican.
First,.a.2006.voter-approved.initiative.that.called.for.a.four-     governors.in.2007..From.funding.to.quality,.legislatures.
cent.tobacco.tax.increase.to.support.early.childhood.develop-       across.the.country.continue.to.invest.in.and.improve.the.
ment.programs.and.services.at.the.local.level.                      quality.of.education.offered.to.our.future.leaders..


8                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
The.primary.source.of.funding.for.education.comes.from.                    from.foster.care.without.any.permanent.relationships..This.
states..In.some.states,.funding.for.K-12.education.can.                    vision.also.utilizes.a.community-based.approach.to.preventing.
comprise.over.50.percent.of.annual.budgets;.however,.on.                   youth.from.coming.into.contact.with.a.state’s.juvenile.
average,.33.percent.of.state.budgets.are.devoted.to.supporting.            justice.system.while.providing.the.necessary.supports.for.
it.7.It.is.no.surprise,.then,.that.state.lawmakers.spend.a.                successful.re-entry.into.a.community.after.being.discharged.
significant.amount.of.time.debating.the.future.of.their.
state’s.education.system..                                                 A.collective.approach.from.both.Congress.and.state.
                                                                           governments.is.essential.to.secure.the.safety.of.all.children...
With.more.and.more.research.shedding.light.on.the.                         For.the.513,000.children.in.foster.care.on.any.given.day,.
benefits.of.high-quality.early.education,.at.least.nine..                  and.the.115,000.children.awaiting.adoption,.permanency.is.
states.made.significant.investments.specifically.directed.                 increasingly.becoming.a.national.priority.9.
toward.establishing.new.or.supporting.existing.all-day.
kindergarten.programs..                                                    In.2007,.as.Congress.was.preparing.the.stage.for.a.new.
                                                                           federal.approach.to.child.safety,.states.across.the.country.
Proposals.to.reduce.high.school.dropout.rates.were.                        continued.to.take.the.lead.in.meeting.the.needs.of.our.must.
successfully.acted.on.in.Georgia,.Maine,.New.Hampshire,.                   vulnerable.population..Last.year,.at.least.40.states.took.steps.
New.Mexico,.South.Carolina,.South.Dakota,.Tennessee,.                      toward.strengthening.services.for.the.protection.of.children..
Texas.and.Washington..In.Maine,.new.legislation.creates.
avenues.for.recognizing.and.addressing.disruptions.in.the.                 Led.by.Arizona,.Arkansas,.Connecticut,.Michigan,.New.
academic.work.of.students.who.experience.things.like.                      Hampshire,.Texas.and.Washington,.states.continue.to.
homelessness,.unplanned.hospitalization.and.foster.care.                   increase.permanence.for.children.in.out-of-home.care.by.
placement..Several.states.increased.their.compulsory.school.               providing.supports.that.would.allow.children.to.stay.with.
attendance.age,.and.states.like.New.Hampshire,.Tennessee,.                 kin-care.or.other.guardianship.placements..Arizona,.
and.Virginia.sought.to.provide.more.technical.education.                   Arkansas,.Colorado,.Florida,.Ohio,.Texas.and.Utah.also.
opportunities.for.students..                                               worked.to.further.promote.adoptions.across.their.state..

Legislation.in.at.least.five.states.emphasized.improving.math,.            Strengthening.the.child.welfare.workforce.continues.to.be.
science.and.technology.skills.among.students..Specifically,.               an.essential.component.of.any.effective.system.and.Arkansas,.
lawmakers.in.Hawaii,.Minnesota,.and.Utah.set.aside.funding.                Delaware,.Kentucky,.Michigan,.Montana,.New.Jersey,.New.
for.programs.that.support.the.professional.development.of.                 Mexico,.New.York.and.Texas.sought.to.increase.the.quality,.
math.and.science.teachers..                                                training.and.retention.of.those.charged.with.protecting.children..

Teachers.in.at.least.seven.states—Alabama,.Arizona,.Idaho,.                As.previously.noted,.six.states.(Colorado,.Missouri,.North.
Iowa,.North.Carolina,.Utah,.and.Wyoming—will.receive.pay.                  Carolina,.Ohio,.Texas.and.Washington).took.advantage.of.
raises.because.of.legislation.passed.in.the.2007.state.sessions..          the.federal.Medicaid.option.[also.known.as.the.Chaffee.
                                                                           option,.for.the.late.Senator.John.Chaffee.(R-RI)].to.extend.
                                                                           health.coverage.for.youth.who.age.out.of.the.foster.care.
Child Safety: Protections Against Abuse,
                                                                           system.without.any.permanent.supports..Although.most.
Neglect, Exploitation and Violence
                                                                           states.extend.coverage.up.to.age.21,.Texas.recognized.the.
VOICES’.vision.for.safety.calls.for.all.children.to.be.safe..              importance.of.available.health.care.for.this.population.and.
in.their.homes.and.communities.from.all.forms.of.abuse,.                   extended.coverage.up.to.age.23..
neglect,.exploitation.and.violence,.avoid.risky.behaviors,.
and.contribute.to.the.community.well-being..This.vision.                   A.concentrated.focus.on.preventing.child.abuse.is.gaining.
requires.a.comprehensive.approach,.one.that.is.equally.                    greater.support,.as.New.Jersey.and.New.York.both.pro-
focused.on.prevention.and.early.intervention.activities.for.               vided.state.funding.for.differential.response.systems,.and.
children.and.families;.high-quality,.intervention-based.                   New.Jersey,.Pennsylvania.and.Texas.increased.funding.for.
services.when.children.are.at.risk;.and.a.full.community-                  evidence-based.home.visitation.programs..
based.aftercare.approach.for.all.children.whether.they.are.
reunited.with.their.biological.parents,.adopted,.or.graduate.                                                         continued on next page



F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                          9
Arizona,.California,.North.Carolina.and.Virginia.began.steps.       Maryland.passed.a.broad.fiscal.package.that.included.
to.improve.adjudication.procedures;.Connecticut.and.New.            raising.the.sales.tax,.making.the.state’s.relatively.flat.income.
Mexico.strengthened.the.alternatives.provided.for.community-        tax.structure.more.progressive;.increasing.the.personal.
based.services;.South.Dakota.began.procedures.to.reduce.the.        exemption;.and.expanding.the.state’s.Earned.Income.Tax.
disproportionate.minority.contact.of.juveniles.in.the.legal.        Credit.(EITC)..Additionally,.the.corporate.income.tax.rate.
system;.and.Illinois,.New.Mexico.and.North.Carolina.provided.       increased.from.7.to.8.25.percent,.and.a.loophole.was.closed.
greater.supports.for.youth.reentering.their.communities.            in.a.state.law.that.allowed.corporations.to.avoid.paying.
                                                                    taxes.on.certain.real.estate.activities..Utah.reduced.its.sales.
Economic Stability:                                                 tax.on.food.as.well.as.the.state’s.overall.sales.tax.rate,.and.
An investment in the Future                                         reduced.its.flat.tax.rate.from.5.35.to.5.percent.for.those.
                                                                    opting.to.pay.the.flat.tax.over.the.state’s.graduated.tax..
VOICES’.vision.for.economic.security.calls.for.all.children.
to.live.in.families.that.can.provide.for.their.needs.and.make.
                                                                    Other.states.also.have.made.adjustments.to.property.or.
investments.in.their.future..Achieving.these.goals.requires.
                                                                    homestead.taxes..In.2007,.Montana.provided.property.tax.
enactment.of.tax.and.economic.policies.that.enable.working.
                                                                    rebates.of.$140.to.families.who.owned.homes.in.2007,.and.$400.
families.to.have.sufficient.income.to.raise.their.families,.
                                                                    to.those.who.owned.homes.in.2006..Similarly,.Indiana.also.
initiatives.that.enable.families.to.invest.in.themselves.and.in.
                                                                    provided.rebate.checks.to.home.owners.to.offset.a.scheduled.
their.children’s.development,.and.family.support.policies.
                                                                    increase.in.property.taxes..Arkansas.passed.similar.legislation..
that.allow.families.to.meet.basic.human.needs..

In.2007,.states.engaged.in.many.efforts.around.these.broad.         Several.states.have.built.on.the.federal.EITC.program.by.
themes..A.number.of.states.made.changes.to.their.tax.               passing.their.own.versions..Typically,.a.state’s.EITC.equals.
structures.or.enacted.other.policies.aimed.to.increase.the.         a.percentage.of.the.federal.credit.and,.at.the.state’s.discre-
income.of.working.families..                                        tion,.may.be.refundable.or.non-refundable..In.2007,.five.
                                                                    states—Iowa,.Maryland,.New.Jersey,.North.Carolina.and.
Maryland.passed.the.nation’s.first.statewide.“Living.Wage”.         Washington—either.expanded.existing.state.EITCs.or.
law..It.requires.state.contractors.to.pay.employees.at.least.       approved.plans.to.create.new.credits..
$11.30.per.hour.in.urban.areas.and.$8.50.per.hour.in.rural.
areas..Other.states,.including.Iowa,.Kentucky,.Nevada,.             Specific.policy.changes.included.the.following11:.
New.Hampshire.and.North.Dakota,.enacted.legislation.to.
increase.their.state’s.minimum.wage..Although,.the.federal.         iowa.increased.its.EITC.from.6.5.to.7.percent.and.made..
minimum.wage.will.increase.in.three.phases—from.$5.15..             it.refundable,.allowing.an.additional.650,000.households.to.
to.$5.85.per.hour.effective.July.2007;.to.$6.55.per.hour.           claim.the.credit..
effective.July.2008;.and,.in.the.last.phase,.to.$7.25.per.hour.
effective.July.2009—it.is.a.wage.floor..                            Maryland.expanded.the.refundable.portion.of.its.EITC.
                                                                    from.20.to.25.percent.of.the.federal.EITC,.which.will.
Many.states.have.minimum.wages.that.are.higher.than.the.            benefit.over.200,000.low-.and.moderate-income.households.
federal.minimum..Currently,.at.$8.07.per.hour,.Washington.          with.children..
has.the.highest.minimum.wage.level,.followed.by.California.
and.Massachusetts,.both.at.$8.00.per.hour..However,.by.             New Jersey’s.EITC.removes.the.$20,000.income.cap,.
2010,.the.minimum.wage.in.Illinois.will.have.increased.to.          aligns.it.with.federal.standards,.and.increases.the.refundable.
$8.25.per.hour..In.instances.where.states.have.minimum.
                                                                    portion.from.20.to.22.5.percent.in.2009.and.to.25.percent.
wage.laws.higher.than.the.federal.minimum,.the.higher.of.
                                                                    in.2010,.which.will.assist.thousands.of.New.Jersey’s.low-
the.two.wages—state.or.federal—will.take.precedence.10.
                                                                    income.households..
In.2007,.Arkansas,.Maryland,.South.Carolina.and.Utah.
                                                                    North Carolina.has.a.new.refundable.EITC.that.is.3.5.
enacted.substantive.changes.to.their.state’s.tax.system..In.
                                                                    percent.of.the.federal.EITC.and.will.benefit.more.than.
Arkansas,.the.groceries.sales.tax.was.reduced.from.6.to.3.
percent.and.state.income.tax.was.eliminated.for.families.           825,000.North.Carolina.households.
earning.less.than.125.percent.of.the.FPL..South.Carolina.
took.similar.measures..


0                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Washington.passed.a.new.EITC.that.equals.5.percent..
of.the.federal.EITC.for.2009.and.2010,.and.increases.to..
10.percent.for.2011.and.thereafter..Washington.is.the.first.
state.without.a.state.income.tax.to.pass.an.EITC..It.will.
assist.350,000.Washington.households..

Expansions.in.the.EITC,.particularly.when.refundable,.help.
close.the.gap.between.wages.and.the.FPL.for.low-wage.
workers..It.has.lifted.thousands.of.families.from.severe.
poverty.and.made.it.easier.to.make.ends.meet.12..

Other.family.support.policies.enacted.in.2007.include.a.
state.income.tax.deduction.enacted.in.Wisconsin.for.child.
and.dependent.care.expenses.beginning.in.2009..Similarly,.
the.state.of.New.York.created.a.local.refundable.tax.credit.
for.child.care.expenses.for.families.with.annual.incomes.of.
up.to.$30,000..In.Florida,.a.back-to-school.tax.holiday.was.
established—on.clothing.purchases.and.books.valued.under.
$50.as.well.as.on.school.supplies.under.$10—for.10.days.
before.the.beginning.of.the.school.year..H




 FooTNoTES

1.	   United	Nations	Development	Programme,	Human Development Reports, Human and Income Poverty Table,	2007/2008.
2.	   U.S.	Census	Bureau,	Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2006,	August	2007.
3.	   Congressional	Budget	Office,	“Estimates of the Number of Uninsured Children who are Eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP,”	letter	to	Honor-
      able	Max	Baucus,	July	24,	2007.	
4.	   Centers	 for	 Disease	 Control	 and	 Prevention,	 National	 Center	 for	 Health	 Statistics,	 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,
      Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1982–1984), and National Health Examination Survey (1963–1965 and 1966–1970).
5.	   Kumanyika,	 Shiriki	 and	 Sonya	 Grier,	 The	 Future	 of	 Children,	 Targeting Interventions for Ethnic Minority and Low-Income Populations,	
      Spring	2006.
6.	   Rolnick,	Art	and	Rob	Grunewald,	Early Childhood Development: Economic Development with a High Public Return, Minneapolis Fed-
      eral Reserve Bank, March	2003.
7.	   National	Conference	of	State	Legislatures,	K-12 Overview, Retrieved	Month	1,	2008.
8.	   U.S.	Department	of	Health	and	Human	Services,	Administration	on	Children,	Youth	and	Families,	Children’s	Bureau.	Child Maltreatment
      2006.	(2008).	Washington,	DC:	U.S.	Government	Printing	Office.
9.	   U.S.	Department	of	Health	&	Human	Services,	Administration	on	Children,	Youth	&	Families,	Children’s	Bureau.	(2006).	AFCARS Report
      #13.		Washington,	DC.
10.	 U.S.	Department	of	Labor,	Minimum Wage Laws in the States,	January	2008..
11.	 State	EITC	Online	Resource	Center,	50 State Resource Map.
12.	 Economic	Policy	Institute,	Economic Snapshots: Minimum Wage Increasingly Lags Poverty Line,	January	2007.




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                                
                    2 0 0 7 STAT E l E g iSl ATiV E S E S Si oN S

                     Date                 Date                                            Date                 Date
State                Convened             Adjourned                 State                 Convened             Adjourned
Alabama*             March	6	             June	7                    New hampshire January	3	                   July	1
Alaska*              January	16	          May	16                    New Jersey            January	9	           **
Arizona              January	8	           June	20                   New Mexico*           January	16	          March	17
Arkansas             January	8	           May	1                     New York              January	3	           **
California*          Dec.	4,	2006	        Sept.	12	                 North Carolina*       January	24	          August	2
Colorado             January	10	          May	4                     North Dakota          January	9	           April	25
Connecticut*         January	3	           June	6                    ohio                  January	2	           **
Delaware             January	9	           June	30                   oklahoma              February	5	          May	25
Florida*             March	6	             May	4                     oregon                January	8	           June	28
georgia              January	8	           April	20                  Pennsylvania*         January	2		          **
hawaii*              January	17	          May	3                     rhode island*         January	2	           June	23
idaho                January	8	           March	30                  South Carolina        January	9	           June	29
illinois*            January	10		         **                        South Dakota          January	9	           March	26
indiana              January	8	           April	29                  Tennessee             January	9	           June	12
iowa                 January	8	           April	29                  Texas                 January	9	           May	28
Kansas               January	8	           May	22                    utah*                 January	15	          February	28
Kentucky*            January	2	           March	27                  Vermont               January	3	           May	12
louisiana            April	30	            June	28                   Virginia              January	10	          February	24
Maine                Dec.	6,	2006	        June	21                   Washington*           January	8	           April	22
Maryland*            January	10	          April	9                   West Virginia*        January	10	          March	10
Massachusetts	       January	3	           **                        Wisconsin*            January	3	           **	
Michigan             January	10	          **                        Wyoming               January	9	           March	14	
Minnesota*           January	3	           May	21
Mississippi*         January	2	           March	30                  D.C.                  January	2	           **
Missouri*            January	3	           May	30                    guam                  January	9	           **
Montana*             January	3	           April	27                  Puerto rico           January	8	           June	30
Nebraska             January	3	           May	31                    Virgin islands        January	9	           **	
Nevada*              February	5	          June	5


                         	*	Legislature	held	Special	Session			|			**	Legislature	Meets	throughout	the	year
            Source:	National	Conference	of	State	Legislatures,	2007	Legislative	Session	Calendar,	December	31,	2007.




2                          Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Alabama                                                                                                                         AL


  Governor.Bob.Riley.(R).began.the.year.by.making.promises.to.continue.to.improve.the.state’s.education.
  system..In.September,.the.governor.proudly.acknowledged.the.state’s.improvement.as.listed.in.the.National.
  Assessment.of.Educational.Progress.report.card..The.data.released.showed.that.Alabama’s.public.school.system.
  significantly.improved.its.ranking.and.was.the.first.in.the.nation.for.grade.4.reading..In.2007,.significant.
  investments.were.made.in.the.state’s.education.system.




School readiness:                                 School Success:                                   The.Alabama.Reading.Initiative,.
Focus on Early Care                               Focus on K-2                                     which.seeks.to.achieve.a.100.percent.
and Education                                                                                       literacy.rate.among.public.school.
                                                  Governor.Riley.signed.into.law.a.Fiscal.
                                                                                                    students,.received.an.increase.of..
Due.in.part.to.VOICES’.Alabama.                   Year.2008.budget.that.increased.the.
                                                                                                    $8.4.million.
member,.Voices.for.Alabama’s.                     state’s.education.budget.by.more.than.
Children,.and.its.partners,.the.state’s.          $450.million..The.$6.7.billion.budget.
                                                                                                    In.addition,.the.education.budget.
pre-kindergarten.budget.more.than.                includes.increases.for.many.of.the.
                                                                                                    includes.a.7.percent.pay.raise.for.
doubled..The.state’s.Office.of.School.            governor’s.education.priorities..
                                                                                                    teachers,.which.the.governor.asked.
Readiness’.pre-kindergarten.budget.                                                                 for.in.his.state.of.the.state.address..
increased.by.more.than.$4.6.million..             As.promised.in.his.state.of.the.state.
                                                                                                    The.governor.also.received.support.
VOICES.for.Alabama’s.Children.also.               address,.the.governor.provided.for.
                                                                                                    for.his.teacher.mentoring.program..
successfully.advocated.for.a.$1.2..               further.investment.in.Alabama’s.Math,.
                                                                                                    This.program.will.pair.new.teachers.
million.increase.in.child.care.subsidies.         Science.and.Technology.Initiative..
                                                                                                    with.more.experienced.educators..H
                                                  The.governor.asked.that.the.Legisla-
The.Legislature,.for.the.first.time,.             ture.appropriate.$33.million..The.
also.appropriated.$1.7.million.to.                FY2008.budget.funds.the.initiative.at.
support.the.Home.Instruction.for.                 nearly.$36.million,.extending.the..
Parents.of.Preschool.Youngsters.                  program.to.225.new.schools.
(HIPPY).initiative..HIPPY.teaches.
parents.how.to.prepare.toddlers.for.              The.Alabama.Connecting.Classrooms,.
school.by.providing.weekly.trainings.             Educators.and.Students.Statewide.
and.lessons.during.home.visits.by.                (ACCESS).distance.learning.program,.
HIPPY.trainers.                                   which.provides.rural.students.with.
                                                  greater.access.to.more.teachers.in.
                                                  advanced.placement.subjects,.foreign.
                                                  languages,.and.advanced.math.and.
                                                  science.courses,.received.an.increase.of.
                                                  $10.million,.for.a.total.of.$20.million..
                                                  The.additional.funds.will.extend.access.
                                                  to.such.courses.to.8,000.students.in.
                                                  an.additional.100.high.schools..The.
                                                  goal.is.to.have.ACCESS.available.to.
                                                  every.high.school.by.2010.


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                        3
Alaska                                                                                                                  AK


  Last.year.marked.Governor.Sarah.Palin’s.(R).first.year..The.governor.and.Legislature.worked.tirelessly.on.
  the.Alaska.Gasline.Inducement.Act,.an.effort.to.advance.a.natural.gas.pipeline.project,.as.well.as.on.an.ethics.
  bill.that.establishes.new.standards.of.conduct,.and.shoring.up.the.public.employees.and.teacher’s.retirement.
  systems..Regarding.children’s.policy,.the.most.significant.legislation.enacted.dealt.with.education.funding.




School Success:                              Economic Stability:
Focus on K-2                                An investment in the Future
In.2007,.the.Senate.Bipartisan.Working.      As.part.of.her.commitment.to.the.
Group.made.it.a.priority.to.examine.         state’s.workforce.development,.
education.funding..Forming.a.Special.        Governor.Palin.announced.the.
Committee.on.Education,.the.Senate.          creation.of.the.Work.Ready/College.
reviewed.the.state’s.foundation.formula,.    Ready.program..This.program.will.
teacher.mentoring.project,.and.              provide.students.and.adults.with.an.
proposed.changes.to.the.federal.No.          opportunity.to.evaluate.and.improve.
Child.Left.Behind.Act..                      their.performance.around.a.set.of.
                                             skills—which.includes.applied.math,.
Although.work.remains.to.be.done,..          identifying.information.in.graphs..
a.resolution.was.adopted.to.create.a.        and.reading.comprehension..The.
Joint.Legislative.Education.Funding.         administration.hopes.to.roll.out.the.
Task.Force.to.review.and.develop.new.        program.in.2008..H
funding.recommendations.for.the.
state’s.education.system..Appointees.
will.include.five.members.of.the.
Senate,.five.members.of.the.House.as.
well.as.a.gubernatorial.appointee.

In.addition,.elected.officials.developed.
a.plan.to.deposit.$1.billion.of.surplus.
revenue.into.the.state’s.Public.Educa-
tion.Fund..The.money.will.be.provided.
to.give.local.school.districts.more.
“predictability”.regarding.funding,.as.
first.mentioned.by.the.governor.in.her.
inaugural.state.of.the.state.address.




4                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Arizona                                                                                                                          AZ


  Governor. Janet. Napolitano. (D). opened. the. 2007. legislative. session. by. expressing. her. commitment. to.
  shape.public.policies.that.will.give.children.an.opportunity.to.“thrive.in.an.ever.more.challenging.21st.
  century.”.To.support.her.vision,.the.Fiscal.Year.2008.budget.received.a.modest.increase.with.additional.
  investments.for.education..Although.the.FY2008.budget.maintains.current.service.levels.for.children.and.
  their.families,.Children’s.Action.Alliance,.VOICES’.Arizona.member,.determined.that.there.were.some.
  “significant”.new.investments.in.Arizona’s.crucial.supports.for.children.and.families..




Addressing Equity:                               prenatal.care.services.by.increasing.              School Success:
Narrowing Societal gaps                          the.eligibility.level.from.133.to.150.             Focus on K-2
                                                 percent.of.the.Federal.Poverty.Level.
Due.to.a.lack.of.federal.action.on.                                                                 The.FY2008.budget.provides.an.
immigration,.Arizona’s.anti-illegal.                                                                additional.$300.million.for.education..
                                                 In.addition,.money.was.appropriated.
immigration.policy.is.amongst.the.                                                                  To.maintain.a.high-quality.education.
                                                 to.the.Department.of.Health.Services.
most.stringent.in.the.country..Current.                                                             workforce,.the.budget.supports.an.
                                                 to.cover.the.increased.number.of.
law.will.likely.contribute.to.further.                                                              increase.in.teacher.pay.and.continuing.
                                                 recommended.vaccinations.for.children.
economic.and.health.disparities.in.                                                                 education..Additional.investments.for.
                                                 and.high-risk.adults.
Latino.and.other.minority.communities.                                                              financial.aid.were.made.available.for.
due.to.the.impact.that.anti-immigration.                                                            students.entering.college.
policies.have.on.legally.present.or.             School readiness:
citizen.children.born.to.parents.of.             Focus on Early Care                                In.addition,.grant.money.was.set.aside.
legal.or.undocumented.status..                   and Education                                      for.schools.to.foster.the.creation.of.
                                                                                                    innovative.programs..The.Instructional.
                                                 In.2007,.Arizona.began.to.implement.
                                                                                                    Technology.(IT).System.Grants.will.
Supporting healthy                               First.Things.First,.a.2006.voter-
                                                                                                    give.schools.an.opportunity.to.upgrade.
Development                                      approved.initiative.that.called.for.a.
                                                                                                    the.IT.systems,.add.more.computers.
                                                 four-cent.tobacco.tax.increase.to.
To.ensure.that.more.of.Arizona’s.                                                                   to.classrooms.and.offer.IT.training.to.
                                                 support.early.childhood.development.
children.have.access.to.medical.                                                                    teachers..The.Math.and.Science.
                                                 programs.and.services.at.the.local.
coverage,.the.FY2008.budget.provides.                                                               Achievement.Grants.will.support.math.
                                                 level..The.initiative.called.for.the.
state.funding.to.complement.the.use.                                                                and.science.programs,.giving.priority.
                                                 creation.of.a.state-level.Arizona.Early.
of.private.dollars.in.outreach.efforts.                                                             to.schools.having.a.low.state.achieve-
                                                 Childhood.Development.and.Health.
for.the.state’s.public.health.insurance.                                                            ment.score..The.Reading.First.Grants.
                                                 Board..To.further.support.toddlers.
programs,.Medicaid.and.KidsCare..                                                                   will.expand.the.federal.program.to.
                                                 and.their.families,.the.FY2008.budget.
Although.the.governor.was.not.able.                                                                 schools.that.currently.do.not.participate.
                                                 includes.a.5.percent.increase.in.child.
to.secure.support.to.expand.the.state’s.                                                            in.the.federal.initiative.or.receive.
                                                 care.subsidies.and.a.three-year.phase-
public.insurance.program.for.kids,.as.                                                              federal.funding.
                                                 in.to.increase.the.number.of.child.care.
called.for.in.her.2007.state.of.the.state.
                                                 center.inspectors..
address,.additional.funding.was.set.
aside.to.provide.more.low-income.
pregnant.woman.with.access.to.                                                                                          continued on next page



F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                         5
Arizona (continued)
Child Safety: Protections                     Economic Stability:
Against Abuse, Neglect,                       An investment in the Future
Exploitation and Violence                     For.youth.who.have.been.raised.in.
The.federal.Deficit.Reduction.Act..           the.foster.care.system.and.are.
of.2005.yielded.a.loss.of.federal.            transitioning.to.independent.living,.the.
dollars.that.helped.support.the.state’s.      state.increased.its.financial.support.by.
foster.care.system,.specifically.for..        $1.million..This.money.will.go.toward.
kin.who.are.providing.caring..The.            assisting.youth.with.their.rent,.groceries.
FY2008.budget.appropriated.$23.               and.utilities.as.they.work.toward.
million.to.help.offset.the.lost.federal.      becoming.fully.independent..In.
funding.stream.                               addition,.the.FY2008.budget.funds.
                                              two.counselors.who.will.assist.foster.
The.budget.offers.additional.funding.         youth.interested.in.continuing.their.
to.support.families.who.adopt.children.       education.past.high.school..H
with.special.needs.and.individuals.
who.become.permanent.guardians.to.
prevent.a.child.from.entering.the.
foster.care.system..The.AZ.Families.
First.program,.a.substance.abuse.
treatment.program,.also.received.
additional.funds.to.expand.the.number.
of.individuals.served..

In.addition,.improvements.were.made.
to.state.policies.that.will.allow.youth.
who.have.been.charged.with.inappro-
priate.sexual.conduct.to.have.their.
cases.heard.on.an.individual.basis.and.
under.the.juvenile.justice.system.
versus.the.adult.criminal.justice.system..
Judges.are.given.the.authority.to.
place.youth.offenders.in.a.treatment.
program,.and.for.youth.tried.in.adult.
criminal.court,.a.court.will.be.required.
to.review.their.cases.on.an.annual.basis.




6               F u lfilling the Promise 2007: Assessing States’ Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Arkansas                                                                                                                         AR


  VOICES.member.Arkansas.Advocates.for.Children.and.Families.deemed.the.2007.session.of.the.General.
  Assembly. “…a. successful. one. for. children. and. families.”. Governor. Mike. Beebe. (D). and. the. General.  .
  Assembly.worked.together.to.successfully.adopt.legislation.that.allows.more.low-income.children.to.receive.
  quality.pre-kindergarten.instruction,.coordinates.emergency.response.efforts.for.child.care.facilities,.improves.
  the.state’s.child.welfare.and.mental.health.systems,.and.offers.tax.relief.for.Arkansas.families..




Supporting healthy                                the.requirements.created.undue.                   three-.and.4-year-olds.whose.families.
Development                                       pressure.on.students—particularly.                earn.up.to.200.percent.of.the.Federal.
                                                  athletes,.who.tend.to.have.a.higher.BMI.          Poverty.Level.(FPL),.Governor.Beebe.
Despite.the.country’s.growing.obesity.
                                                  rate—and.brought.about.financial.                 and.Arkansas’.legislative.leaders.
rate.among.children,.the.governor.
                                                  pressures.on.schools,.legislation.was.            successfully.provided.additional.
signed.legislation.that.watered.down.
                                                  enacted.in.2007.that.would.require.               funding.to.support.the.state’s.pre-
existing.state.physical.education.
                                                  schools.to.send.out.the.BMI.report.cards.         kindergarten.initiative,.Arkansas.Better.
mandates.as.well.as.the.nation’s.first-
                                                  every.other.year..The.legislation.allows.         Chance.Program.(ABC)..The.ABC.
of-its-kind.body.mass.index.(BMI).
                                                  parents.to.opt.out.of.the.screening.for.          program.received.an.additional.$40.
reporting.requirement..
                                                  their.child,.and.those.in.grades.11.and.          million.in.2007,.bringing.the.annual.
                                                  12.will.be.exempt.from.the.screening.             budget.for.the.program.to.$111.million.
Instead.of.requiring.schools.to.offer.
                                                  requirements..In.addition,.a.study..
students.150.minutes.of.physical.
                                                  will.be.conducted.to.evaluate.better.             Due.to.the.impact.traumatic.events.
education.(PE).per.week,.legislation.was.
                                                  processes.for.conducting.the.BMI.                 can.have.on.the.development.of.
signed.into.law.requiring.elementary.
                                                  screenings.in.schools..                           young.children,.the.state.adopted.the.
school.students.to.receive.60.minutes.
                                                                                                    Emergency.Preparedness.for.Child.
of.PE.per.week.and.90.minutes.of.
                                                  Legislation.was.also.enacted.to.create.a.         Care.Facilities.Act..The.Act.requires.
physical.activity,.which.can.include.
                                                  Governor’s.Commission.on.Children’s.              various.state.agencies.to.collaborate.
recess.or.PE.activities..Middle.school.
                                                  Mental.Health.in.an.effort.to.improve.            in.order.to.develop.a.plan.that.would.
students.will.be.required.to.participate.
                                                  the.state’s.mental.health.system.for.             identify.both.licensed.and.nonlicensed.
in.60.minutes.of.PE.per.year.and.high.
                                                  children..The.measure.called.for.the.             facilities.in.the.event.that.children.
school.students.must.take.½.of.credit.
                                                  Department.of.Health.and.Human.                   would.need.to.be.evacuated.to.the.
of.PE..No.additional.requirements.for.
                                                  Services.to.make.available.$2.million.for.        nearest.emergency.shelter,.and.to.
physical.activity.were.set.for.middle.
                                                  nontraditional.services.that.families.            better.coordinate.first.responders..On.
school.and.high.school.students.
                                                  need,.but.which.are.not.reimbursable.             an.annual.basis,.licensed.facilities.will.
                                                  by.Medicaid..                                     be.required.to.notify.parents.of.the.
In.2003,.Arkansas.passed.a.bellwether.
                                                                                                    designated.emergency.shelter.to.
measure.to.combat.the.state’s.growing.
                                                                                                    ensure.a.“…rapid.reunification.of.
childhood.obesity.rate..Schools.were.             School readiness:
                                                                                                    young.children.with.their.parents.
required.to.send.home.annual.report.              Focus on Early Care                               during.emergencies.”.
cards.that.included.a.child’s.BMI.to.give.        and Education
parents.a.better.understanding.of.their.
                                                  As.part.of.a.commitment.to.provide.
child’s.health.status..However,.due.to.
                                                  top-quality.preschool.classes.to.all.                                 continued on next page
parental.backlash.and.concerns.that.


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                         7
Arkansas (continued)
School Success:                               One.of.the.most.significant.pieces.of.        To.better.the.lives.of.foster.care.
Focus on K-2                                 legislation.approved.by.the.General.          children.and.youth,.several.bills.were.
                                              Assembly.allows.for.the.development.          signed.into.law.during.the.2007.session..
State.officials.also.spent.a.substantial.
                                              of.child.safety.centers.throughout.the.       The.Foster.Parent.Support.Act.of.
amount.of.time.deliberating.the.
                                              state..Supported.in.part.by.an.               2007.acknowledges.the.critical.role.
funding.of.public.schools..In.addition.
                                              additional.1.percent.sales.tax.on.the.        that.foster.parents.play.in.the.lives.of.
to.funding.that.will.help.improve.and.
                                              sale.of.beer,.these.centers.will.house.       children,.by.better.integrating.foster.
maintain.school.facilities,.a.measure.
                                              child.maltreatment.investigative.             parents.into.the.case.management.
was.signed.into.law.that.increased.the.
                                              services.to.better.serve.children.who.        team.and.providing.skills.training.to.
funding.for.public.schools.to.$51.per.
                                              have.been.victims.of.abuse..Such.             better.meet.the.needs.of.a.child.who.
student.for.2007-2008.and.$87.per.
                                              facilities.will.allow.investigators.to.       is.separated.from.his/her.parent..
student.for.2008-2009..Investments.
                                              conduct.interviews.and.physical.and.          Elected.officials.also.approved.a.“bill.
were.also.provided.in.the.amount.of.
                                              mental.examinations.in.a.child-               of.rights”.for.children.who.enter.into.
$7.million.for.charter.schools.that.
                                              friendly.environment..The.money.              the.foster.care.system..Among.its.pro-
target.high.poverty.areas.
                                              generated.by.the.additional.tax.on.beer.      visions,.the.Safeguards.for.Children.
                                              will.be.used.to.hire.32.new.investigative.    in.Foster.Care.Act.gives.foster.care.
School.officials.will.now.be.required.
                                              positions.as.well.as.help.offset.the.         children.further.opportunities.to.ask.
to.inform.a.student’s.parent.or.guardian.
                                              centers’.operational.expenses..In.            questions.regarding.their.placement.
immediately.after.a.student.has.been.
                                              addition,.the.state.government.has.           and.ensures.continued.contact.with.
suspended..Schools.are.required.to.
                                              called.on.the.Department.of.Higher.           individuals.who.play.a.significant.role.in.
keep.track.of.attempted.notifications.
                                              Education.to.better.train.the.child.          their.lives,.such.as.teachers.and.friends.
                                              welfare.workforce.in.identifying.and.
In.addition,.legislation.was.enacted.         reporting.child.abuse.and.neglect.            Contingent.upon.federal.funding,.the.
that.requires.all.substitute.teachers.to.
                                                                                            Arkansas.Subsidized.Guardianship.Act.
hold.a.high.school.graduate.degree.or.
                                              In.an.effort.to.better.protect.babies.        provides.guardians.with.subsidies.to.
general.education.development.
                                              born.to.drug-abusing.mothers,.a.bill.         help.offset.the.costs.for.caring.for.a.
credential,.and.a.bill.was.signed.into.
                                              was.enacted.that.revises.a.state.law.         child..In.an.effort.to.help.foster.youth.
law.that.defines.bullying.to.include.
                                              known.as.Garrett’s.Law..The.new.law.          become.more.independent,.a.bill.was.
cyber-bullying.in.public.school.district.
                                              requires.the.child.abuse.hotline.to.          enacted.that.will.make.it.easier.for.
anti-bullying.policies.
                                              accept.and.proceed.with.an.investiga-         foster.youth.under.the.age.of.18.to.
                                              tion.if.it.is.reported.that.a.mother.tests.   obtain.a.driver’s.license..The.state,.
Child Safety: Protections                     positive.for.drug.use.at.the.time.of.         versus.the.child’s.guardian,.will.now.
Against Abuse, Neglect,                       delivery,.rather.than.determining.the.        assume.liability.for.any.negligence..
Exploitation and Violence                     case.based.on.the.health.status.of..          or.damages.caused.by.foster.youth.
                                              the.newborn..If.there.are.no.other.           while.driving..
The.approved.budget.for.the.Division.         findings.of.abuse.and.neglect.except.
of.Children.and.Family.Services.(DCFS).       for.the.positive.drug.test.at.birth,.         The.General.Assembly.has.called..
saw.an.increase.in.2007..The.additional.      DCFS.is.authorized.to.exempt.a.               for.an.interim.study.to.evaluate.the.
funding.will.restore.75.positions.            mother.from.being.placed.on.the.              educational.outcomes.of.youth.who.
within.the.department,.as.well.as.            child.maltreatment.registry.                  are.detained.in.juvenile.detention.
provide.funds.for.adoption.subsidies,.
                                                                                            facilities..
and.improve.training.and.technology.
for.the.department’s.employees..
                                                                                                                continued on next page


8                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Arkansas (continued)
In.addition,.legislation.was.adopted.
that.sets.requirements.of.proximity.
for.“adult-oriented.business”.in.order.
to.keep.children.safe..Such.businesses.
may.not.be.within.1,000.feet.of.a.child.
care.facility,.park,.place.of.worship,.
playground,.public.library,.recreational.
area.or.facility,.residence,.school.or.
walking.trail.


Economic Stability:
An investment in the Future
As.stated.early.in.the.year,.Governor.
Beebe.hoped.to.phase.out.the.state.
sales.tax.on.groceries.and.reduce.
property.taxes.in.order.to.offer.some.
tax.relief.for.working.Arkansans..The.
legislative.body.agreed.with.the.
governor.and.passed.legislation.that.
halved.the.groceries.sales.tax.from.6.
to.3.percent..In.addition,.homeown-
ers.will.now.receive.a.property.tax.
credit.in.the.amount.of.$350.per.year,.
up.from.$300..State.officials.also.
elected.to.eliminate.the.state’s.income.
tax.for.families.earning.less.than.125.
percent.of.the.FPL..H




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   9
California                                                                                                                CA


  In.his.2007.state.of.the.state.address,.Governor.Arnold.Schwarzenegger.(R).expressed.the.importance.of.
  children.on.the.state’s.economic.power.and.leadership..Children.Now’s.President,.Ted.Lempert,.charac-
  terized. Governor. Schwarzenegger’s. proposed. children’s. agenda. as. “…improving. the. well-being. of. our.
  kids.and.our.society.”.Children.Now.is.joined.by.VOICES’.other.California.members—Children’s.Advocacy.
  Institute,.Coleman.Advocates.for.Children.and.Youth,.and.Kids.in.Common—in.speaking.up.for.the.needs.
  of.children.and.families.in.the.state.




Supporting healthy                             School readiness:                             services.for.foster.children.who.are.
Development                                    Focus on Early Care                           placed.outside.the.original.county.of.
                                               and Education                                 jurisdiction.
In.2007,.Governor.Schwarzenegger.
signed.into.law.several.initiatives.           The.2007–.2008.budget.included..              In.2007,.the.Resource.Family.Pilot.
directed.toward.improving.the.health.          $50.million.in.funding.to.expand.             Program.was.created.to.establish.a.
of.California’s.children..During.the.          preschool.opportunities.for.4-year.           uniform.approval.process.for.foster.
legislative.session,.the.governor.             olds.who.live.in.low-performing.              family.homes,.foster.care.providers.
included.an.additional.$1.1.billion..          school.districts..                            and.adoptive.families..The.aim.of.the.
in.funding.for.the.Healthy.Families.
                                                                                             program.is.to.streamline.the.applica-
Program—California’s.state.health.
insurance.program—an.increase.of.
                                               Protecting Against                            tion.process.and.expedite.the.place-
                                               Abuse and Neglect                             ment.of.foster.youth.in.permanent.
$93.6.million.above.2006.levels..A.
                                                                                             homes..Similarly,.the.governor.signed.
portion.of.this.investment—$59.                The.governor’s.2007—2008.budget.
                                                                                             a.bill.that.ensures.that.foster.youth.
million—is.to.be.used.to.enroll.               includes.$4.1.billion.to.support.child.
                                                                                             who.move.from.one.county.to.
eligible.kids.and.retain.those.currently.      welfare.services,.including.abuse.
                                                                                             another.continue.to.receive.health.
covered..This.increase.is.expected.to.         prevention,.foster.care.and.adoption,.
                                                                                             services..The.intent.of.this.bill.is.to.
extend.health.insurance.coverage.to.an.        and.foster.care.services—an.increase.of.
                                                                                             make.the.transitions.between.county.
additional.73,000.children.in.California..     4.5.percent.increase.over.2006.levels..
                                                                                             health.systems.seamless..

The.Fiscal.Year.2007.revised.budget.           Additionally,.Governor.Schwarzeneg-
                                                                                             A.law.was.enacted.that.requires.the.
included.$11.1.million.for.the.California.     ger.signed.into.law.a.package.of.
                                                                                             state.to.develop.a.plan.to.explore.
Fresh.Start.Program,.a.newly.established.      reforms.and.protections.for.vulnerable.
                                                                                             transforming.the.current.group..
initiative.contained.within.the.Governor’s.    children.and.youth..One.law.requires.
                                                                                             home.model.for.foster.children..
Obesity.Initiative..The.program.promotes.      counties.to.screen.foster.youth.between.
                                                                                             and.children.with.emotional.and.
healthy.diets.for.children.by.encouraging.     the.ages.of.16.½.and.17.½.to.determine.
                                                                                             behavioral.disorders.to.a.residential-
school-age.children.to.eat.fresh.fruits.       eligibility.for.Supplemental.Security.
                                                                                             based.service.delivery.model..
and.vegetables..The.budget.included.           Income.disability.benefits.and.to.
$5.4.million.to.support.grants.for.school.     provide.assistance.with.completing.
breakfast.or.summer.food.service.              the.application.for.those.who.are.
programs..This.funding.is.expected..           deemed.eligible..Another.law.removes.
to.fund.approximately.500.grants..             barriers.to.access.to.mental.health.                              continued on next page



20                             Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
California (continued)
The.state.also.devoted.significant.               Economic Stability
resources.to.child.welfare.providers.in.
                                                  The.2007–2008.budget.included.an.
California,.including:.an.additional.
                                                  additional.$3.3.billion.for.the.state’s.
$3.7.million.in.reimbursement.for.
                                                  K-12.child.care.programs..This.
nonprofit.private.adoption.agencies.
                                                  funding.will.create.950,000.child.care.
that.specialize.in.finding.permanent.
                                                  slots.to.support.California’s.working.
homes.for.children.with.intensive.
                                                  families..H
care.needs;.$17.2.million.toward.a..
5.percent.increase.in.foster.family.
home.base.rates,.specialized.care.
increments,.group.home.rates,.and.
payments.to.adoption.assistance.
providers,.as.well.as.other.emergency.
service.providers;.an.increase.of.$30.8.
million.to.standardize.reimbursement.
rates.for.foster.care.and.adoptive.
families.who.care.for.children.with.
developmental.disabilities;.and.an.
increase.of.$20.2.million.for.the.
Transitional.Housing.Plus.Program,.
which.provides.services.to.youth.
between.18.and.24.years.who.are.
“aging.out”.of.the.foster.care.system..




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   2
Colorado                                                                                                                CO


  Governor.Bill.Ritter.(D).opened.the.2007.session.by.challenging.himself.and.the.General.Assembly.to.
  consider.how.each.bill.introduced.would.create.a.better.future.for.children..Despite.the.state’s.fiscal.challenges.
  and.leadership.changes,.the.Colorado.Children’s.Campaign,.VOICES’.member.in.the.state,.declared.the.2007.
  session.a.“…solid.investment.in.the.future,.setting.the.stage.for.great.changes.for.Colorado’s.children.”.




Addressing Equity:                           Supporting healthy                            and.Financing.to.provide.an.annual.
Narrowing Societal gaps                      Development                                   report.on.measures.of.quality.and.access.
                                                                                           in.both.the.Medicaid.and.CHP+.
In.his.2007.state.of.the.state.address,.     Governor.Ritter.set.a.goal.of.ensuring.
                                                                                           programs..In.addition,.legislation.was.
the.governor.detailed.his.goal.to.           that.every.Coloradan.has.access.to.some.
                                                                                           signed.into.law.that.works.toward.
reduce.high.school.dropout.rates.by.         basic.form.of.health.insurance.coverage.
                                                                                           providing.a.medical.home.for.all.
50.percent.in.10.years,.particularly.        through.the.Colorado.Health.Plan..
                                                                                           children.in.public.programs..Another.
among.African-American,.Latino.and.          The.Colorado.Children’s.Campaign.
                                                                                           enacted.measure.ensures.that.private.
American.Indian.children..He.also.           is.working.with.other.child.advocates.
                                                                                           insurers.provide.equal.coverage..
plans.to.reduce.by.half.the.achieve-         to.ensure.the.goal.becomes.a.reality,.
                                                                                           for.mental.health,.as.is.offered.for.
ment.gap.of.poor.and.minority.               focusing.on.getting.kids.covered.first.
                                                                                           physical.health.
students.as.compared.to.more.affluent.
and.white.students.                          To.reach.this.goal,.the.General.
                                                                                           Due.to.budgetary.constraints,.legislative.
                                             Assembly.enacted.a.bill.that.takes.a.
                                                                                           language.that.would.have.increased.
In.line.with.the.governor’s.goals.for.       major.step.forward.by.ensuring.that.
                                                                                           the.number.of.children.with.coverage.
accountability,.the.state’s.Department.      all.low-income.children.have.access.
                                                                                           and.assisted.in.coverage.retention.was.
of.Education.was.charged.with.               to.coverage.by.the.end.of.2010..The.
                                                                                           removed.prior.to.the.enactment.of.
applying.for.a.federal.grant.that.will.      enacted.measure.established.the.211.
                                                                                           the.measure..However,.state.child.
allow.the.state.to.measure.the.progress.     Advisory.Committee,.charged.with.
                                                                                           advocates.were.successful.in.including.
of.students.for.a.period.of.time.in.         making.sure.the.2010.goal.is.reached.
                                                                                           a.provision.to.ensure.that.children.
order.to.prevent.academic.deficiencies.
                                                                                           who.age.out.of.foster.care.continue.to.
from.escalating..This.initiative.will.       In.the.interim,.incremental.steps.were.
                                                                                           have.access.to.health.care.coverage.
help.achieve.the.governor’s.goals.of.        also.taken.to.reduce.the.number.of.
                                                                                           through.Medicaid.until.the.age.of.21.
reducing.the.high.school.dropout.rate.       uninsured.children.by.removing.some.
and.narrowing.the.achievement.gap.           barriers.to.coverage..Children.and.
                                             pregnant.women.now.will.be.granted.           School readiness:
In.addition,.the.Office.of.Health.           temporary.enrollment.in.Medicaid.or.          Focus on Early Care
Disparities,.housed.within.the.              CHP+,.Colorado’s.State.Children’s.            and Education
Department.of.Public.Health,.is.             Health.Insurance.Program,.while.their.
                                                                                           In.his.2007.speech,.the.governor.
charged.with.establishing.two.advisory.      eligibility.is.determined..
                                                                                           pledged.to.make.more.pre-kindergar-
councils.that.will.work.toward.
                                                                                           ten.slots.available..Legislators.agreed,.
assessing.and.identifying.solutions.to.      The.quality.of.services.made.available.
                                                                                           and.5,500.Colorado.Preschool.and.
reduce.health.disparities.in.the.state..     to.children.was.also.addressed.in.2007..
                                                                                           Kindergarten.Program.(CPKP).slots.
                                             The.General.Assembly.charged.the.
                                             Department.of.Health.Care.Policy.                                 continued on next page


22                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Colorado (continued)
will.be.added.over.the.next.two.years..           Several.accountability.provisions.were.           H. Creation.of.mediation.processes.
In.addition,.legislation.was.enacted.             also.enacted.that.will.allow.the.state.to.           to.resolve.conflicts.between.foster.
that.allows.school.districts.to.increase.         better.monitor.the.quality.of.education..            or.adoptive.parents.and.child.
the.CPKP.class.size.from.15.to.16;.               To.enhance.the.distribution.of.quality.              placement.agencies,.biological.
however,.no.CPKP-funded.full-day.                 teachers,.lawmakers.created.a.commis-                parents.or.county.departments..
kindergarten.class.will.have.over.20.             sion.to.further.explore.the.“teacher.
students.in.order.to.ensure.high-quality.         identifier”.concept..In.addition,.                A.report.of.findings.and.recommen-
early.education.services..The.Colorado.           lawmakers.created.the.Education.Data.             dations.must.be.submitted.to.the.
Children’s.Campaign.also.pressed.                 Advisory.Committee,.responsible.for.              governor.and.legislative.leaders.by.
lawmakers.to.increase.the.number.of.              reviewing.the.current.education.data.             May.2008.
full-day.kindergarten.slots.to.match.             made.available.and.determining.the.
the.number.of.pre-kindergarten.slots.             data.points.that.must.be.collected.and.           To.continue.to.give.children.an.
available.in.the.state;.however,.the.             submitted.by.state.districts..                    opportunity.to.grow.up.in.a.stable.
General.Assembly.called.on.school.                                                                  environment,.lawmakers.passed.a.bill.
districts.to.assess.their.capacity.to.offer.                                                        to.allow.for.second-parent.adoptions..
                                                  Child Safety: Protections
full-day.kindergarten.in.preparation.                                                               Second-parent.adoptions.give.
for.the.future.statewide.expansion.
                                                  Against Abuse, Neglect,
                                                                                                    children.the.protection.of.having.two.
                                                  Exploitation and Violence                         legal.guardians.
                                                  Legislators.also.established.a.new.task.
School Success:
                                                  force.on.Foster.Care.and.Permanence.
Focus on K-2                                                                                       Economic Stability:
                                                  in.2007..The.task.force.will.meet.
One.of.the.governor’s.priorities.for.             monthly.throughout.2008.to.consider:
                                                                                                    An investment in the Future
2007.was.to.better.align.economic.                                                                  Students.will.now.be.able.to.complete.
development.strategies.with.educa-                H. Actions.the.state.may.take.for.                the.requirements.for.a.high.school.
tional.programs..To.this.end,.through.               compliance.with.federal.Child.and.             diploma.and.an.associate’s.degree.
an.executive.order,.the.P-20.Education.              Family.Services.Review.guidelines;             within.five.years.through.the.“Fast.
Coordinating.Council.was.created.to.                                                                College,.Fast.Jobs”.pilot.program.
establish.a.comprehensive.educational.            H. Methods.to.better.evaluate.foster.
                                                                                                    established.as.a.result.of.the.2007.
governance.system.that.covers.preschool.             parents.and.encourage.the.
                                                                                                    legislative.session..
through.post-secondary.education..                   retention.of.foster.parents;

                                                  H. Processes.to.better.provide.informa-           In.his.state.of.the.state.speech,.Governor.
Legislation.was.also.enacted.the.establish-          tion.to.foster.and.adoptive.parents.           Ritter.acknowledged.the.reduction.of.
ment.of.the.Start.Smart.Nutrition.                   regarding.a.child’s.behavior;                  state.investments.in.higher.education..
Program,.which.will.provide.free.                                                                   To.make.up.for.decreased.resources,.
breakfasts.to.students.who.qualify.for.the.       H. Methods.to.ensure.that.adoption.               the.governor.set.aside.$7.4.million.in.
free.and.reduced-price.lunch.program..               subsidies.are.sufficient.for.the.              financial.aid..In.addition,.the.Fiscal.
                                                     needs.of.the.child;                            Year.2007-2008.budget.capped.tuition.
The.Colorado.Children’s.Campaign.                 H. Ways.to.improve.the.rate.of.                   increases.for.low-.and.middle-income.
was.successful.in.getting.legislators.to.            permanency.of.individuals.between.             state.residents.at.5.percent.
lower.the.age.at.which.children.enter.               the.ages.of.14.and.24.in.the.foster.
public.school.from.7.to.6,.and.to.                   care.system.or.in.residential.                 The.governor.also.signed.into.law.a.
increase.the.rigor.of.high.school.                   placement;.and                                 bill.that.creates.the.Economic.Self-
graduation.requirements.by.requiring.                                                               Sufficiency.Standard.for.the.purpose.
school.districts.to.adopt.requirements.           	                                                 of.adequate.measurement.of.well-
that.meet.or.exceed.state.guidelines.                                                               being.for.families..H


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                           23
Connecticut                                                                                                             CT


  Governor.M..Jodi.Rell.(R).received.support.from.Connecticut’s.legislative.body.to.move.forward.with.her.
  plans.to.improve.children’s.lives.in.her.state..According.to.the.2007.KIDS.COUNT.Data.Book:.State.
  Profiles.of.Child.Well-being,.the.state.ranks.third.in.the.nation.for.child.well-being..Although.pleased.
  with.the.results.of.the.survey,.Governor.Rell.has.committed.to.do.“better.as.a.state.”




With.the.enactment.of.the.Fiscal.Year.       would.have.extended.in-state.tuition.          Connecticut.Voices.for.Children.
2008.budget,.state.elected.officials.        to.undocumented.immigrant.students.            noted.that.the.strengthening.of.the.
prioritized.the.needs.of.children.by.        who.reside.in.the.state,.graduated.from.       program.was.an.“important.step.
investing.in.the.state’s.health.and.edu-     high.school,.and.have.signed.an.               toward.expanding.access.to.health.
cation.systems..Connecticut.Voices.for.      affidavit.with.the.state.college.indicating.   care.for.Connecticut.children,.parents.
Children,.a.member.of.the.VOICES.            that.he.or.she.has.applied.to.legalize.        and.pregnant.women.”.Along.with.
network.of.child.advocates,.called.on.       his.or.her.immigration.status..Governor.       improvements.for.access,.Connecticut.
elected.officials.to.improve.the.state’s.    Rell.vetoed.the.measure.                       Voices.for.Children.called.on.state.
foster.care.and.juvenile.justice.systems.                                                   elected.officials.to.increase.reimburse-
and.pushed.for.policies.to.improve.                                                         ment.rates.for.Medicaid.providers,.
                                             Supporting healthy
family.economic.security..However,.                                                         and.successfully.in.secured.a.reim-
securing.improvements.in.the.state’s.
                                             Development                                    bursement.increase.during.the.2007.
health.care.system.was.the.top.priority..    Governor.Rell.has.made.the.provision.          legislative.year..
                                             of.affordable.health.care.coverage—
Connecticut.Voices.for.Children.             across.all.age.groups—a.top.priority.          Under.the.enacted.Healthfirst.
successfully.secured.support.to.             of.her.administration..In.2006,.the.           Connecticut.and.Healthy.Kids.bill,.
expand.eligibility.under.the.Health-         governor.announced.the.creation.of.            improvements.included:
care.for.UninSured.Kids.and.Youth.           the.Charter.Oak.Health.Plan..Under.
(HUSKY).program.(the.federal.State.          this.premium.assistance.plan,.uninsured.       H. Assisting.parents.in.enrolling.
Children’s.Health.Insurance.Program),.       adults.who.do.not.qualify.for.a.public.           uninsured.newborns.under.the.
fund.outreach,.and.restore.presump-          insurance.program.and.who.earn.less.              HUSKY.program.while.in.the.
tive.eligibility—an.administrative.tool.     than.300.percent.of.the.Federal.                  hospital.and.waiving.the.premium.
states.are.given.to.provide.children.        Poverty.Level.(FPL).will.be.able.to.              during.the.initial.enrollment.
with.temporary.enrollment.under.a.           purchase.health.insurance.coverage.               period,.referred.to.as.the.HUSKY.
public.health.insurance.program.while.       for.as.low.as.$75.per.month..With.the.            Enrollment.at.Birth.plan;
their.eligibility.is.being.determined.       enactment.of.the.FY2008.budget,.$11.
                                             million.over.two.years.was.appropriated.       H. Identifying.and.enrolling.uninsured,.
                                             to.support.the.program..This.new.                 eligible.school-age.children.and.
Addressing Equity:                           premium.assistance.program.is.expected.           youth.through.outreach.efforts.at.
Narrowing Societal gaps                      to.be.available.by.July.1,.2008.                  the.beginning.of.a.school.year,.
Connecticut.lawmakers.passed.                                                                  referred.to.as.HUSKY.School.
legislation.to.narrow.the.societal.gaps.     For.the.youngest.of.state.residents,.             Enrollment;
for.immigrant.high.school.students.          Connecticut’s.elected.officials.made.
seeking.to.attend.college..The.bill.         improvements.to.the.HUSKY.program..                               continued on next page



24                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Connecticut (continued)
H. Requiring.the.Department.of.                   grades.nine.or.10.to.undergo.a.second.            budget.did.not.reach.FY2002.levels..
   Social.Services.Commissioner.to.               health.assessment.                                The.budget.allows.for.continuation.of.
   develop.and.implement.a.plan.for.                                                                current.services,.but.does.not.support.
   preventive.health.services.system.                                                               expansion.in.services.or.increases.in.
                                                  School readiness:
   for.children.covered.under.the.                                                                  reimbursement.
   HUSKY.program;
                                                  Focus on Early Care
                                                  and Education
                                                                                                    School Success:
H. Requiring.the.Social.Services.                 Connecticut.lawmakers.made.
   Commissioner.to.establish.a.child.             significant.strides.last.year.to.bring.
                                                                                                    Focus on K-2
   health.quality.improvement.                    the.state.closer.to.establishing.a.               Governor.Rell.is.intent.on.building.
   program.to.improve.the.delivery.               universal.pre-kindergarten.program..              the.best.education.system.in.the.
   of.children’s.health.services.under.           Governor.Rell.called.for.an.investment.           country..In.her.state.of.the.state.
   the.HUSKY.program.(however,.                   of.$40.million.to.fund.one-third.of.              address,.the.governor.announced.that.
   funding.to.support.this.initiative.            the.unmet.preschool.needs.of.the.state..          “the.single.largest.investment.in.
   was.stripped.during.a.special.session.         Connecticut.Voices.for.Children.                  education”.would.reach.all.students—
   of.the.General.Assembly.that.                  praised.the.governor’s.commitment.to.             from.preschool.through.college...
   enacted.the.FY2008-2009.budget);               improve.the.state’s.early.education.              The.General.Assembly.fulfilled.the.
                                                  system,.but.called.on.state.leaders.to.           governor’s.promise.by.passing.the.
H. Coverage.of.medical.interpretation.            consider.an.equal.commitment.to.fund.             largest.increase.in.education.funding.
   services.for.beneficiaries.with.               early.care.initiatives.that.also.support.         in.recent.state.history.
   limited.English.proficiency;.and               families.with.infants.and.toddlers..
                                                                                                    The.approved.budget.made.significant.
H. Expanding.eligibility.under.the.               By.2010,.there.will.be.an.additional.             strides.to.increase.the.state’s.share.of.
   HUSKY.Medicaid.program.for.                    3,600.preschool.slots.in.the.state..              education.funding.by.moving.closer.
   caretaker.relatives.(from.150.to.              Lawmakers.also.provided.funding.to.               to.a.50-50.cost.sharing.formula,.sets.
   185.percent.of.the.FPL).and.                   support.the.early.childhood.workforce.            higher.standards.for.math.and.science.
   pregnant.women.(from.185.to.                   by.dedicating.funds.for.scholarships,.            courses,.allows.the.state.to.intervene.
   250.percent.of.the.FPL).                       developing.Birth.to.Three.credentials.            when.school.districts.fail.by.giving.
                                                  —as.called.for.in.the.governor’s.state.           authority.to.the.Department.of.
Lawmakers.made.changes.to.the.                    of.the.state.address—and.establishing.            Education.to.replace.school.adminis-
youth.health.assessment.requirement..             a.workforce.registry..By.December.                trators,.gives.authority.to.the.Depart-
Under.existing.law,.Connecticut.                  2008,.the.state.will.develop.and.                 ment.of.Education.to.order.all-day.
requires.public.school.students.in.               implement.a.quality.assurance.and.                kindergarten.if.large.percentages.of.
grades.six.and.seven.to.undergo.                  accountability.system..A.significant.             students.do.not.reach.proficiency.
health.assessments.that.include.1).a.             investment.also.was.made.for.the.                 levels,.and.mandates.summer.school.
physical.examination.and.a.chronic.               renovation.or.development.of.new.                 for.those.students.who.fall.behind.
disease.assessment,.including.asthma;.            facilities.for.pre-kindergarten.programs.
2).an.updating.of.required.immuniza-                                                                Governor.Rell.signed.a.bill.that.
tions;.3).vision,.hearing,.postural.and.          Additional.funds.were.appropriated.to.            requires.the.Department.of.Motor.
dental.screenings;.and.4).other.                  support.the.state’s.child.care.subsidy.           Vehicles.(DMV).to.overhaul.the.
information,.including.a.health.history,.         program;.however,.according.to.                   system.of.background.checks.for.
that.the.physician.feels.is.necessary.            analysis.completed.by.Connecticut.                applicants.looking.to.obtain.a.license.
and.appropriate..Lawmakers.also.                  Voices.for.Children,.the.level.of.
required.public.school.students.in.               funding.secured.in.the.FY2008-2009.                                  continued on next page



F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                         25
Connecticut (continued)
to.drive.a.school.bus.or.other.school.       necessary,.and.ensure.that.children.             the.continuation.of.payments.up.to.
transportation.vehicle.(STV)..The.           receive.all.appropriate.services.to.             the.age.of.19.if.a.child.resides.with.
DMV.is.now.required.to.conduct.              secure.a.permanent.home.                         the.custodial.parent.
additional.background.check.require-
ments,.including.a.check.of.the.state.       The.Governor’s.Task.Force.on.Justice.            In.2006,.two.councils,.one.on.child.
child.abuse.registry..New.criteria.also.     for.Abused.Children.announced.a.new.             poverty.and.one.on.prevention.were.
have.been.set.for.random.drug.testing.       training.program.for.law.enforcement.            merged.to.form.the.Child.Poverty.
and.increased.penalties..Individuals.        and.child.protection.professionals.              and.Prevention.Council..This.council.
who.have.been.convicted.or.arrested.         that.will.strengthen.the.investigation.          is.tasked.with.developing.a.10-year.plan.
for.a.major.felony.or.crimes.associ-         and.prosecution.of.child.abuse.cases.            that.will.reduce.child.poverty.in.the.
ated.with.child.abuse.and.neglect.are.                                                        state.by.50.percent.as.well.as.establish.
prohibited.from.obtaining.an.STV.                                                             prevention.goals.and.recommendations.
                                             Economic Stability: An
license.                                                                                      to.promote.the.health.and.well-being.
                                             investment in the Future                         of.children.and.families.
                                             In.September,.the.governor.reversed.
Child Safety: Protections
                                             the.impact.that.a.federal.mandate.               In.addition,.a.Women,.Infant.and.
Against Abuse, Neglect,                      (requiring.$25.be.deducted.from.                 Children.(WIC).Advisory.Council.
Exploitation and Violence                    child.support.checks).would.have.had.            was.created.to.identify.strategies.for.
Progress.was.made.to.improve.the.            on.families..As.required.under.the.              increasing.participation.and.access.to.
state’s.foster.care,.adoption.and.           federal.Deficit.Reduction.Act.of.2005,.          WIC.supplemental.food.services.
juvenile.justice.systems..In.an.effort.      custodial.parents.collecting.at.least.
to.keep.siblings.together.who.enter.         $500.annually.would.have.$25.deducted.           Another.bill.signed.into.law.supports.
the.foster.care.system,.a.new.law.was.       from.their.checks.to.support.the.child.          families.in.need.by.allowing.them.to.
enacted.that.gives.authority.to.the.         support.enforcement.program..                    access.food.stamps.without.having.to.
Department.of.Children.and.Families.         Governor.Rell.recognized.that.parents.           sell.their.cars..The.Department.of.
(DCF).to.place.half-siblings.together.       rely.on.the.additional.funds.to.provide.         Social.Services.received.authority.to.
with.an.unlicensed.caregiver.who.is.         for.their.children.and.ordered.the.              exclude.a.household’s.cars.when.
related.to.at.least.one.of.the.children..    state.to.pay.the.annual.fee.to.the.              determining.eligibility.under.the.Food.
Prior.to.this.law,.caregivers.had.to.be.     federal.government,.totaling.approxi-            Stamp.program..H
related.to.all.children.placed.in.their.     mately.$400,000.a.year..
custody..Children.will.be.placed.with.
unlicensed.caregivers.for.up.to.90.          In.addition,.the.governor.signed.a.
days;.however,.if.their.placement.           comprehensive.child.support.bill.into.
extends.beyond.90.days,.the.caregiver.       law.that.keeps.the.state.current.with.
must.become.a.licensed.foster.parent.        laws.governing.interstate.child.support.
                                             collection..Among.the.provisions,.the.
The.state.also.advanced.toward.ending.       measure.will.allow.the.Superior.Court.
federal.court.jurisdiction.over.DCF..        to.order.both.parents.to.pay.for.a.child’s.
New.guidelines.to.improve.services.          health.care.insurance.coverage..In.
for.children.in.foster.care.were.            addition,.it.allows.the.state.to.collect.past-
announced.in.March..The.new.guide-           due.child.support.for.children.over.
lines.offer.a.plan.to.address.the.           the.age.of.18.through.offsets.in.state.
placement.of.young.children.in.a.            and.federal.tax.returns.if.asked.by.a.
congregate.setting.only.when.absolutely.     custodial.parent.to.step.in,.and.authorizes.


26                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Delaware                                                                                                                        DE


  In.2007,.Governor.Ruth.Ann.Minner.(D).launched.an.effort.to.push.lawmakers.to.raise.the.state’s.cigarette.
  tax.by.45.cents.to.discourage.people.from.smoking.and.establish.the.Delaware.Healthy.Life.Fund..The.
  fund.would.support.several.health-related.initiatives.that.target.the.uninsured.and.underinsured,.expand.
  the.Delaware.Healthy.Children.program—the.federal.State.Children’s.Health.Insurance.Program—and.
  establish.a.health.information.network..




Delaware’s.children.have.a.strong.                Governor.Minner.pledged.that.money.               the.important.work.of.the.council.and.
advocate.in.the.state.capitol,.in.VOICES.         would.be.appropriated.to.support.the.             progress.made.under.the.Early.Success:.
member.KIDS.COUNT.in.Delaware..                   increasing.costs.of.Medicaid.and.                 Delaware’s.Early.Childhood.Plan.will.
                                                  expand.Delaware’s.Healthy.Children,.              continue.
Delaware’s.legislative.body.supported.            and.the.General.Assembly.delivered.
many.of.the.recommendations.the.                  on.that.promise..The.FY2008.budget.               As.promised.by.the.governor,.
governor.laid.out.in.her.2007.state.of.           provides.funding.to.offset.rising.health.         $300,000.was.appropriated.for.early.
the.state.address.and.Fiscal.Year.2008.           care.costs.and.patient.loads.under.the.           childhood.initiatives.to.enhance.
budget.proposal..                                 Medicaid.program,.and.appropriates.               career.training.and.education.
                                                  additional.funds.to.extend.the.Healthy.           opportunities.for.child.care.workers.
                                                  Children.program.to.975.families..As.
Supporting healthy
                                                  requested.by.the.governor,.funding.was.
Development                                                                                         School Success:
                                                  also.appropriated.to.support.a.statewide.
In.the.area.of.health,.the.governor.              education.and.access.to.care.campaign.            Focus on K-2
focused.on.supporting.the.uninsured.              to.reduce.infant.mortality.rates..                State.legislators.also.agreed.to.fund.
and.fighting.cancer..The.General.                                                                   several.of.the.governor’s.recommen-
Assembly.supported.the.governor’s.                In.response.to.public.concern.on.the.             dations.for.the.state’s.education.
request.to.increase.funding.for.a.                effect.that.mercury-based.vaccines.               system..Lawmakers.are.on.a.path.to.
program.that.provides.access.to.                  have.on.young.children,.lawmakers.                establish.“the.best.[education.system].
treatment.for.uninsured.residents.with.           adopted.legislation.that.prohibits.               in.the.world,”.as.laid.out.in.Delaware’s.
cancer..The.program.initially.provided.           children.under.eight.and.pregnant.                Vision.2015..The.FY2008.education.
uninsured.cancer.patients.with.                   women,.with.certain.exceptions,.from.             budget.appropriated.over.$2.million..
treatment.for.one.year,.but.has.now.              receiving.these.vaccines..                        Highlights.include:
been.expanded.to.support.two.years.of.
treatment..In.addition,.the.General.                                                                H	 Continued.implementation.of.
Assembly.went.beyond.Governor.
                                                  School readiness:
                                                                                                       full-day.kindergarten.statewide..
Minner’s.request.to.make.the.cervical.            Focus on Early Care                                  Although.the.governor.was.hoping.
cancer.prevention.vaccine.available.to.           and Education                                        to.secure.a.financial.commitment.
young.uninsured.girls.between.the.ages.           Through.executive.order,.the.Delaware.               to.support.expansion.of.full-day.
of.9.and.17..Funding.was.appropriated.            Early.Care.and.Education.Council.                    kindergarten.in.11.school.districts.
to.make.the.vaccine.available.to.every.           was.established.in.2001..This.year,.a.               and.eight.charter.schools,.the.
uninsured.or.publicly.insured.woman.              measure.was.signed.into.law.that.
between.the.ages.of.19.and.26..                   codifies.the.council.and.ensures.that.
                                                                                                                       continued on next page


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                        27
Delaware (continued)
     FY2008.budget.supports.full-day.          Child Safety: Protections                          Economic Stability:
     kindergarten.in.9.school.districts.       Against Abuse, Neglect,                            An investment in the Future
     and.9.charter.schools.as.well.as.a.       Exploitation and Violence                          Governor.Minner.successfully.
     pilot.program.in.two.school.districts..
                                               The.budget.supported.the.addition.of.              secured.$1.million.to.fund.the.
                                               staff.to.comply.with.the.state’s.caseload.         Student.Excellence.Equals.Degree.
H	 Support.for.a.teacher.education.
                                               standards.so.that.children.under.the.              (SEED).scholarship.program..The.
   and.educational.leadership.
                                               state’s.protection.could.be.better.served.         program.provides.free.tuition.to.
   program.in.“critical.need.subject.
                                               and.protected..A.measure.was.adopted.              Delaware.high.school.students.who.
   areas”.such.as.math,.science.and.
                                               in.2007.that.reduces.caseload.standards.           have.maintained.a.2.5.grade.point.
   special.education;
                                               from.14.to.11.for.investigative.cases.             average.and.are.seeking.a.two-year.
                                               and.18.to.12.for.treatment.caseloads..             associate’s.degree..The.SEED.program.
H	 Expansion.of.the.math.specialist.
                                               The.adopted.bill.provides.for.a.three-             has.existed.for.a.little.over.a.year.and.
   program.to.all.middle.schools;.and
                                               year.fiscal.plan.for.phasing.in.the.               has.provided.financial.support.to.over.
                                               reduction,.which.is.consistent.with.               800.students..The.governor.also.laid.
H	 Additional.support.for.limited-
                                               federal.and.state.mandates.for.safety,.            out.the.groundwork.for.establishing.
   English.proficiency.program.to.
                                               permanency.and.well-being..In.addition,.           the.Student.Academic.Reward.
   meet.student.demand.
                                               the.governor.signed.into.law.a.bill.               scholarship.program,.an.extension..
                                               that.standardizes.the.definition.of.child.         of.the.SEED.initiative.which.will.
Through.executive.order,.the.Leader-
                                               abuse.throughout.the.Delaware.code.                allow.students.to.pursue.a.bachelor’s.
ship.for.Achievement.in.Education.
                                                                                                  degree..H
committee.was.created..Composed.of.
                                               Another.measure.was.adopted.to.repeal.
state.officials.and.members.of.the.
                                               the.statute.of.limitations.relating.to.
state’s.business.community,.the.
                                               child.sexual.abuse.cases,.and.provides.
committee.is.charged.with.imple-
                                               a.two-year.“window”.in.which.victims.
menting.certain.goals.outlined.in.the.
                                               can.bring.a.civil.action.in.cases.
Vision.2015.plan,.including:
                                               previously.barred.by.the.current.statute..
                                               Governor.Minner.also.signed.into.
H	 Developing.an.easily.understood,.
                                               law.a.bill.implementing.the.federal.
   one-page.summary.of.key.
                                               Adam.Walsh.Act.in.the.state..Enact-
   performance.measures.to.be.used.
                                               ment.of.the.bill.will.toughen.Delaware’s.
   by.every.public.school,.district.
                                               registration.requirements.for.convicted.
   and.the.state;
                                               sex.offenders.and.sets.stiffer.penalties..
                                               It.exceeds.the.provisions.of.the.federal.
H	 Conducting.an.independent.
                                               law.by.making.it.a.felony.if.sex.offenders.
   financial.analysis.of.the.state’s..
                                               fail.to.register,.re-register.or.fail.to.verify.
   K-12.budget;.and
                                               with.the.state.police..The.state.is.now.
                                               eligible.to.receive.federal.funds.to.help.
H	 Researching.alternative.ideas.for.
                                               implement.processes.that.will.better.
   the.distribution.of.funding.to.the.
                                               protect.children.from.sex.offenders.
   state’s.schools.




28                             Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
District of Columbia                                                                                                             DC


  Mayor.Adrian.Fenty.(D).set.out.at.the.beginning.of.his.first.term.in.office.to.make.“major.improvements”.
  in.the.education.system..Keeping.education.as.a.top.priority,.the.mayor.was.instrumental.in.passing.an.
  education.reform.initiative.to.improve.the.accountability.and.management.of.District.of.Columbia.(DC).
  Public. Schools.. Public. safety,. another. priority. for. the. mayor,. became. evident. through. a. new. program.
  initiated.by.Mayor.Fenty.to.reduce.criminal.activity.and.increase.quality.of.life.in.three.at-risk.communities.
  in.DC..As.the.mayor.and.City.Council.debated.key.issues.throughout.2007,.DC’s.children.were.well.rep-
  resented.by.DC.Action.for.Children,.a.member.of.the.VOICES.network.




Supporting healthy                                School Success:                                   In.December.2007,.DC.entered.into.
Development                                       Focus on K-2                                     an.agreement.with.the.plaintiffs.in.
                                                                                                    litigation.seeking.wide-ranging.reform.
Mayor.Fenty.and.the.Department.of.                At.the.beginning.of.2007,.Mayor.
                                                                                                    of.special.education.to.bring.substantial.
Health.released.a.citywide.plan.to.               Fenty.announced.an.education.reform.
                                                                                                    benefits.to.special.needs.children..
lower.the.infant.mortality.rate..The.             initiative.that.would.make.him.
                                                                                                    According.to.the.mayor’s.office,.the.
multifaceted.strategy,.designed.to.aid.           accountable.and.responsible.for.
                                                                                                    two.groups.agreed.to.work.together.
mothers.and.children,.includes:                   managing.DC.Public.Schools..The.
                                                                                                    to.build.and.successfully.implement.a.
                                                  initiative,.which.the.mayor.believes.
                                                                                                    comprehensive.plan.to.effectively.
H. Expanding.and.strengthening.the.               would.ensure.rational,.streamlined.
                                                                                                    serve.special.needs.students.and.provide.
   city’s.home.visitation.programs;               education.policy,.was.officially.enacted.
                                                                                                    them.with.the.quality.care.and.
                                                  in.June.and.improves.the.public.school.
H. Establishing.a.forum.to.explore.                                                                 education.they.deserve..The.highlights.
                                                  system.by:
   evidence-based.strategies.and.to.                                                                of.the.agreement.include.a.case.
   contribute.to.the.formation.of.                                                                  management.project,.a.parent.resource.
                                                  Consolidating.state-level.functions.
   partnerships.resulting.in.citywide.                                                              center,.an.intensive.mental.health.
                                                  within.a.new.superintendent’s.office;
   policy.recommendations;.and                                                                      services.pilot.and.pilot.schools.

H. Enhancing.care.coordination.for.               H. Focusing.school.board..
                                                     responsibilities;                              Child Safety: Protections
   beneficiaries.of.Medicaid.and.the.
   DC.Healthcare.Alliance,.a.city.
                                                                                                    Against Abuse, Neglect,
                                                  H. Increasing.interagency..                       Exploitation and Violence
   healthcare.program.for.uninsured.                 collaboration;
   residents.                                                                                       A.targeted.pilot.initiative.aimed.at.
                                                  H. Increasing.charter.school..                    reducing.criminal.activity.and.
On.June.1,.2007,.the.District.expanded.              accountability;.and                            increasing.quality.of.life.in.at-risk.
its.federal.State.Children’s.Health.                                                                communities.was.launched.by.Mayor.
Insurance.Program—DC.Healthy.                     H. Creating.a.Department.of.                      Fenty.at.the.end.of.2007..The.three.
Families..Children.whose.family.incomes.             Education,.which.for.the.first.time.           police.districts.within.the.city.with.
are.between.200.and.300.percent.of.                  would.provide.Cabinet-level.                   the.highest.incidence.of.violent.crime.
the.Federal.Poverty.Level.are.now.                   facilitation,.coordination,.and.               in.the.last.year.were.deemed.to.be.
eligible.for.coverage..The.expansion.                direction.for.pre-kindergarten.                Focused.Improvement.Areas,.and.will.
was.retroactive.to.February.2007.                    through.postsecondary.education.
                                                     initiatives.in.DC.                                                continued on next page


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                         29
District of Columbia (continued)
be.the.recipients.of.intensified.efforts.
to.improve.neighborhood.appearance,.
increased.focus.of.human.resources.
on.at-risk.individuals,.their.families.
and.households,.and.direct.outreach.
and.intervention.services..The.
individuals.and.households.who.will.
receive.the.outreach.and.intervention.
services.will.be.identified.through.1).
public.safety.intelligence;.2).door-to-
door.outreach.led.by.nongovernmental.
volunteers,.including.faith-based.
groups;.and.3).government.agency.
and.school.outreach..

The.mayor.and.city.council.approved.
a.Fiscal.Year.2007.budget.that.provided.
more.than.$5.million.in.additional.
resources.for.youth.violence.prevention.
and.intervention.as.well.as.positive.
youth.development..H




30                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Florida                                                                                                                         FL


  Describing.the.2007.legislative.session.as.one.of.“small.victories.and.bigger.disappointments.for.Florida’s.
  children.and.families,”.the.Children’s.Campaign,.Inc.,.VOICES’.Florida.member,.agreed.with.many.who.
  felt.the.session.was.a.missed.opportunity.for.the.state..Despite.having.Governor.Charlie.Crist’s.(R).support.
  for. many. child-centered. policy. initiatives,. including. revamping. KidCare—the. federal. State. Children’s.
  Health.Insurance.Program—the.Legislature.failed.to.come.together.on.several.proposals..However,.state.
  lawmakers.were.able.to.pass.legislation.that.created.the.Florida.Children.and.Youth.Cabinet,.a.priority.for.
  the.first-term.governor..The.cabinet.will.be.responsible.for.coordinating.agencies.and.programs.to.foster.
  interagency.collaboration.to.better.serve.those.children.most.in.need.




Supporting healthy                                were.successful.in.protecting.the.                teachers.to.have.either.an.associate’s.
Development                                       program.from.budgetary.cuts.                      or.bachelor’s.degree..Although.the.
                                                                                                    measure.failed.to.garner.legislative.
Noting.that.the.state.must.raise.the.
                                                  In.addition,.Governor.Crist.established.          support,.Governor.Crist.as.well.as.
profile.of.children’s.health.issues,.
                                                  the.Governor’s.Council.on.Physical.               several.former.Florida.governors.are.
Governor.Crist.hoped.to.sign.
                                                  Fitness.through.an.executive.order.to.            vocal.supporters.of.the.change..
legislation.that.would.improve.
                                                  promote.and.encourage.healthy.
KidCare..Despite.statewide.support.
                                                  lifestyle.choices..The.council.will.be.           The.Fiscal.Year.2008.state.budget.cut.
and.passage.of.a.bill.in.the.House,.
                                                  responsible.for.reviewing.the.imple-              funding.for.the.pre-kindergarten.
state.Senate.leaders.never.called.the.
                                                  mentation.of.daily.physical.education.            program.by.$15.million.dollars.due.to.
KidCare.bill.to.the.floor..The.bill.
                                                  classes.for.students.in.grades.K-5,.and.          lower-than-projected.enrollment.rates..
sought.to.provide.more.children.with.
                                                  will.determine.if.the.standards.must.
access.to.vital.health.care.services.by.
                                                  be.carried.over.to.middle.and.high.
removing.administrative.barriers,.                                                                  School Success:
                                                  schools..Also,.the.council.will.evaluate.
allowing.immigrant.children.and.
                                                  the.nutritional.value.of.school.lunches.
                                                                                                    Focus on K-2
children.of.state.employees.to.enroll,.
                                                                                                    Education.fared.well.in.the.approved.
and.enhancing.the.benefit.package..
                                                                                                    FY2008.budget..At.the.governor’s.
Currently.half.a.million.children.who.            School readiness:                                 request,.although.not.at.the.desired.
reside.in.the.state.are.eligible.but.not.         Focus on Early Care                               level,.lawmakers.provided.additional.
enrolled.in.the.KidCare.program.                  and Education                                     funding.to.support.a.5.to.10.percent.
                                                  In.2005,.Florida.established.a.universal.         bonus.based.on.performance.for.the.
Lawmakers.did.agree,.however,.to.
                                                  pre-kindergarten.program,.available.              state’s.teachers..The.education.system.
provide.$3.million.in.state.funds.for.
                                                  to.all.4-year-olds..However,.advocates.           also.will.receive.additional.funds.that.
the.Healthy.Start.program,.despite.an.
                                                  felt.that.more.could.have.been.done.              will.help.reduce.class.sizes.and.provide.
attempt.to.reduce.funding..Healthy.
                                                  to.ensure.the.quality.of.the.program..            80.additional.reading.coaches.to.help.
Start.is.a.risk.screening.program.to.
                                                  In.2007,.the.Children’s.Campaign.                 teachers.work.with.struggling.students.
identify.pregnant.women,.infants.and.
                                                  supported.legislation.that.called.for.            (Governor.Crist.called.for.an.additional.
toddlers.up.to.the.age.of.3.who.are.at.
                                                  the.phasing-in.of.certified.teachers.             400.reading.coaches).
risk.of.poor.birth,.health.and.devel-
                                                  with.college.degrees,.as.current.law.
opmental.outcomes..Child.advocates.
                                                  does.not.require.pre-kindergarten.                                   continued on next page


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                        3
Florida (continued)
Governor.Crist.also.signed.into.law.a.         Governor.Crist.also.signed.into.law.a.        child.in.custody.cases..Advocates.were.
bill.creating.the.Florida.Career.and.          bill.that.will.provide.every.child.“an.       hoping.to.secure.additional.state.
Professional.Education.Act—bringing.           opportunity.to.live.in.a.loving,.safe.        funds.to.support.the.program.but.
together.and.establishing.a.partnership.       and.permanent.home.”.The.bill.                were.unsuccessful.in.their.quest..
between.the.business.and.education.            renames.the.Office.of.Child.Abuse.
communities..The.partnership.will.             and.Prevention,.established.in.2006,.         Advocates.were.successful.in.their.
seek.to.improve.middle.and.high.               as.the.Office.of.Adoption.and.Child.          efforts.to.obtain.additional.funding.to.
school.academic.performance.to.help.           Protective.Services..The.office.will.be.      support.education.programs.that.
support.the.state’s.workforce.needs..          responsible.for.promoting.adoption.           serve.youth.in.the.juvenile.justice.
                                               and.providing.services.for.adopted.           system..The.targeted.programs.will.
                                               families..Additional.subsidies.also.will.     receive.an.additional.stipend.per.child.
Child Safety: Protections
                                               be.provided.to.families.who.adopt.            as.an.incentive.to.reach.out.to.kids.in.
Against Abuse, Neglect,                        children.through.the.state’s.foster.          the.juvenile.justice.system.
Exploitation and Violence                      care.system..The.office’s.Child.Abuse.
Lawmakers.swiftly.passed.and.adopted.          Prevention.and.Permanency.Advisory.           At.the.request.of.the.governor,.
the.Anti-Murder.Act.to.protect.children.       Council.will.be.responsible.for.shaping.      lawmakers.passed.legislation.that.
by.requiring.violent.crime.offenders.          the.state’s.adoption.and.child.abuse.         awarded.$5.million.to.the.estate.of.
who.violate.probation.to.return.to.jail.       prevention.initiatives.that.will.seek.to.     Martin.Lee.Anderson—the.14-year-
until.a.judge.determines.whether.an.           empower.communities.                          old.boy.who.died.in.boot.camp..
individual.poses.a.threat.to.the.community..                                                 Martin’s.death.has.lead.to.the.closing.
Governor.Crist.called.on.the.legislators.      Advocates.pushed.for.legislation.and.         of.boot.camps.throughout.the.state.
to.prevent.violent.criminals.from.using.       additional.state.funding.that.would.
“the.privilege.of.probation.to.prey.on.        have.strengthened.programs.to.youth.
                                               aging.out.of.foster.care..Although.an.
                                                                                             Economic Stability:
[Florida’s].children.”.Enactment.of.
this.measure.was.a.top.priority.for..          additional.$18.million.was.requested.         An investment in the Future
the.governor..                                 for.the.“independent.living”.fund,.           Florida.lawmakers,.for.the.eighth.
                                               only.$1.million.was.appropriated...           time,.granted.families.a.back-to-
The.governor.also.signed.legislation.          In.addition,.a.bill.that.would.have.          school.tax.holiday..Purchases.of.cloth-
that.strengthened.Florida’s.sentencing.        made.it.easier.for.foster.care.youth..        ing.and.books.valued.at.under.$50.
laws.for.sexual.offenses—such.as.              to.1).obtain.their.driver’s.licenses.by.      and.school.supplies.valued.under.$10.
requiring.specified.markings.on.driver’s.      allowing.case.workers.to.sign.their.          were.exempt.from.the.state.sales.tax.
licenses.and.identification.cards,.            permits,.and.2).access.Medicaid.              for.a.period.of.10.days.before.the.
requiring.sexual.offenders.to.register.        coverage.till.they.reached.the.age.of.        school.year.began..Families.were..
all.e-mail.addresses.with.the.state,.          20.failed.to.garner.sufficient.support.       also.given.an.additional.day.to.complete.
and.imposing.stricter.penalties.on.                                                          their.purchases.
individuals.who.misrepresent.their.            Child.advocates.were.disappointed.
age.when.soliciting.children.via.the.          that.lawmakers.did.not.secure.                Lawmakers.also.established.a.new.
Internet.or.attempting.to.meet.a.minor.        additional.funding.to.support.the.            financial.aid.program.for.high.school.
for.purposes.of.sexual.contact..In.            state’s.Guardian.Ad.Litem.program..           students.who.attend.a.community.
addition,.the.FY2008.budget.will.expand.       Currently.there.is.not.appropriate.           college.or.a.district.school-operated.
the.Attorney.General’s.Child.Predator/         funding.to.provide.a.guardian.ad.             career.center..Over.$3.million.will.be.
CyberCrime.Unit,.which.was.created.            litem.to.every.child.under.the.care.of.       made.available.under.the.Florida.
by.the.governor.when.he.was.the.               the.state,.as.required.by.Florida.statute..   Student.Assistance.Grant.for.Career.
Attorney.General..Staffing.levels.for.         There.is.also.a.shortage.of.attorneys.        Education.and.Florida.Work.Experi-
the.unit.will.increase.from.5.to.55.           representing.the.best.interest.of.a.          ence.Program..H


32                             Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
georgia                                                                                                                         GA


  Governor.Sonny.Perdue.(R).began.the.2007.legislative.session.by.stating.that.the.hallmark.of.a.great.state.
  is.children.who.are.well.cared.for.and.grow.up.challenged.and.prepared.for.the.opportunities.of.the.future..
  Georgia.lawmakers.devoted.a.significant.amount.of.time.during.their.40-day.session.discussing.the.federal.
  State.Children’s.Health.Insurance.Program.(SCHIP)—PeachCare—as.it.faced.a.significant.funding.shortfall..
  Voices.for.Georgia’s.Children.fought.tirelessly.and.successfully.to.prevent.lawmakers.from.making.reductions.
  to.eligibility.and.benefit.levels.that.would.negatively.impact.children..




Governor.Perdue.also.received.support.            Supporting healthy                                ment.in.PeachCare.due.to.funding.
for.many.of.the.child-focused.initiatives.        Development                                       insufficiencies..Children.who.were.
he.announced.in.his.state.of.the.state.                                                             enrolled.in.the.program.were.able.to.
                                                  Among.Voices.for.Georgia’s.Chil-
address,.including.the.extension.of.                                                                maintain.their.coverage.but.no.new.
                                                  dren’s—the.VOICES.member.in.the.
the.“graduation.coach”.program.to.                                                                  children.were.enrolled..With.budget-
                                                  state—top.priorities.was.the.federal.
middle.schools.and.a.salary.increase.                                                               ary.problems.on.the.minds.of.
                                                  reauthorization.of.SCHIP.and.state.
for.all.teachers.                                                                                   legislators,.Voices.for.Georgia’s.
                                                  expansion.of.Medicaid.and.PeachCare.
                                                                                                    Children.had.to.combat.legislation.
                                                  so.every.Georgia.child.under.the.age.
                                                                                                    that.sought.to.reduce.eligibility.and.
Addressing Equity:                                of.18.has.access.to.affordable,.
                                                                                                    benefits..The.House.and.Senate.
Narrowing Societal gaps                           comprehensive.health.care.coverage..
                                                                                                    passed.different.versions.of.bills.that.
                                                  In.early.2007,.Governor.Perdue.
In.order.to.ensure.deaf.children.have.                                                              Voices.for.Georgia’s.Children.stated.
                                                  pledged.continued.support.for.both.
the.opportunity.to.achieve.educational.                                                             would.have.resulted.in.an.increase.in.
                                                  Medicaid.and.PeachCare..Subse-
success,.the.Deaf.Child’s.Bill.of.Rights.                                                           the.number.of.uninsured.children.in.
                                                  quently,.the.governor.was.a.vocal.
Act.was.signed.into.law.in.July..The.                                                               Georgia..Due.to.the.inability.of.House.
                                                  supporter.in.the.effort.to.get.the.joint.
measure.requires.school.systems.to.                                                                 and.Senate.members.to.agree.on.how.
                                                  federal/state.program.reauthorized.in.
take.into.account.the.communication.                                                                to.modify.PeachCare.before.the.
                                                  Washington,.DC..On.several.occa-
needs.of.deaf.and.hard-of-hearing.                                                                  session.ended,.no.changes.that.would.
                                                  sions,.he.called.on.President.Bush.and.
students,.and.places.emphasis.on.the.                                                               have.negatively.impacted.Georgia.
                                                  Congress.to.“meet.their.obligation.”
creation.of.a.learning.environment.                                                                 children.were.made..
that.is.similarly.provided.to.children.
without.hearing.impediments..                     However,.back.home.in.Georgia,.the.
                                                                                                    Although.President.Bush.and.Congress.
                                                  PeachCare.program.faced.a.precarious.
                                                                                                    failed.to.reauthorize.SCHIP,.sufficient.
                                                  future.based.on.federal.funding.
State.lawmakers.also.passed.the.                                                                    funding.was.provided.to.states.to.
                                                  shortfalls..The.Legislature.recessed.
Georgia.Special.Needs.Scholarship.                                                                  sustain.current.enrollment.levels.
                                                  several.times.in.the.spring.while.it.
Act,.which.gives.vouchers.to.public.                                                                through.March.2009.
                                                  waited.for.Congress.to.provide.stopgap.
school.students.with.disabilities.to.
                                                  funding.and,.after.receiving.assurances.
attend.private.or.public.schools..                                                                  On.another.health.policy.front,.
                                                  that.federal.funds.would.be.forthcom-
Proponents.of.the.new.law.state.that.                                                               lawmakers.began.to.assess.the.state’s.
                                                  ing,.the.state.released.funds.necessary.
it.offers.families.a.wider.range.of.                                                                childhood.obesity.and.diabetes.rates..
                                                  to.maintain.the.PeachCare.program..
educational.opportunities.to.best.meet.
                                                  In.March,.state.officials.froze.enroll-                              continued on next page
their.needs.


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                        33
georgia (continued)
Currently,.27.percent.of.children.            As.promised,.Governor.Perdue.gave.            Child Safety: Protections
between.the.ages.of.2.and.5,.33.percent.      the.state’s.teachers.a.raise.and.extended.    Against Abuse, Neglect,
of.children.in.elementary.schools.and.        his.graduation.coach.program.to.              Exploitation and Violence
26.percent.of.high.school.students.are.       middle.schools..The.governor’s.budget.
overweight.or.at.risk.for.being.over-         did,.however,.included.“austerity.cuts”.      Georgia.lawmakers.successfully.
weight.in.the.state..A.Senate.study.          to.the.Quality.Basic.Education.Act.           passed.the.Computer.or.Electronic.
committee.has.been.created.to.better.         that.advocates.pointed.out.have.              Pornography.and.Child.Exploitation.
understand.the.problem,.its.costs.and.        shifted.state.obligations.to.local.           Prevention.Act.of.2007,.which.
health.implications.                          taxpayers,.causing.many.Georgia.              protects.minors.under.the.age.of.16.
                                              school.systems.to.exhaust.reserves,.          from.sexual.predators.seeking.out.
                                              cut.programs,.lay.off.employees.and/          victims.over.the.Internet..The.bill.
School readiness:                                                                           sets.forth.penalties,.including.fees..
                                              or.raise.property.taxes.
Focus on Early Care                                                                         and.prison.time.for.individuals.
and Education                                 A.common.goal.of.the.governor’s,.             committing.acts.of.computer.or.
                                              shared.by.Voices.for.Georgia’s.               electronic.pornography.or.soliciting.
Although.the.General.Assembly.
                                              Children,.is.to.support.investments.          children.for.sexual.exploitation.
planned.to.limit.the.number.of.available.
slots.in.the.state’s.pre-kindergarten.        that.reduce.the.high.school.dropout.
program.at.77,775,.Governor.Perdue.           rate..Governor.Perdue’s.graduation.           To.create.a.more.stable.parenting.
authorized.the.Department.of.Early.           coach.program.was.established.to.             environment.for.children.whose.
Care.and.Education.to.draw.down.              help.increase.the.number.of.students.         parents.have.separated.or.are.divorced,.
$12.6.million.in.lottery.funds.to.support.    graduating.from.the.state’s.high.             and.to.encourage.shared.responsibil-
additional.slots.to.address.the.need.of.      schools..A.graduation.coach’s.sole.           ity,.lawmakers.enacted.the.Share.
an.estimated.78,000.children.waiting.         responsibility.is.to.identify.at-risk.        Parenting.Act..The.measure.outlines.
to.enroll..Remaining.funds.can.be.used.       students.and.work.with.them.to.get.           a.set.a.standards.to.be.followed.so.
to.increase.provider.reimbursement.rates..    back.on.the.graduation.track..                both.parents.have.input.relating.to.
                                              Graduation.coaches.identify.students.         decisions.made.about.a.child’s.
                                              who.lack.sufficient.credit.to.graduate.       education,.health,.extracurricular.
In.addition,.a.bill.also.was.adopted.
                                              on.time.or.students.who.have.missed.          activities.or.religion.
that.established.the.Senate.Study.
Committee.on.Quality.of.Child.Care.           more.than.15.days.of.school.during.
in.Georgia..The.committee.will.               the.previous.year,.assess.a.student’s.        Economic Stability:
evaluate.and.recommend.legislation.           academic.performance.and.risk.factors,.       An investment in the Future
to.help.develop.a.system.that.will.           and.identify.community.mentors..
                                                                                            Bills.were.introduced.to.increase..
offer.information.to.parents.about.the.
                                                                                            the.state’s.minimum.wage.but.failed.
quality.of.care.their.child.receives.         The.governor.also.credited.initiatives.
                                                                                            to.garner.sufficient.support..H
                                              that.have.helped.reduce.dropout.rates,.
                                              including.taking.away.the.driver’s.
School Success:
                                              license.of.students.who.have.dropped.
Focus on K-2                                 out.of.school.or.have.more.than.10.
Considered.by.Governor.Perdue.as.             unexcused.absences,.and.establishing.
the.“single.most.important.factor”.for.       a.virtual.high.school.system.
the.state’s.prosperity,.Georgia’s.Fiscal.
Year.2008.budget.supported.many.of.           By.2010,.the.governor.has.set.a.
the.investments.the.governor.requested.       statewide.goal.of.an.80.percent.high.
to.improve.the.state’s.education.system..     school.graduation.rate.


34                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
hawaii                                                                                                                            HI


  Governor.Linda.Lingle.(R).was.able.to.launch.her.Hawaii.Innovation.Initiative,.a.plan.to.transform.the.
  state’s.economy,.during.the.2007.legislative.session..The.Initiative.is.designed.to.shift.the.economy.from.
  one.that.is.based.on.land.development.to.one.that.better.supports.investments.in.science,.technology.and.
  innovation..Although.not.all.the.policies.she.laid.out.under.this.plan.were.approved.by.the.state’s.legislators,.
  the.governor.declared.that.the.state.is.on.the.right.path.to.improve.the.future.of.Hawaii’s.children..




Hawaii’s.lawmakers.also.successfully.             coverage.to.children.whose.families.              in.state.matching.funds.to.support..
expanded.access.to.health.insurance.              are.unable.to.afford.coverage.in.the.             a.pilot.perinatal.clinic.
for.uninsured.infants.and.children.               private.market.
and.launched.an.initiative.that.will.
                                                                                                    School readiness:
better.develop.the.state’s.workforce.             Combined,.these.programs.will.provide.
through.investments.in.students’.                 free.health.care.to.uninsured.children.
                                                                                                    Focus on Early Care
science,.technology,.engineering,.and.            under.the.age.of.19.whose.family.                 and Education
math.skills.                                      incomes.are.below.300.percent.of.the.             A.bill.appropriating.funding.to.
                                                  Federal.Poverty.Level.but.who.are.                establish.a.Hawaii.three-to-five.task.
Good.Beginnings.Alliance,.VOICES’.                ineligible.for.the.state’s.public.health.         force.to.study.the.feasibility.of.
Hawaii.member,.will.continue.to.                  insurance.programs..Children,.from.               expanding.early.intervention.services.
support.public.policies.that.will.improve.        the.day.they.are.born.to.one.month.               to.children.who.have.developmental.
the.state’s.commitment.to.its.keiki.              of.age,.will.receive.continuous.care,.            disabilities.became.law.without.
(children).                                       up.to.$10,000.per.eligible.children.              Governor.Lingle’s.signature..In.a.
                                                  under.the.infant.program..Once.the.               letter.to.legislative.leaders,.the.
                                                  child.is.one.month.old,.coverage.will.            governor.concurred.with.the.impor-
Supporting healthy
                                                  be.provided.under.the.Hawaii.Children’s.          tance.of.establishing.such.a.task.force,.
Development                                       Health.Care.Program..Children.who.                but.expressed.concern.around.the.
Hawaii’s.lawmakers.passed.several.                are.currently.covered.under.the.state’s.          length.of.time.given.to.conduct.a.
measures.that.will.continue.to.support.           public.Med-Quest.program—who.lose.                thorough.analysis..The.task.force.was.
children’s.overall.health.and.mental.             coverage.due.to.a.change.in.family.               given.a.little.under.six.months.to.
development..Governor.Lingle.signed.              income—.will.be.eligible.to.receive.              perform.a.feasibility.study.to.determine.
a.measure.into.law.that.creates.a.near-           coverage.under.the.Children’s.Health.             how.many.children.would.benefit.from.
universal.access.program.for.children.            Care.Program..The.state.and.insurance.            the.expanded.service.and.the.scope.of.
residing.in.the.state,.seen.as.a.positive.        company.will.contribute.equally.to.               such.service..The.task.force.is.set.to.
move.in.the.right.direction.by.the.               the.cost.of.premiums..Benefits.must.              expire.at.the.end.of.the.2008.legislative.
Good.Beginnings.Alliance..The.bill.               equal.the.benefits.currently.provided.            session..Further,.lawmakers.appropri-
establishes.two.three-year.pilot.                 under.the.state’s.Medicaid.program.               ated.an.additional.$4.4.million.to.
programs—the.Hawaii.Infant.Care.                                                                    provide.for.early.intervention.services.
Program.and.the.Hawaii.Children’s.                To.ensure.that.pregnant.woman.with.               to.infants.and.children.up.to.3.years.
Health.Care.Program—for.infants.                  a.history.of.substance.abuse.are.                 old.at.risk.of.developmental.delay.
and.children.who.are.uninsured..The.              receiving.adequate.perinatal.care,.
bill.is.designed.to.provide.health.care.          lawmakers.appropriated.$200,000..                                     continued on next page


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                         35
hawaii (continued)
School Success:                              to.develop.a.systematic.plan.for.             more.state.employees.to.become.
Focus on K-2                                expanding.opportunities.for.online.           foster.care.parents.
                                             learning..A.report.must.be.submitted.
Governor.Lingle.successfully.secured.
                                             to.the.governor.and.legislative.leaders.      Funding.also.was.appropriated.to.
support.for.her.Science,.Technology,.
                                             prior.to.the.2008.session.                    expand.incarcerated.parent-child.
Engineering.and.Math.(STEM).
                                                                                           interaction.programs.in.state.correc-
initiative..Lawmakers.appropriated.$5.
                                                                                           tional.facilities..These.programs.
million.to.launch.STEM.academies.in.         Child Safety: Protections
                                                                                           provide.incarcerated.parents.the.
10.middle.and.high.schools.over.the.         Against Abuse, Neglect,                       opportunity.for.building.a.relationship.
next.two.years..STEM.schools,.part.          Exploitation and Violence                     with.their.child.and.offer.parenting.
of.the.governor’s.Innovation.Initiative.
                                             Hawaii.lawmakers.overturned.the.              skills.development..Allowing.for.a.
that.places.emphasis.on.workforce.
                                             governor’s.veto.of.the.“baby.safe.            relationship.to.build.between.the.
development,.will.focus.on.the.
                                             haven.law,”.which.gives.immunity.to.          incarcerated.parent.and.child.also.
development.of.science,.technology,.
                                             individuals.who.leave.their.newborn.          reduces.the.risk.that.a.child.will.enter.
engineering.and.math.skills..
                                             babies.at.hospitals.or.police.and.fire.       the.criminal.justice.system.
                                             stations.within.72.hours.of.birth..
In.addition,.the.Fostering.Inspiration.
                                             Governor.Lingle.vetoed.the.measure.           With.suicide.the.second.leading.cause.
and.Relevance.through.Science.and.
                                             because.it.did.not.sufficiently.protect.      of.death.among.the.nation’s.youth.
Technology.(FIRST).program.also.
                                             the.rights.of.both.parents.or.extended.       and.young.adults.between.the.ages.of.
was.established..This.program.sets.up.
                                             family.members.who.may.be.willing.            15.and.24,.legislation.was.enacted.
voluntary.programs.for.students.in.
                                             to.take.custody.of.the.child..                requiring.the.Department.of.Health.
grades.4.through.8,.and.establishes.a.
                                                                                           to.establish.a.two-year.statewide.
teacher.training.program.to.support.
                                             For.children.living.in.foster.care,.new.      youth.suicide.early.intervention.and.
the.FIRST.initiative.
                                             protections.were.secured.in.2007..            prevention.pilot.program..The.
                                             Legislation.was.enacted.that.will.            Department.is.charged.with.creating.
For.science.and.math.teachers.to.
                                             require.the.Department.of.Human.              public.awareness.for.issues.relating.to.
continue.enhancing.their.skills,.
                                             Services.to.conduct.child.abuse.and.          youth.suicide.prevention;.training.law.
money.was.appropriated.to.support.
                                             neglect.registry.checks.on.all.adults.        enforcement.personnel,.teachers.and.
their.professional.development.
                                             living.in.foster.homes.and.proposed.          health.care.providers.on.identifying.
                                             adoptive.homes,.as.required.by.the.           risk.factors;.and.building.community.
The.governor.fought.hard.and.
                                             federal.Adam.Walsh.Child.Protection.          networks.
succeeded.in.2007.in.providing.
                                             and.Safety.Act.of.2006.
greater.authority.and.increased.
funding.for.the.state’s.charter.schools..                                                  Economic Stability:
                                             Governor.Lingle.signed.an.adminis-
The.new.law.increases.the.power.of.
                                             trative.order.that.will.make.it.easier.
                                                                                           An investment in the Future
the.Charter.School.Review.Panel.by.                                                        Governor.Lingle.hoped.to.provide.
                                             for.state.employees.who.are.foster.
granting.it.specific.powers,.limits.the.                                                   Hawaii’s.families.with.tax.relief..At.
                                             care.parents.to.attend.court.hearings..
authority.of.the.Department.of.                                                            the.beginning.of.the.year,.she.
                                             The.order.allows.state.employees.to.
Education.over.charter.schools,.and.                                                       proposed.the.Taxpayer.Protection.Act.
                                             take.up.to.eight.hours.of.administra-
establishes.a.new.funding.formula.                                                         of.2007..The.bills.signed.into.law.in.
                                             tive.leave.per.year.so.that.they.are.
                                             able.to.contribute.during.Family.             2007.will.provide.nearly.$90.million.
Because.of.the.impact.of.technology.                                                       in.tax.relief.to.the.state’s.residents,.far.
                                             Court.hearings..The.state.hopes.that.
on.a.student’s.life,.the.state.estab-
                                             this.new.initiative.will.encourage.
lished.the.online.learning.task.force.                                                                         continued on next page



36                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
hawaii (continued)
short.of.the.$346.million.tax.relief.
package.unveiled.by.the.governor.
earlier.in.the.year..The.governor.
expressed.disappointment.that.the.
measures.did.not.provide.significant.
savings.for.low-income.and.working.
families..The.enacted.measures.also.
did.not.permanently.reduce.taxes,.as.
hoped.for.by.the.governor.

The.signed.bills.will.provide.certain.
Hawaii.residents.with.a.one-time.tax.
refund.or.tax.credit.for.heads.of.house-
holds.or.joint.filers.who.earn.less.than.
$60,000.a.year.and.for.individual.filers.
earning.less.than.$30,000.per.year..
Eligible.Hawaii.residents.should.expect.
to.receive.a.tax.credit.between.$25.and.
$160.per.household..

In.addition,.Hawaii.residents.who.earn.
under.$50,000.will.qualify.for.a.
refundable.“food/excise.tax.credit.”.
Prior.to.enactment.of.the.new.law,.
Hawaii.residents.earning.less.than.
$20,000.qualified.for.the.credit..Eligible.
Hawaii.residents.should.expect.to.
receive.a.tax.credit.between.$25.to.$85.
per.household..H




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   37
idaho                                                                                                                     ID


  Although.a.number.of.Idaho.elected.officials.have.expressed.a.commitment.to.improving.the.state’s.education.
  system,.the.needs.of.the.youngest.learners.were.left.behind.in.2007..State.child.advocates,.including.Idaho.
  Voices.for.Children—VOICES’.member.in.the.state—called.on.lawmakers.to.improve.the.state’s.early.
  care.and.education.services;.however,.not.enough.support.was.garnered.to.move.legislation.forward..In.his.
  first.year.of.office,.Governor.C.L..“Butch”.Otter.(R).made.clear.his.commitment.for.directing.ongoing.
  revenue.to.public.schools.and.higher.education..




Supporting healthy                            School readiness:                             Education.and.Health.and.Welfare..
Development                                   Focus on Early Care                           to.create.preschool.child.care.and.
                                              and Education                                 educational.standards..However,.the.
To.better.support.children.with.
                                                                                            resolution.never.made.it.past.the.House.
development.disabilities,.a.resolution.       Providing.access.to.pre-kindergarten.
was.adopted.urging.the.state.Depart-          education.is.among.Idaho.Voices.for.          Little.progress.also.was.made.to.
ment.of.Health.and.Welfare,.in.               Children’s.top.priorities..Idaho.Voices.      improve.the.state’s.child.care..
collaboration.with.the.Council.on.            for.Children,.along.with.other.state.         licensing.standards..Legislation.
Developmental.Disabilities,.to.convene.       partners,.placed.its.support.behind.a.        calling.for.the.standards.to.include.
a.task.force.charged.with.developing..        bill.that.would.have.eliminated.or.           criminal.background.checks.failed..
a.Medicaid.model.designed.to.offer.           reduced.barriers.to.pre-kindergarten.         to.garner.significant.support.from.
an.alternative.approach.for.delivery.of.      and.would.have.established.a.voluntary.       elected.officials.
services.for.children.with.disabilities.      pre-kindergarten.program.on.the.part.
                                              of.parents.and.school.districts..The.
A.three-year.pilot.project.addressing.        bill.would.have.also.updated.Idaho’s.         School Success:
the.state’s.shortage.of.pediatric.mental.     unique.law.that.prohibits.the.offering.       Focus on K-2
health.and.substance.abuse.providers.         of.school.services.to.children.under.         The.governor’s.funding.request.for.
in.rural.areas.also.received.approval.        the.age.of.5.and.would.have.given.            education.was.supported.by.state.
last.year..The.pilot.program.will.            control.of.pre-kindergarten.programs.         lawmakers..The.state’s.$1.37.billion.
establish.a.new.model.for.providing.          to.local.school.districts..However,.state.    education.budget.sailed.through.with.
school.districts.with.clinically.trained.     Senate.and.House.leaders.could.not.           little.objection.and.$20.million.will.
substance.abuse.and.mental.health.            reach.consensus.on.the.best.pathway.          be.directly.provided.for.classroom.
specialist.counselors.and.social.workers.     for.establishing.a.pre-kindergarten.          supplies,.textbooks.and.remedial.
                                              system,.either.under.state.or.local.          education.for.students.struggling.to.
Lawmakers.also.authorized.the.courts.         control,.and.the.effort.failed..Instead,.     meet.state.standards..Teachers.also.
to.order.the.Department.of.Health.and.        the.state.Senate.formed.a.task.force.to.      received.a.raise.under.the.approved.
Welfare.to.conduct,.when.necessary,.          look.into.the.issue.                          Fiscal.Year.2008.budget.
comprehensive.substance.abuse.
assessments.and.order.treatment.of.           Idaho.Voices.for.Children.also.
individuals.in.the.juvenile.system.           supported.a.House.resolution.that.
                                              would.have.established.a.partnership.
                                              between.the.state.Departments.of.                                 continued on next page



38                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
idaho (continued)
Protections Against
Abuse, Neglect,
Exploitation and Violence
Idaho.lawmakers.strengthened.the.
state’s.child.welfare.laws.by.requiring.
background.checks,.including.criminal.
history.checks,.for.family.court.service.
coordinators,.supervised.access.
providers.and.guardian.ad.litem.
volunteers,.coordinators.and.staff.


Economic Stability:
An investment in the Future
Although.the.governor.requested..
$40.million.to.create.a.needs-based.
scholarship.endowment,.the.approved.
FY2008.budget.committed.$10.million.
toward.that.creation.of.the.scholarship.

Governor.Otter’s.commitment.to.
reduce.the.tax.burden.on.lower-
income.families.by.increasing.the.
grocery.tax.credit.did.not.garner.the.
support.needed.to.move.forward..H




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   39
illinois                                                                                                                   IL


  Democratic.lawmakers.in.Illinois.were.unable.to.agree.on.how.to.move.a.legislative.agenda.forward..A.
  particularly.contentious.political.environment.resulted.in.a.lack.of.support.for.Governor.Rod.Blagojevich’s.(D).
  health.care,.education.and.business.tax.increase.initiatives..A.fierce.budget.battle.between.the.governor.
  and.legislators.delayed.the.release.of.Fiscal.Year.2008.funds,.which.produced.a.particularly.hard.impact.on.
  school.districts..Despite.the.challenges,.several.bills.supported.by.VOICES.member,.Voices.for.Illinois.
  Children.were.signed.into.law.




Supporting healthy                            and.no.longer.qualify.for.the.All.Kids.       Prevention.and.Treatment.Act..The.
Development                                   insurance.program.due.to.their.age..          new.law.will.help.health.care.providers.
                                              Eligibility.for.the.All.Kids.program.         more.quickly.identify.and.address.
In.an.effort.to.make.health.care.services.
                                              terminates.once.a.beneficiary.turns.19..      postpartum.depression,.which.will.help.
more.accessible,.legislation.passed.
                                              The.All.Kids.Bridge.program.allows.           ensure.a.nurturing.environment.to.
requiring.the.Department.of.Human.
                                              certain.All.Kids.recipients.between.the.      support.young.children’s.healthy.
Services.to.expand.existing.school.
                                              ages.of.19.and.21.to.retain.their.health.     development..
health.centers.and.to.create.new.centers..
                                              insurance.coverage.through.the.state’s.
However,.the.governor.vetoed.the.$3.
                                              high.risk.pool,.the.Illinois.Compre-
million.targeted.to.help.20.schools.                                                        School readiness:
                                              hensive.Health.Insurance.Program..
open.new.facilities..A.measure.was.
                                              The.Bridge.program.is.estimated.to.
                                                                                            Focus on Early Education
approved.mandating.schools.to.require.
                                              cost.the.state.up.to.$20.million.and.         Over.the.previous.four.years,.Illinois.
an.eye.examination.for.all.children.
                                              will.serve.approximately.7,000.youth..        state.leaders.have.increased.investments.
enrolling.in.kindergarten..A.provision.
                                                                                            in.the.state’s.Early.Childhood.Block.
was.included.to.allow.parents.to.opt.
                                              Members.of.the.General.Assembly.              Grant.program.(ECBG).by.$135.
out.and.prohibits.the.exclusion.of.
                                              were.not.supportive.of.the.governor’s.        million..ECGB.funds.the.“Preschool.
children.on.such.grounds.
                                              change.in.eligibility.requirements.under.     for.All”.initiative.to.improve.and.expand.
                                              the.FamilyCare.insurance.program.             pre-kindergarten.access.for.all.3-.and.
The.approved.FY2008.budget.also.                                                            4-year-old.children,.with.a.top.priority.
                                              for.parents..Lawmakers.felt.that.the.
included.increased.investments.for.                                                         on.at-risk.youngsters..The.effort.also.
                                              governor.was.circumventing.the.
children’s.mental.health.supports.and.                                                      supports.important.developmental.
                                              authority.of.the.General.Assembly.and.
early.intervention.services.for.young.                                                      services.for.at-risk.infants.and.toddlers..
                                              therefore.halted.any.efforts.to.expand.
children.with.serious.developmental.                                                        The.governor’s.FY2008.budget.called.
                                              state-supported.health.insurance.
disabilities.and.delays..Voices.for.                                                        for.an.increase.of.$60.million.to.expand.
                                              coverage.to.families.earning.up.to.400.
Illinois.Children.lauded.the.additional.                                                    the.program.so.that.an.additional.
                                              percent.of.the.Federal.Poverty.Level.
financial.support.for.these.programs.                                                       12,000.children.could.enroll;.the.
                                              (FPL)..The.governor.has.pledged.to.
but.noted.that.the.funding.level.still.                                                     approved.budget.includes.an.additional.
                                              continue.to.push.for.his.health.care.
fell.far.short.of.the.demand.for.services.                                                  $29.6.million.investment,.about.$15.
                                              plan.during.the.2008.session..
                                                                                            million.short.of.the.funding.needed.
Without.legislative.approval,.Governor.                                                     to.take.the.next.steps.in.the.Preschool.
                                              Supported.by.Voices.for.Illinois.
Blagojevich.expanded.health.insurance.                                                      for.All.plans.
                                              Children,.lawmakers.did.enact.the.
coverage.for.teens.who.are.seriously.ill,.
                                              Perinatal.Mental.Health.Disorders.                                continued on next page
injured,.or.have.pre-existing.conditions.


40                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
illinois (continued)
Voices.for.Illinois.Children.also.                updated.every.two.years..Another.                 present..Likewise,.it.is.unlawful.for.a.
supported.a.bill.that.changed.the.basis.          amendment.to.the.School.Code.                     convicted.child.sex.offender.to.loiter.
for.determining.families’.child.care.             allows.for.the.implementation.of.gang.            within.500.feet.of.public.parks,.
assistance.from.the.state.median.                 resistance.education.and.training..               playgrounds,.child.care.centers,.or.
income.to.the.FPL..This.change.will.              Under.the.Internet.Safety.Education.              reside.within.500.feet.of.a.playground.
allow.Illinois.families.to.retain.their.          Act,.age-appropriate.Internet.safety.             or.facility.providing.programs.aimed.
assistance.for.a.longer.period.of.time..          courses.will.be.included.in.the.                  at.individuals.under.18..The.governor.
The.new.law.also.requires.that.a.study.           curriculum.for.students.in.grades.K-12.           also.signed.legislation.providing.
be.conducted.on.the.state’s.child.care.                                                             greater.protections.for.children.by.
copayments—the.second.highest.in.                 Launched.in.2007,.a.multi-agency.                 imposing.stiffer.penalties.and.making.
the.Midwest.                                      initiative,.“The.Safety.Net.Works…                it.a.criminal.offense.to.lure.minors.
                                                  Not.One.Life.to.Lose”.program,.was.               under.the.age.of.15.via.electronic.
                                                  created.to.bring.an.end.to.youth.                 media,.telephone.or.text.message.
School Success:
                                                  violence.by.pooling.state.and.commu-
Focus on K-2                                     nity.resources..Services.provided.                Signed.legislation.requires.local.law.
Although.the.governor’s.revenue.plan.             through.the.program.include.out-of-               enforcement.agencies.to.disclose.the.
was.not.approved.by.state.lawmakers,.             school.programs,.juvenile.justice.                name,.address,.date.of.birth,.place.of.
an.agreement.was.reached.to.invest.               activities,.educational.services,.                employment,.school.attended.and.
an.additional.$560.million.in.the.                recreational.activities,.child.welfare,.          offense.or.adjudication.of.all.sex.
state’s.school.system..The.funding.               economic.development.opportunities,.              offenders.and.violent.offenders.
will.be.used.to.support.general.state.            substance.abuse.prevention,.employ-               against.youth.to.libraries.within.their.
aid.to.schools.and.provide.enhanced.              ment.services,.and.domestic.violence.             jurisdiction.
investments.for.special.education..               prevention.and.intervention..During.
                                                  its.pilot.year,.the.initiative.will.fund.
To.facilitate.a.successful.transition.
                                                                                                    Economic Stability:
                                                  10.to.15.communities.in.amounts.
into.adult.life,.an.amendment.to.the.             ranging.between.$250,000.and.
                                                                                                    An investment in the Future
Children.with.Disabilities.Article.of.            $400,000.annually..                               The.governor.failed.to.gain.support.
the.School.Code.allows.for.a.student.                                                               for.his.proposed.“gross.receipts.tax”.
who.is.determined.to.need.special.                Legislation.passed.requiring.a.criminal.          on.business..It.was.hoped.that.the.
education.services.to.continue.attending.         and.child.abuse.records.background.               change.in.the.state’s.corporate.tax.
public.school.up.to.21.years.of.age.              check.of.prospective.foster.parents,.             structure.would.generate.substantial.
                                                  adoptive.parents.and.all.adults.residing.         new.revenues.to.advance.the.governor’s.
                                                  in.the.home.                                      health.care.and.education.agendas..
Child Safety: Protections
                                                                                                    Voices.for.Illinois.Children.secured.
Against Abuse, Neglect,                                                                             unanimous.Senate.approval.of.a.
                                                  In.an.effort.to.keep.children.safe.from.
Exploitation and Violence                         criminals,.legislation.was.approved.to.           measure.to.double.the.overall.size.of.
During.2007,.many.efforts.were.made.              increase.penalties.for.impersonating.             the.state.Earned.Income.Tax.Credit.
within.the.school.system.to.foster.a.             public.officers.and.luring.a.minor..An.           (EITC).over.the.course.of.two.years;.
safe.environment,.both.in.and.out.of.             amendment.to.the.criminal.code.set.               however,.the.bill.remained.bottled.up.
school..The.School.Code.was.amended.              the.penalty.for.a.convicted.child.sex.            in.a.House.committee.for.the.remainder.
to.make.the.School.District.Bullying.             offender.who.knowingly.operates,.                 of.2007.
Policy.mandatory..The.State.Board.                manages,.is.employed.by,.volunteers.
will.monitor.the.implementation.of.               at,.or.is.associated.with.any.county.
the.bullying.policies,.which.are.to.be.           fair.when.individuals.under.18.are.                                  continued on next page


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                         4
illinois (continued)
An.increase.in.the.state’s.minimum.             .
wage.passed.in.late.2006.and.took.
effect.in.July.2007..It.boosted.the.
state’s.minimum.wage.from.$6.50.to.
$7.50.per.hour..The.minimum.wage.
will.continue.to.increase.at.a.rate.of.
$.25.per.year,.peaking.at.$8.25.per.
hour.by.2010.

Voices.for.Illinois.Children.success-
fully.secured.a.change.in.the.state’s.
EITC,.which.will.extend.an.additional.
$4.million.to.several.groups.of.
taxpayers.who.previously.had.been.
denied.the.full.amount.of.their.EITCs,.
including.foster.parents.and.many.
parents.of.disabled.children..

Additionally,.Voices.for.Illinois.Children.
endorsed.the.Illinois.Children’s.
Saving.Account.Act,.which.encourages.
families.to.open.a.savings.account.for.
each.child.born.in.the.state..The.act’s.
other.aims.are.to.raise.families’.
financial.literacy.and.increase.their.
savings;.increase.the.number.of.
children.with.assets;.and.increase.the.
number.of.young.people.who.attend.
postsecondary.education.or.training,.
purchase.a.home,.or.open.a.small.
business..

A.measure.passed.to.help.strengthen.
child.support.collections..Under.the.
new.law,.parents.who.owe.very.large,.
long-outstanding.amounts.of.support.
risk.seeing.their.cars.booted.and.
immobilized,.and.could.lose.their.
driver.licenses.to.temporary,.adminis-
trative.suspensions..They.can.avoid.
those.problems.by.entering.into.
payment.plans.with.custodial.parents..
Voices.for.Illinois.Children.supported.
this.proposal..H


42                             Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
indiana                                                                                                                        IN


  Indiana’s.legislative.session.can.be.characterized.as.a.mixed.bag.of.successes.and.missed.opportunities..In.
  his.2007.state.of.the.state.address,.Governor.Mitch.Daniels.(R).spoke.of.health.insurance.reform,.the.need.
  for.increased.funding.for.the.state.education,.and.property.tax.relief..




Addressing Equity:                                approved.and.must.contribute.to.an.               tion.regarding.the.link.between.HPV.
Narrowing Societal gaps                           individual.health.care.account.to.help.           infection.and.cervical.cancer.and.the.
                                                  pay.the.deductibles.for.health.care.              availability.of.immunization.to.
The.Indiana.General.Assembly.passed.
                                                  services.offered.under.the.new.plan..             parents.of.school-age.girls.entering.
a.bill,.later.signed.into.law,.which.
                                                  The.plan.will.cover.two.groups.usually.           grade.6..Schools.are.required.to.
requires.all.state.universities.to.create.
                                                  not.eligible.for.state.health.care.services:.     collect.written.statements.of.the.
diversity.committees..The.purpose.of.
                                                  custodial.parents.and.childless.adults.           parents’.intent.to.immunize.or.to.not.
these.committees.is.to.review.and.
                                                                                                    share.information.concerning.their.
recommend.practices.that.address.
                                                  This.law.also.increases.the.income.               intent..Additionally,.schools.are.
diversity.in.employment.practices,.
                                                  limit.for.Medicaid.eligibility.for.               required.to.submit.certain.information.
hiring,.and.recruitment.and.retention.
                                                  pregnant.women.and.infants,.from.                 about.the.intent.to.immunize.to.the.
among.minority.students..
                                                  150.to.200.percent.of.the.Federal.                state.health.department..
                                                  Poverty.Level.(FPL)..This.provision.
Along.similar.lines,.language.was.
                                                  opens.access.to.heath.services.to.
included.in.Indiana’s.budget.bill.                                                                  School readiness:
                                                  approximately.15,000.pregnant.
creating.a.commission.to.study.
                                                  women.and.an.equal.number.of.
                                                                                                    Focus on Early Care
disproportionality.in.youth.services.
                                                  infants..The.new.plan.provides.                   and Education
including.child.welfare,.juvenile.
                                                  qualifying.children.with.continuous.              The.General.Assembly.signaled.its.
justice,.child.welfare.and.mental.health.
                                                  eligibility.under.Medicaid.and.the.               focus.on.early.learning.by.passing.a.
                                                  federal.State.Children’s.Health.                  law.to.establish.a.child.care.advisory.
Supporting healthy                                Insurance.Program.(SCHIP).until..                 committee.to.provide.the.Division.of.
Development                                       the.child.reaches.3.years.of.age..                Family.Services,.the.state.agency.that.
                                                  Additionally,.the.law.increases.the.              administers.the.state’s.child.care.
The.Indiana.Check-up.Plan,.the.
                                                  SCHIP.family.income.eligibility.limit.            subsidy.program,.with.advice.and.
governor’s.health.care.initiative,.was.
                                                  from.200.to.300.percent.of.FPL.                   assistance.regarding.the.implementa-
signed.into.law.in.2007..The.plan.
                                                                                                    tion.of.child.care.regulations.for.
covers.individuals.between.the.ages.of.
                                                  The.law.also.requires.health.insurers.            home-.and.center-based.child.care.
18.and.65.years.who.are.U.S..citizens.
                                                  and.health.maintenance.organizations.             centers..The.committee.is.tasked.with.
and.residents.of.Indiana.for.at.least.
                                                  to.cover.children.up.to.24.years.old.             producing.a.report.that.includes.
one.year..Additionally,.eligible.adults.
                                                  upon.request.                                     recommendations.for.improving.the.
may.not.be.eligible.for.Medicare,.or.
                                                                                                    quality.of.child.care.in.Indiana..
Medicaid.as.a.disabled.person,.and.
                                                  Concerning.human.papillomavirus.
they.must.have.been.previously.
                                                  (HPV).immunization.for.young.girls,.
uninsured.for.at.least.six.months..
                                                  the.Indiana.Legislature.passed.a.bill.
Individuals.and.married.couples.are.
                                                  that.requires.schools.to.send.informa-                              continued on next page
eligible.for.services.but.must.be.


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                       43
indiana (continued)
School Success:                              guaranteed.the.cost.of.four.years.of.         Currently,.the.court.must.consider.a.
Focus on K-2                                undergraduate.tuition.at.a.participating.     suitable.and.willing.blood.or.adoptive.
                                             state.university..                            relative.caretaker,.including.a.
The.state.budget.included.an.additional.
                                                                                           grandparent,.aunt,.uncle.or.adult.
$92.million.in.funding.to.support.
                                             The.General.Assembly.passed.a.bill.           sibling..The.law.adds.a.“defacto.
full-day.kindergarten,.$33.5.million.
                                             that.creates.opportunities.for.foster.        custodian”.and.a.stepparent.to.this.list.
in.the.2007-2008.budget.year.and.
                                             youth.to.participate.in.the.state’s.21st.     of.possible.placements.before.an.out-
$58.5.million.for.2008-2009..This.
                                             Century.Scholars.Program..The.bill.           of-home.placement.is.considered..
funding.represents.a.significant.
                                             specifies.that.a.student.who.is.in.
investment.in.Indiana’s.children,.
                                             foster.care.or.another.place.that.
which.will.provide.the.opportunity.                                                        Economic Stability:
                                             provides.child.care.(e.g.,.a.group.
for.a.solid.start.to.their.education.and.
                                             home.or.the.home.of.a.relative.or.
                                                                                           An investment in the Future
establishes.a.strong.foundation.for.
                                             other.unlicensed.caretaker).is.               In.his.2007.state.of.the.state.address,.
creating.a.viable.future.workforce..
                                             considered.a.full-need.student..              Governor.Daniels.made.reforming.
Prior.to.the.2007.legislative.session,.
                                             Additionally,.the.student.will.receive.       the.state’s.property.tax.system.a.key.
appropriations.averaged.$8.5.million.
                                             information.concerning.the.21st.              priority..Unable.to.pass.a.reform.
per.year..The.appropriation.includes.
                                             Century.Scholars.Program.from.his/            package,.the.General.Assembly.voted.
$25,000.for.a.study.of.full-day.
                                             her.caseworker..Foster.youth.can.             to.provide.rebate.checks.to.hom-
kindergarten.and.its.academic.standards.
                                             enroll.in.the.program.at.any.time.            eowners..The.intent.of.the.deal,.
to.ensure.that.standards.are.adequate,.
                                             during.high.school.if.the.student.            estimated.at.$300.million,.was.to.offset.
aligned.with.Indiana’s.state.standards.
                                             agrees.to.meet.certain.eligibility..          the.effect.of.property.taxes.that.were.
through.grade.3,.and.prepare.children.
                                             criteria.for.at.least.six.months.after.       scheduled.to.increase..
for.success.in.later.grades.
                                             graduation.from.high.school..
                                                                                           The.General.Assembly.also.passed.a.
In.2007,.Indiana’s.21st.Century.
                                                                                           44-cent.increase.in.the.tobacco.tax..
Scholars.Program,.a.college.scholarship.     Child Safety: Protections                     The.increase.is.projected.to.generate.
program,.was.expanded.to.include.            Against Abuse, Neglect,                       $187.million.in.Fiscal.Year.2008.and.
students.in.grades.6.and.7..This.            Exploitation and Violence                     $206.million.in.FY2009..Most.of.this.
program.began.in.1990.as.a.means.to.
                                             In.2007,.Governor.Daniels.signed.             revenue.will.be.used.to.fund.the.
ensure.that.all.Indiana.families.have.
                                             into.law.a.bill.that.provides.protec-         Indiana.Check-Up.Plan,.but.the.
access.to.a.college.education.for.their.
                                             tion.for.abused.children.by.removing.         remainder.will.be.used.to.fund.other.
children..Prior.to.2007,.only.students.
                                             the.alleged.perpetrator.of.child.abuse.       health.initiatives,.including.child.
in.grade.8.could.participate.in.the.
                                             or.neglect.using.a.court.order.instead.       immunization.programs..H
program..The.new.law.also.allows.
                                             of.removing.the.child.from.their.home..
students.who.plan.to.enroll.part.time.
                                             After.proper.notice.and.a.hearing,.
to.participate.in.the.program..It.also.
                                             courts.may.issue.a.child.protective.
provides.scholarship.opportunities.for.
                                             order.if.certain.conditions.are.met..
full-time.students.to.cover.the.costs.
of.room,.board,.and.books..Students.
                                             Additionally,.it.makes.it.a.misdemeanor.
who.enroll.in.the.program,.meet.
                                             for.a.parent.or.other.adult.with.whom.
certain.income.requirements,.maintain.
                                             a.child.resides.to.ignore.the.order.or.
a.2.0.grade.point.average.and.make.a.
                                             for.the.alleged.abuser.to.return.to.the.
pledge.of.good.citizenship.are..
                                             child’s.residence..
 .



44                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
iowa                                                                                                                             IA


  Governor.Chet.Culver’s.(D).first.year.in.office.resulted.in.the.enactment.of.several.measures.that.will.
  improve.the.lives.of.children.and.families..From.investments.in.the.youngest.of.Iowa’s.residents.to.providing.
  families. additional. income. supports,. VOICES’. Iowa. member,. the. Child. and. Family. Policy. Center,.      .
  described.the.2007.legislative.session.as.one.of.“many.successes.that.deserve.to.be.celebrated.”.As.promised,.
  the. governor. is. putting. Iowa. on. a. course. that. includes. significant. funding. for. education—from. pre-.
  kindergarten.to.college..The.state.also.demonstrated.its.commitment.to.expanding.access.for.affordable.
  health.insurance.coverage.to.all.residents,.in.particular,.children.




Supporting healthy                                children..The.governor’s.goal.is..                health.services..To.better.protect.
Development                                       to.cover.all.kids.by.the.end.of.his..             young.children.from.the.flu,.children.
                                                  first.term.                                       enrolling.in.a.licensed.child.care.
Increasing.health.insurance.coverage.
                                                                                                    facility.will.be.required.to.receive.an.
is.among.the.Child.and.Family.Policy.
                                                  In.addition.to.an.increase.in.access..            immunization.against.invasive.
Center’s.top.priorities..There.are.
                                                  to.coverage,.the.Child.and.Family.                pneumococcal.disease.
approximately.50,000.uninsured.
                                                  Policy.Center.is.committed.to.
children.in.the.state..Legislation.
                                                  ensuring.children.have.access.to.                 In.addition,.the.state.received.
enacted.would.have.chipped.away.at.
                                                  services.that.support.their.healthy.              authority.to.implement.a.Medicaid.
the.number.of.uninsured.kids.but.it.
                                                  development..While.local.school.                  buy-in.option.for.individuals.under.
was.contingent.on.the.enactment.of.
                                                  districts.are.ultimately.responsible.for.         19.years.of.age.with.disabilities.and.
federal.State.Children’s.Health.
                                                  enforcing.the.requirements,.Gover-                whose.family.income.is.below.300.
Insurance.Program.(SCHIP).reautho-
                                                  nor.Culver.signed.a.bill.that.requires.           percent.of.the.Federal.Poverty.Level.
rization.legislation..The.measure.
                                                  proof.of.a.dental.exam.for.children.
signed.into.law.would.have.expanded.
                                                  between.the.ages.of.3.and.6.prior.to.
Iowa’s.SCHIP,.called.hawk-I,.to.                                                                    School readiness:
                                                  enrollment.in.elementary.school.and.
children.of.state.employees,.legal.
                                                  again.for.all.children.prior.to.enroll-
                                                                                                    Focus on Early Care
immigrant.children.and.pregnant.
                                                  ment.in.high.school..Children.under.              and Education
women.not.eligible.under.federal.
                                                  the.age.of.6.will.also.be.required.to.            Iowa.is.on.a.path.for.establishing.a.
guidelines,.and.would.have.extended.
                                                  receive.a.blood.test.to.determine.if.             voluntary.statewide.pre-kindergarten.
coverage.to.children.up.to.the.age.of.
                                                  the.child.has.elevated.lead.levels..              program.for.all.4-year-olds—another.
21—or.up.to.age.23.if.they.attended.
                                                                                                    priority.of.VOICES’.Iowa.member..
school..The.expansion.of.hawk-i.was.
                                                  The.state,.for.the.first.time,.appropri-          By.2011,.the.state.has.set.a.goal.of.
put.on.hold.because.the.federal.
                                                  ated.funding.to.expand.two.federal.               providing.90.percent.of.all.4-year-
program.was.not.reauthorized..
                                                  initiatives—the.program.under.the.                olds.with.access.to.a.high-quality.
However,.Governor.Culver.has.
                                                  Individuals.with.Disabilities.Education.          preschool.program..Elected.officials.
committed.to.dedicating.some.of.the.
                                                  Act.and.Early.Head.Start—that.serve.              committed.$15.million.to.support.
additional.state.revenue.from.an.
                                                  the.youngest.of.children..Expansion.              preschools.in.63.school.districts..
increase.in.the.state’s.cigarette.tax.
                                                  of.these.two.program.areas.will.                  School.districts.that.have.been.awarded.
(from.$.36.to.$1.36).to.supporting.
                                                  increase.access.to.and.utilization.of.
health.insurance.expansion.for.all.
                                                  quality.social,.emotional.and.mental.                                continued on next page



F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                        45
iowa (continued)
the.funding.must.provide.at.least.10.        The.School.Anti-Bullying.and.Anti-            Economic Stability:
hours.of.quality.preschool.instruction.      Harassment.Act.also.was.signed.into.          An investment in the Future
per.week..The.state.is.expected.to.          law.to.better.protect.students.while.
                                                                                           The.first.piece.of.legislation.signed.
invest.$60.million.over.the.next.four.       attending.school..The.Act.provides..
                                                                                           by.Governor.Culver.into.law.in.2007.
years.to.increase.access.to.high-quality.    a.definition.for.harassment.and.
                                                                                           raised.the.state’s.minimum.wage.from.
preschool..The.state’s.Shared.Visions.       bullying.and.establishes.state.policy.
                                                                                           $5.15.to.$7.25.per.hour..The.governor.
preschool.program.also.received..            for.school.personnel.and.students.
                                                                                           praised.the.bipartisan.commitment.to.
an.increase.in.funding—the.first.in..
                                                                                           improve.the.lives.of.the.state’s.citizens..
11.years.
                                             Child Safety: Protections                     In.addition,.the.state’s.elected.officials.

Regarding.child.care,.$16.million.was.
                                             Against Abuse, Neglect,                       raised.Iowa’s.Earned.Income.Tax.

appropriated.for.the.child.care.subsidy.     Exploitation and Violence                     Credit.from.6.5.to.7.percent.and.made.
                                                                                           the.tax.refundable..Raising.the.tax.
program.in.order.to.prevent.the.state.       The.General.Assembly.also.supported.
                                                                                           credit.will.ease.the.tax.burden.for.over.
from.establishing.a.waiting.list..           the.Governor’s.commitment.to.fund.
                                                                                           163,000.Iowa.families.
Legislation.was.also.enacted.establish-      the.court-appointed.special.advocates.
ing.billing.and.payment.standards.for.       (CASA).program..Under.this.program,.
                                                                                           Expanding.access.to.higher.education.
the.state.child.care.assistance.program.     trained.community.volunteers.
                                                                                           is.among.Governor.Culver’s.top.
so.that.providers.receive.payment.           represent.the.interest.of.abused.and.
                                                                                           administrative.priorities..In.2006,.he.
within.10.business.days.of.submitting.       neglected.children.in.court.and.are.
                                                                                           successfully.secured.funding.($1.5.
a.proper.invoice..Providers.can.also.        responsible.for.informing.a.judge.of.
                                                                                           million).for.the.All.Iowa.Opportunity.
choose.to.be.paid.twice.instead.of.just.     the.needs.of.the.child.and.if.services.
                                                                                           Scholarship.Program,.which.was.
once.a.month.                                available.are.meeting.those.needs..
                                                                                           launched.in.2007..The.program.
                                             The.CASA.program.received.
                                                                                           increases.access.to.higher.education.
                                             sufficient.funding.to.expand.statewide.
School Success:                                                                            opportunities.by.providing.scholar-
Focus on K-2                                State.employees.who.handle.the.
                                                                                           ships.to.students.who.meet.eligibility.
                                                                                           requirements..
Focusing.on.older.children,.Governor.        adoption.of.a.foster.care.child.and.
Culver.called.for.and.received.              place.the.child.with.a.family.residing.
additional.funding.to.support.a.pay.                                                       Last.year,.Governor.Culver.also.
                                             out.of.state.are.now.required.to.visit.
increase.for.teachers..A.cornerstone.                                                      established.a.separate.scholarship.
                                             that.child.once.every.six.months,.
of.the.Governor’s.campaign,.the.                                                           program.to.provide.additional.supports.
                                             versus.once.a.year..In.addition,.
increase.in.teachers’.salaries.by.                                                         for.foster.care.youth..The.All.Iowa.
                                             individuals.applying.for.a.foster.care.
$5,000.will.be.implemented.by.the.                                                         Opportunity.Foster.Care.Grants.are.
                                             license.now.will.be.required.to.provide.
state.over.the.next.two.school.years..                                                     designed.to.provide.full-cost.scholar-
                                             their.fingerprint.so.that.state.officials.
This.increase.moves.the.state’s.                                                           ships.to.youth.who.were.in.foster.care.
                                             can.conduct.thorough.background.
national.ranking.in.terms.of.teacher.                                                      or.who.were.adopted.from.foster.care.
                                             checks..Governor.Culver.also.signed.
pay.from.43rd.to.25th,.and.will.allow.                                                     after.their.16th.birthday..Unlike.the.
                                             legislation.increasing.the.age.for.
the.state.to.recruit.and.retain.high-                                                      All.Iowa.Opportunity.Scholarship.
                                             children.in.child.care.if.their.safety.
quality.educators..The.enacted.measure.                                                    Program,.the.foster.care.grant.program.
                                             and.well-being.are.at.risk..
also.includes.$20.million.for.profes-                                                      allows.youth.to.apply.year-round.and.
sional.development.and.creates.10.                                                         scholarships.will.be.awarded.until.
pilot.programs.across.the.state.to.test.                                                   funding.is.depleted..The.state.set.aside.
new.models.for.teacher.compensation.                                                       $500,000.to.fund.the.All.Iowa.Oppor-
                                                                                           tunity.Foster.Care.Grant.program..H



46                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Kansas                                                                                                                          KS


  In.her.state.of.the.state.address,.Governor.Kathleen.Sebelius.(D).discussed.many.legislative.actions.that.
  she.wanted.to.take.in.order.to.improve.the.lives.of.the.children.and.families.of.Kansas..Although.the.governor.
  was.unable.to.gain.support.from.legislators.to.pass.the.Healthy.Kansas.First.Five.initiative,.she.was.successful.
  in. providing. more. support. to. families. of. children. with. autism. by. establishing. the. Kansas. Autism. Task.
  Force..She.kept.her.promise.to.provide.more.“opportunities.to.learn.and.grow”.by.expanding.the.budget.
  for.early.learning.programs..The.protection.and.well-being.of.the.state’s.children.proved.to.be.a.priority.
  for.the.governor.through.new.anti-bullying.policies.being.integrated.in.the.schools.and.legislation.stiffening.
  the.sentences.for.sex.offenders,.closing.gaps.left.by.previous.legislation.known.as.Jessica’s.Law..VOICES.
  members.Kansas.Action.for.Children.and.Partnership.for.Children.continue.the.efforts.to.enhance.the.
  state’s.early.learning.initiatives..




Supporting healthy                                2-year-olds.have.received.their.immu-             opportunities.for.children.to.access.
Development                                       nizations..Additionally,.$800,000.was.            and.benefit.from.early.education.
                                                  provided.to.expand.screening.for.                 services.by.providing.for.a.combined.
In.keeping.with.her.promise.to.provide.
                                                  newborns.to.allow.for.screening.of.29.            $5.1.million.of.new.funds.for.early.
new.help.to.families.of.children.with.
                                                  preventable.disorders..Prior.to.the.              learning.programs..
autism,.Governor.Kathleen.Sebelius.
                                                  expansion,.the.state.was.only.screening.
(D).established.the.Kansas.Autism.
                                                  for.seven.disorders..                             Of.this.amount,.$3.million.is.available.
Task.Force..The.group.is.charged.by.
                                                                                                    for.funding.pre-kindergarten.programs.
legislative.mandate.to.review.the.
                                                  The.Legislature.also.increased.                   with.a.specific.focus.targeted.at.reach-
current.status.of.autism,.and.the.
                                                  compulsory.seat.belt.use.for.all.children.        ing.underserved.populations.and.rural.
availability.of.evidence-based.inter-
                                                  17.and.under..The.new.law.increases.              communities..Another.$1.6.million.
vention.services.throughout.the.state..
                                                  the.fine.for.failure.to.wear.a.seat.belt.         will.allow.the.Kansas.Early.Head.
Once.complete.with.its.review,.the.
                                                  from.$10.to.$60.for.each.instance..               Start.programs.to.reduce.the.current.
task.force.will.present.the.findings.
                                                                                                    waiting.list.for.children.and.families.
and.develop.recommendations.to.the.
                                                  The.Legislature.did.not.approve.the.              by.25.percent,.resulting.in.nearly.200.
Legislature.offering.suggestions.for.
                                                  Healthy.Kansas.First.Five.initiative.             new.slots.over.32.counties,.and.will.
improving.the.availability.or.acces-
                                                  proposed.by.the.governor.that.would.              allow.for.outreach.in.the.70.counties.
sibility.of.services.for.screening,.
                                                  have.provided.health.care.for.all.                that.are.currently.not.operating.Early.
diagnosis.and.treatment.of.children.
                                                  children.under.the.age.of.5..                     Head.Start.programs..
with.autism,.along.with.programs.to.
assist.their.families.
                                                                                                    Low-income.working.parents.will.
                                                  School readiness:
                                                                                                    now.have.greater.access.to.affordable,.
The.state.Department.of.Health.and.               Focus on Early Care                               quality.care.through.the.Child.Care.
Environment.received.a.$200,000.                  and Education                                     Assistance.due.to.an.additional.$10.5.
increase.to.expand.the.immunization.
                                                  According.to.VOICES’.member.                      million.of.new.funding.made.available..
programs.at.community.Women,.
                                                  Kansas.Action.for.Children,.the.
Infants,.and.Children.clinics..The.
                                                  governor’s.approved.budget.expands.                                  continued on next page
goal.is.to.ensure.that.90.percent.of..


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                        47
Kansas (continued)
Due.to.the.governor’s.commitment..            Project.S.T.A.R.:.Success.Through.
to.early.childhood.care.and.education,.       Achieving.Reintegration,.a.program.
the.state.received.a.$10,000.grant.           implemented.by.the.Juvenile.Justice.
from.the.National.Governors.                  Authority.(JJA),.was.awarded.$997,870.
Association’s.Center.for.Best.Practices.      by.the.Office.of.Juvenile.Justice.and.
to.support.the.Summit.on.Early.               Delinquency.Prevention,.a.branch.of.
Childhood.held.in.late.fall.of.last.year..    the.U..S..Department.of.Justice,.last.
At.the.conference,.Governor.Sebelius.         fall..The.project.“seeks.to.improve.
announced.plans.to.introduce.a.               the.quality.of.services.and.to.develop.
multiyear.early.childhood.education.          a.graduated.step-down.system.
initiative.during.the.2008.legislative.       following.release.from.a.juvenile.
session..                                     correctional.facility.”.The.funding.
                                              will.be.used.to.support.community.
                                              re-entry.officers’.salaries,.travel,.and.
School Success:
                                              equipment;.travel.vouchers.for.the.
Focus on K-2                                 families;.and.evidence-based.treatment.
New.grants.in.the.amount.of.$400,000.         curriculums..The.Kansas.JJA.reported.
were.made.available.to.allow.the.             that.it.will.provide.in-kind.funding..
Department.of.Education.to.provide.           to.support.the.staffing,.training,..
additional.afterschool.enrichment.            and.quality.assurance.for.the.juvenile.
programs.for.middle.school.students..         correctional.facilities,.community.
The.grants.are.designed.to.provide.           reintegration.facilities.and.commu-
positive.youth.engagement.activities.         nity.supervision.officers.involved.in.
outside.of.school..                           the.project.


Child Safety: Protections                     Economic Security
Against Abuse, Neglect,                       Kansas.Action.for.Children.also.
Exploitation and Violence                     signaled.a.success.in.preventing.the.
According.to.VOICES.member.                   adoption.of.the.Taxpayers’.Bill.of.
Partnership.for.Children,.all.school.         Rights.(TABOR),.an.overly.restrictive.
districts.throughout.the.state.are.           and.budget.tax.limitation.measure.
required.to.implement.policies.by.            threatening.funding.availability.for.all.
January.2008.that.prohibit.bullying.          human.services..The.joint.efforts.of.
on.school.grounds.or.at.any.school.           child.advocates.led.to.TABOR.not.
activity..                                    being.introduced.as.a.constitutional.
                                              amendment,.and.severely.weakened..
Jessica’s.Law,.spurred.by.the.governor’s.     a.similar.TABOR.measure.that.never.
advocacy,.was.a.significant.step.forward.     gained.a.hearing..H
in.protecting.Kansans.from.convicted.
sex.offenders..Governor.Sebelius.
signed.legislation.that.closed.existing.
gaps.to.include.all.second-time.
offenders.regardless.of.the.offense.


48                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Kentucky                                                                                                                        KY


  The.Kentucky.Legislature.regularly.meets.for.only.60.days.during.even-numbered.years.and.for.30.days.
  during.odd-numbered.years..Special.sessions.are.convened.at.the.request.of.the.governor.to.address.other.
  issues.as.needed..A.biennial.budget.is.developed.during.the.even-numbered.year.sessions..The.biennial.
  budget.developed.during.2006.controls.all.child.and.family.services.for.2007.as.well..Kentucky.will.de-
  velop.the.2008-2009.operating.budget.during.the.2008.legislative.session..




Kentucky.is.one.of.five.states.that.              Child Safety: Protections                         Economic Security
held.gubernatorial.elections.in.2007..            Against Abuse, Neglect,                           Kentucky.joined.the.chorus.of.states.
Defeating.incumbent.Ernie.Fletcher.               Exploitation and Violence                         enacting.increases.in.the.minimum.
(R),.Democrat.Steve.Beshear.was.
                                                  Referencing.a.2005.report,.“The.                  wage..Kentucky’s.initiative.closely.
inaugurated.into.office.in.December..
                                                  ‘Other’.Kentucky.Lottery:.Child.                  mirrors.that.of.the.federal.increase.
As.part.of.his.inaugural.address,.
                                                  Protection.and.Permanency.for.                    passed.by.Congress.in.2007..Effective.
Governor.Beshear.noted.that.“investing.
                                                  Abused.and.Neglected.Children,”.by.               immediately.after.passage,.the.
more.in.the.education.of.our.people.
                                                  VOICES.member.Kentucky.Youth.                     Kentucky.minimum.wage.increased.
to.better.prepare.them.to.compete.in.
                                                  Advocates,.a.House.resolution.passed.             to.$5.85.an.hour..The.rate.is.slated.
the.global.economy;.creating.more.
                                                  citing.extreme.variance.in.the.quality.           for.another.increase.to.$6.55.six.months.
opportunities.by.attracting.better-
                                                  of.trained.social.workers.throughout.             after.passage,.and.to.$7.25.by..
paying.jobs.throughout.Kentucky,.in.
                                                  parts.of.the.state..The.General.                  July.1,.2009..H
industries.that.promise.long-term.
growth.not.just.for.today’s.workers.              Assembly.enacted.the.resolution.that.
but.also.for.tomorrow’s;.and.making.              calls.for.the.state.Cabinet.for.Health.
health.care.more.affordable.for.all.our.          and.Family.Services.to.ensure.that.the.
people.so.that.every.family.can.provide.          state.ombudsman.will.have.the.
their.children.the.care.they.deserve,.            resources.to.monitor.and.review.
and.so.that.no.senior.need.go.without.            citizen.complaints.regarding.state.
the.medications.they.need.”                       child.protection.agencies.and.programs..
                                                  Counties.receiving.10.or.more.
                                                  complaints.within.a.six-month.period.
                                                  will.face.increased.scrutiny.from.the.
                                                  legislative.branch,.moving.forward..




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                        49
louisiana                                                                                                                LA


  Newly.elected.governor,.Bobby.Jindal.(R).came.into.office.in.the.fall.of.2007..As.a.candidate,.Governor.
  Jindal.noted.that.he.sought.to.improve.the.state’s.educational.system.through.increased.accountability.
  standards,.greater.community-based.educational.opportunities,.and.to.attract.and.retain.highly.qualified.
  teachers..The.newly.elected.governor.also.campaigned.on.expanding.insurance.coverage.for.children.and.
  families..The.governor.seeks.to.initiate.greater.enrollment.outreach.efforts,.and.increase.the.availability.
  of.prenatal.care.throughout.the.state..VOICES’.member—Agenda.for.Children—continues.to.advance.a.
  strong.children’s.agenda.that.will.help.meet.the.basic.needs.for.children.and.families.by.ensuring.that.the.
  state.is.a.place.where.children.can.thrive..




Supporting healthy                            School readiness:                             the.state..As.of.2006,.28.percent.of.
Development                                   Focus on Early Care                           Louisiana’s.children.were.obese,.
                                              and Education                                 placing.the.state.in.the.fourth.highest.
Legislation.signed.in.2007.by.then-
                                                                                            ranking.in.the.country.for.obese.
Governor.Kathleen.Babineaux.Blanco.           The.LA4.Early.Childhood.Program,.             children.
(D).created.the.Louisiana.Children.           which.provides.early.childhood.
and.Youth.Health.Insurance.Program.           development.and.enrichment.activities,.       A.pilot.program.designed.to.increase.
in.an.attempt.to.increase.health.             received.an.$83.million.appropriation..       early.identification.of.dyslexia.will.
insurance.coverage.and.encourage.             The.funds.will.allow.the.program.to.          begin.in.the.2008.school.year..The.
participation.among.the.state’s.children..    serve.up.to.17,000.4-year-olds..The.          program.will.require.schools.to.screen.
The.new.program.would.have.expanded.          program.is.designed.for.the.develop-          all.children.in.grades.K-3.at.least.
eligibility.to.children.whose.families.       ment.of.universal,.high-quality..             twice.annually..Those.identified.with.
earn.up.to.300.percent.of.the.Federal.        pre-kindergarten.programs.along.with.         dyslexia.or.a.related.learning.disorder.
Poverty.Level.(FPL),.up.from.200.             before-.and.afterschool.enrichment.           will.have.access.to.case-specific.
percent..The.new.program.would.               activities.for.all.eligible.4-year-olds..     interventions.and.educational.goals..
have.allowed.nearly.9,000.uninsured.          Eligibility.is.based.on.whether.the.          The.current.statute.requires.that.local.
children.to.have.access.to.health.            child.would.qualify.for.free.or.reduced.      school.systems.screen.every.child.at.
insurance.coverage..However,.due.to.          lunch.at.school..                             least.once.during.grades.K-3.
a.decision.made.by.the.Centers.for.
Medicare.and.Medicaid.Services.that.
would.have.required.states.to.meet.
                                              School Success:                               Funding.for.the.Minimum.Foundation.
                                              Focus on K-2                                 Program,.the.basic.state.aid.to.public.
very.strict.criteria.before.expanding.
                                                                                            schools,.was.increased.by.$209.million..
their.children’s.health.coverage.             The.State.Department.of.Education.
                                                                                            With.these.funds,.the.program.will.
programs,.Louisiana.officials.were.           will.now.employ.health.and.physical.
                                                                                            increase.state.spending.per.student,.
forced.to.adjust.the.expansion.effort,.       education.coordinators.to.oversee.the.
                                                                                            provide.more.money.for.at-risk.
and.submitted.a.request.to.the.admin-         development,.implementation,.and.
                                                                                            students,.and.assist.local.school.
istration.to.expand.the.federal.State.        monitoring.of.health.and.physical.
                                                                                            districts.with.rising.operational.costs.
Children’s.Health.Insurance.Program.          education.curricula.in.the.public.schools.
                                                                                            relating.to.employee.benefits.and.fuel.
to.250.percent.of.the.FPL,.which.             at.all.grade.levels..This.legislation.
eventually.was.approved..                     passed.in.an.attempt.to.combat.the.
                                              rising.rates.of.childhood.obesity.in.                             continued on next page



50                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
louisiana (continued)
Child Safety: Protections
Against Abuse, Neglect,
Exploitation, and Violence
The.definition.of.parental.neglect.was.
expanded.in.legislation.passed.in.2007.
to.include.newborns.exposed.to.chronic.
or.severe.use.of.alcohol.during.
pregnancy,.a.step.toward.further.
protection.of.the.state’s.children..H




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   5
Maine                                                                                                                   ME


  Governor. John. Baldacci. (D). was. able. to. secure. gains. for. children. in. the. 2007. state. legislative. session..
  Through.the.adoption.of.the.state.budget,.several.of.the.governor’s.initiatives—laid.out.in.his.2007.state.
  of.the.state.address—were.funded,.including.efforts.to.dramatically.reform.the.state’s.education.system,.
  which.was.supported.in.concept.by.Maine.Children’s.Alliance,.a.member.of.the.VOICES.network..




Addressing Equity:                           School readiness:                             School Success:
Narrowing Societal gaps                      Focus on Early Care                           Focus on K-2
The.education.reform.effort.provided.        and Education                                 Reforming.the.state’s.education.
a.platform.to.address.equitable.funding.     The.Commission.to.Develop.a.                  system.to.better.support.schools.was.
for.education,.which.is.fundamental.         Strategic.Priorities.Plan.for.Maine’s.        among.Governor.Baldacci’s.top.
to.providing.essential.services.and.         Young.Children.was.established.               priorities..Through.his.Local.Schools,.
programs.that.ensure.children.in.            through.legislation.in.2007..The.             Regional.Support.initiative,.the.
economically.disadvantaged.commu-            commission.is.charged.with.developing.        governor.aimed.at.improving.local.
nities.get.an.equitable.education..          a.three-year.comprehensive.investment.        schools.and.student.outcomes,.
                                             strategy.that.will.take.into.consider-        increasing.classroom.resources,.and.
                                             ation.the.needs.of.children,.parents.         enhancing.local.oversight..After.years.
Supporting healthy
                                             and.employers..It.will.evaluate.existing.     of.discussion,.the.approved.2008-2009.
Development                                                                                budget.brings.substantial.reform.to.
                                             information.from.task.forces,.reports.
Governor.Baldacci.signed.into.law.           and.other.scientific.data.on.early.child-     the.state’s.education.system.by.
the.Act.to.Protect.Pregnant.Women.           hood.and.brain.development,.as.well.          consolidating.Maine’s.152.school.
and.Children.from.Toxic.Chemicals.           as.identify.current.and.future.economic.      administrative.systems.to.80.districts.
Released.in.the.Home,.which.phases.          needs.of.employers.and.parents.               —generating.a.savings.of.$36.5.
out.the.use.of.the.chemical.deca,.a.                                                       million,.which.will.be.passed.along.to.
type.of.flame-retardant.found.in.            Lawmakers.also.charged.a.working.             property.taxpayers..According.to.a.
furniture.and.other.plastic-covered.         group.to.review.standards.and.policies.       report.generated.by.the.Maine.
products..The.state.bans.the.use.of.         regarding.before-.and.afterschool.            Children’s.Alliance,.consolidation.of.
deca.in.mattresses.and.furniture.in.         programs.in.child.care.settings..The.         the.school.districts.will.result.in.
2008..By.2010,.the.law.bans.the.sale.        working.group.will.be.responsible.for.        savings.and.educational.improvements.
of.televisions.and.other.plastic-encased.    making.recommendations.to.the.                due.to.regional.cooperation.and.the.
products.that.contain.this.chemical.         Legislature.to.determine.how.such.            sharing.of.resources..
                                             programs.need.to.be.improved.upon.
Through.the.efforts.of.the.Maine.            to.meet.the.needs.of.children.and.            The.governor.also.signed.a.bill.to.
Children’s.Alliance,.an.additional.          working.families..Under.the.working.          reduce.high.school.dropout.rates..
$500,000.in.funding.for.school-based.        group’s.charter,.recommendations.             According.to.the.governor’s.office,.
health.centers.was.secured.                  were.be.submitted.to.lawmakers.by.            the.law.creates.programs.to.recognize.
                                             March.1,.2008.                                students.experiencing.disruptions.in.
                                                                                           academic.work,.while.establishing.

                                                                                                               continued on next page



52                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Maine (continued)
procedures.for.school.personnel.and.              Child Safety: Protections
other.officials.who.are.involved.with.            Against Abuse, Neglect,
these.students..Disruptions.may.include.          Exploitation and Violence
but.are.not.limited.to.homelessness,.
unplanned.hospitalization,.foster.care.           Legislation.was.enacted.requiring.
placement.and.youth.development.                  that.animal.control.officers.be.added.
center.placement.                                 to.the.list.of.professionals.who.are.
                                                  mandated.by.law.to.report.suspected.
In.addition,.a.law.was.enacted.to.require.        cases.of.abuse.of.children.
all.high.school.students.to.complete.
at.least.one.application.to.a.college,.           To.better.protect.adolescent.drivers.
university.or.other.postsecondary.                from.injury,.a.measure.was.adopted.to.
educational.institution.as.a.condition.           prohibit.drivers.under.18.years.of.age.
for.graduation..Legislation.also.was.             from.using.a.cellular.telephone.or.
approved.that.will.allow.two.students.            other.hand-held.electric.device.while.
to.serve.on.the.State.Board.of.                   operating.a.motor.vehicle..Drivers.
Education..However,.students.will.                will.be.fined.$50.for.the.first.offense.
not.have.voting.authority.                        and.$250.for.each.subsequent.offense.


The.Legislature.also.established.a.               Economic Stability
working.group.to.examine.the.state’s.
                                                  Due.to.changes.in.the.state’s.school.
alternative.education.system.and.called.
                                                  system.structure,.home.owners.should.
on.the.commissioners.of.Education.
                                                  expect.to.see.property.tax.relief.
and.Health.and.Human.Services.and.
the.co-chairs.of.the.Governor’s.Council.
                                                  Lawmakers.also.made.significant.
on.Physical.Fitness,.Sports,.Health.
                                                  investments.in.the.state’s.higher.
and.Wellness.to.convene.a.team.to.
                                                  education.system.in.order.to.increase.
develop.and.implement.a.plan.for.
                                                  access.to.higher.education,.as.the.
improving.physical.education.in.
                                                  governor.pledged.at.the.beginning..
elementary.schools.
                                                  of.2007..H

Lawmakers.called.on.the.Department.
of.Education.and.the.Maine.Educa-
tional.Center.for.the.Deaf.and.Hard.
of.Hearing.to.evaluate.the.feasibility.
of.establishing.an.education.bill.of.rights.
for.deaf.and.hard.of.hearing.children.




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   53
Maryland                                                                                                                 MD


  According.to.Advocates.for.Children.and.Youth—VOICES’.member.in.Maryland—the.2007.legislative.
  regular.and.special.sessions.yielded.some.progress,.with.a.“notable.delay”.in.addressing.problems.that.
  must.be.solved.to.give.Maryland’s.children.a.solid.foundation..During.his.first.year.in.office,.Governor.
  Martin.O’Malley.(D).faced.a.state.budget.deficit.of.$1.5.billion..With.the.new.governor’s.arrival.came.new.
  cabinet.secretaries,.new.priorities.and.initiatives.that.differ.from.those.of.the.previous.administration..




Supporting healthy                            School Success:                               Resources.(DHR),.the.state.agency.
Development                                   Focus on K-2                                 that.administers.child.welfare.
                                                                                            programs,.to.fill.an.additional.80.
The.General.Assembly.passed.an.               The.General.Assembly.appropriated.
                                                                                            caseworker.positions.by.the.end.of.
expansion.in.Medicaid.coverage.that.          the.final.installment.of.its.Bridge.to.
                                                                                            2007..Historically,.DHR.has.had.
could.provide.access.for.up.to.100,000.       Excellence.in.Public.Schools.Act,.
                                                                                            difficulty.keeping.caseworker.slots.
Marylanders.over.five.years..The.law.         which.will.increase.education.aid.by.
                                                                                            filled.in.a.manner.that.enables.the.
expands.Medicaid.eligibility.to.parents.      $691.million.in.Fiscal.Year.2008.to.
                                                                                            agency.to.meet.caseload.requirements.
and.caretaker.relatives.caring.for.a.         nearly.$5.2.billion,.a.15.percent.
                                                                                            set.in.Maryland.law.
dependent.child.in.the.home.with.an.          increase..The.original.law.was.passed.
annual.income.of.up.to.116.percent.           in.2002.in.response.to.a.state.com-
                                                                                            The.Department.of.Juvenile.Justice.
of.the.Federal.Poverty.Level.(FPL)—.          mission’s.recommendations.to.make.
                                                                                            received.an.additional.$21.million.in.
$19,917.for.family.of.three..The.law.         funding.between.school.districts.
                                                                                            funding.to.fill.a.budget.shortfall.and.
also.expands.coverage.to.childless.           across.the.state.more.equitable..
                                                                                            improve.facilities..However,.the.
adults.up.to.116.percent.of.the.
                                                                                            governor.did.not.provide.an.additional.
FPL—$11,844.for.an.individual..               A.total.of.$400.million.was.appropri-
                                                                                            $10.million.for.community-based.
                                              ated.for.school.construction.for.
                                                                                            services,.as.recommended.by.legislation.
Additionally,.the.Family.Coverage.            FY2008,.the.highest.level.of.funding.
                                                                                            passed.the.previous.year.
Expansion.Act.was.enacted,.which.             since.the.program.began.in.1971..
requires.health.insurers.and.health.          The.infusion.of.funding.reflects.the.
maintenance.organizations.to.cover.           need.across.the.state.to.address.             Economic Stability:
children.up.to.25.years.old.upon.request.     problems.within.school.facilities,.as.        An investment in the Future
                                              identified.by.a.task.force.commis-
                                                                                            Governor.O’Malley.signed.the.
In.2007,.state-funded.Medicaid.coverage.      sioned.in.2003.
                                                                                            nation’s.first.statewide.“living.wage”.
for.3,500.legal.immigrant.children.and.                                                     law..It.requires.state.contractors.to.
pregnant.mothers.was.restored..The.
                                              Protections Against                           pay.employees.at.least.$11.30.per.
program.was.discontinued.in.2006.                                                           hour.in.urban.areas.and.$8.50.per.
under.the.Ehrlich.administration.but.
                                              Abuse, Neglect,
                                              Exploitation and Violence                     hour.in.rural.areas..
later.restored.after.a.court.ruling.found.
that.eliminating.the.coverage.violated.       In.2007,.Governor.O’Malley.funded.a.          For.the.second.year.in.a.row,.under-
the.state’s.constitution..The.reinstated.     $100.per.month.increase.in.the.foster.        graduate.tuition.within.the.Maryland.
program.operates.at.a.cost.of.$11.            family.payment.rates..Budget.language.
million.in.state-only.funds..                 required.the.Department.of.Human.                                 continued on next page



54                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Maryland (continued)
state.university.system.was.frozen.at.a.
cost.of.$16.3.million..Between.FY2002.
and.FY2008,.tuition.in.Maryland.
universities.increased.by.$455.million,.
an.increase.of.40.to.60.percent.at.
most.universities..

To.address.a.looming.$1.7.billion.
budget.gap.for.FY2009,.the.General.
Assembly.passed.a.broad.fiscal.package.
in.special.session.that.included.raising.
the.sales.tax,.making.the.state’s.
relatively.flat.income.tax.structure.
more.progressive,.increasing.the.
personal.exemption,.and.expanding.
the.state’s.Earned.Income.Tax.Credit.
(EITC)..Additionally,.the.corporate.
income.tax.rated.increased.from.7.to.
8.25.percent,.and.closed.a.loophole.in.
state.law.that.allowed.corporations.to.
avoid.paying.taxes.on.certain.real.
estate.activities..

The.expansion.of.the.state’s.EITC.
was.particularly.significant,.since.it.
will.mean.that.lower-income.families.
receive.an.additional.$40.million.a.
year.to.help.make.ends.meet..H




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   55
Massachusetts                                                                                                           MA


  Massachusetts,.like.other.states,.faced.budget.challenges.in.2007..However,.Massachusetts’.children.had.a.
  strong.advocate.in.the.state’s.legislative.and.funding.debates.in.Massachusetts.Citizens.for.Children,.which.
  worked.to.advance.child.well-being.on.number.of.fronts..Despite.the.fiscal.challenges,.sizeable.investments.
  were.secured.in.education.and.health..




Supporting healthy                            disabilities.from.shaken.baby.syndrome/       elementary.and.secondary.schools...
Development                                   abusive.head.trauma..                         In.addition.to.funding,.Chapter.70.
                                                                                            establishes.minimum.spending.
In.2007,.the.General.Court.passed.a.
                                                                                            requirements.for.each.school.district.
provision.that.exempts.children.whose.        School readiness:
                                                                                            and.determines.the.basic.requirements.
family.income.is.under.200.percent.of.        Focus on Early Care                           for.each.municipality’s.share.of.school.
the.Federal.Poverty.Level.from.               and Education                                 costs..In.FY2008,.the.Chapter.70.
premiums.for.the.Children’s.Medical.
                                              The.FY2008.budget.adds.$9.2.million.          portion.of.K-12.spending.is.$3.7.
Security.Plan..The.Fiscal.Year.2008.
                                              in.funding.to.expand.access.to.early.         billion,.an.increase.of.6.3.percent.
budget.includes.language.that.allows.
                                              care.and.education.programs..Of.these.        over.the.2007.appropriation..This.
dentists.who.participate.in.the.state’s.
                                              funds,.Head.Start.received.an.increase.       increase.was.the.second-largest.increase.
Medicaid.program.(MassHealth).to.
                                              of.$500,000,.while.Universal.Pre-             in.funds.for.the.state’s.school.districts.
limit.the.number.of.patients.accepted.
                                              Kindergarten.received.an.increase.of.         in.six.years..
in.their.practice..The.intent,.which.
                                              $2.5.million.over.FY2007.appropria-
was.also.included.in.the.FY2007.
                                              tions..The.state’s.Low.Income.Child.          Other.expanded.investments.included.
budget,.is.to.encourage.more.dentists.
                                              Care.program,.which.provides.subsidies.       funds.for.extended.learning.grants.for.
to.participate.in.the.program..This.
                                              for.eligible.families.for.early.care.and.     implementing.extended.school.day.
flexibility.is.expected.to.create.greater.
                                              education.services,.received.an.increase.     programs..The.$13.million.appropria-
access.to.the.program..
                                              of.$6.2.million..Combined,.this.              tion.would.lengthen.the.school.day.
                                              investment.represents.new.investments.        for.approximately.10,000.students..
Additionally,.the.FY2008.budget.
                                              in.early.care.and.education..                 Additionally,.funds.were.appropriated.
included.$48.8.million.for.the.universal.
                                                                                            in.the.FY2008.budget.to.the.expand.
immunization.program.for.three.key.
                                                                                            kindergarten.from.half-day.to.full-day.
vaccines.for.children,.compared.to.           School Success: K-2
                                                                                            lengths..Funding.was.increased.to.
$36.8.million.appropriated.for.just.          In.2007,.the.General.Court.passed.a.          $33.8.million,.which.is.a.25.percent.
one.vaccine.in.FY2007..                       budget.signed.by.Governor.Deval.              increase.over.FY2007.funding..
                                              Patrick.(D).that.included.$4.3.billion.
One.new.program.in.the.FY2008.                for.K-12.education..This.increase.
budget.included.a.$350,000.appro-             represents.a.6.4.percent.increase.in.         Protecting Against
priation.to.prevent.Shaken.Baby.              appropriations.for.the.Department.of.         Abuse and Neglect
Syndrome,.making.Massachusetts.the.           Education.over.FY2007..The.majority.          In.2007,.by.executive.order,.Governor.
first.state.in.the.country.to.have.           of.this.funding.is.allocated.to.the.          Patrick.created.the.Office.of.the.Child.
attached.an.appropriation.to.a.law.           Chapter.70.program,.the.state’s.              Advocate,.an.independent.office.with.
aimed.at.reducing.infant.deaths.and.          mechanism.for.providing.aid.to.public.                            continued on next page



56                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Massachusetts (continued)
investigative.power.to.review.cases.of.
child.abuse.and.neglect,.publicly.report.
its.findings,.and.recommend.policy.
changes..The.office.can.also.monitor.
state.agencies.charged.with.serving.
children,.such.as.the.Departments.of.
Social.Services,.Youth.Services,.Mental.
Health,.Mental.Retardation,.and.
Public.Health..

The.FY2008.budget.includes..
$2.million.for.a.new.youth.violence.
prevention.program..This.program.
provides.grants.to.communities.that.
offer.programs.for.at-risk.youth.in.
the.afternoons.and.evenings..


Economic Stability
In.2007,.the.Massachusetts.General.
Court.approved.an.increase.in.
funding.for.Supportive.Child.Care.
from.$58.5.million.to.$67.3.million..
Supportive.Child.Care.funds.early.
education.and.care.for.families.
referred.by.the.Department.of.Social.
Services..H




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   57
Michigan                                                                                                               MI


  Facing.a.$3.billion.shortfall.in.state.revenues.challenged.Governor.Jennifer.Granholm.(D).from.the.start.
  of.2007.as.she—and.the.Legislature—were.confronted.with.another.year.of.cuts.in.social.service.programs.
  while.also.calling.for.new.investments.to.compete.appropriately.in.a.21st.century.workforce..The.budget.
  crisis.consumed.much.of.the.state.activity.throughout.the.year,.as.Michigan.is.mandated.through.its.con-
  stitution.to.have.a.balanced.budget..A.short.shutdown.of.government.operations.occurred.when.House.
  and.Senate.leaders.could.not.reach.an.agreement.on.the.budget.prior.to.the.October.1,.2007,.start.of.the.
  2008.fiscal.year..The.final.budget.did.see.some.cuts,.yet.not.as.many.as.were.originally.proposed..




VOICES.members.Michigan’s.                  Supporting healthy                            could.potentially.bring.new.health.
Children.and.Priority.Children.             Development                                   care-related.expenses.for.low-income.
continue.the.efforts.to.preserve,..                                                       families..
                                            Most.of.the.health.activity.in.2007.
and.strengthen,.services.for.children.
                                            was.focused.on.preserving.existing.
and.families.across.the.state..                                                           In.December,.Governor.Granholm.
                                            services,.while.attempting.to.mitigate.
                                                                                          signed.several.pieces.of.legislation.
                                            damaging.proposals.that.would.have.
                                                                                          designed.to.protect.children.from.
Addressing Equity:                          threatened.health.care.services.for.
                                                                                          exposure.to.lead-based.paint..The.
Narrowing Societal gaps                     children.and.families..The.final.budget.
                                                                                          bills.include.the.prohibition.of.
                                            approved.by.the.Legislature.in.November.
Over.the.past.few.years,.Michigan’s.                                                      manufacturing.or.selling.toys.with.
                                            continues.to.allow.Medicaid.coverage.
Children.has.been.leading.the.state.                                                      excessive.lead-based.paint.as.well.as.
                                            for.19-and.20-year-olds,.along.with.
effort.in.calling.for.policy.to.be.                                                       the.sale.of.lunch.boxes.that.contain.
                                            access.for.low-income.relatives.who.are.
examined.through.a.“racial.lens.”.                                                        lead-based.paint..The.governor.also.
                                            providing.primary.care.for.children.
Noting.that.an.ever-changing.social.                                                      removed.the.sunset.provision.on.the.
                                            after.they.have.been.removed.from.
demographic.within.the.state.calls.for.                                                   Michigan.Childhood.Lead.Poisoning.
                                            their.homes..A.$2.6.million.expansion.
a.deep.review.of.racial.disparities.in.                                                   Prevention.Commission,.which.will.
                                            was.made.available.to.strengthen.the.
outcomes.for.children.of.color.                                                           now.allow.the.commission.to.remain.
                                            Healthy.Kids.Dental.program.
throughout.the.state,.child.advocates.                                                    operational.indefinitely..
were.successful.in.including.language.
in.the.final.budget.that.requires.the.      Michigan.is.expected.to.incur.some.
Department.of.Human.Services.to.            savings.for.health.care,.as.all.foster.       School readiness:
engage.in.cultural.sensitivity.and.         children.will.be.transferred.to.care.         Focus on Early Care
awareness.training.for.caseworkers..        under.a.Medicaid.health.maintenance.          and Education
                                            organization..The.action,.set.to.go.
                                                                                          In.the.final.budget.for.the.year,.
                                            into.effect.by.July.1,.2008,.is.projected.
Michigan’s.Children.is.scheduled..                                                        Governor.Granholm.was.successful.in.
                                            to.save.the.state.$1.75.million..The.
to.host.the.second.statewide.Race.                                                        securing.additional.early.education.
                                            final.budget.also.eliminates.the.previous.
Matters.conference.in.spring.2008..                                                       investments..The.Michigan.Great.
                                            prohibition.on.copayments.for.families.
                                                                                          Start.Collaborative,.a.state-funded.
                                            receiving.coverage.under.the.MIChild.
                                            health.insurance.program..This.act.
                                                                                                              continued on next page



58                          Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Michigan (continued)
early.literacy.and.parenting.education.           The.Legislature.rejected.a.proposal.              continue.to.receive.supports.on.the.same.
program,.received.a.$750,000.increase..           submitted.by.the.governor.that.would.             level.as.foster.parents..
This.brings.total.funds.for.the.program,.         have.eliminated.before-.and.afterschool.
established.by.the.governor.in.2004,.             programs.across.the.state..The.final.             In.December,.the.governor.signed.
up.to.$1.75.million..                             budget.restored.all.$5.million.of.                legislation.that.brings.Michigan.in.
                                                  funding.for.the.programs..                        compliance.with.the.federal.Adam.
The.budget.also.included.a.$2.4.                                                                    Walsh.Child.Protection.Act..The.
million.increase.for.the.Michigan.                                                                  legislation.requires.a.national.criminal.
                                                  Child Safety: Protections
School.Readiness.Program—the.                                                                       background.check.for.all.licensed.
state’s.highly.successful.pre-kinder-
                                                  Against Abuse, Neglect,                           foster.care.homes.
garten.program..                                  Exploitation and Violence
                                                  Facing.the.threat.of.legal.action.against.
                                                                                                    Economic Stability:
One.of.the.more.devastating.hits.in.              the.state’s.child.welfare.system,.the.
the.budget.was.an.$18.million.loss.to.            governor.proposed.a.series.of.reforms.
                                                                                                    An investment in the Future
child.care.funding..The.measure.                  designed.to.better.protect.all.of.                The.Legislature.adopted.the.gover-
reduces.the.maximum.amount.of.                    Michigan’s.children.by.ensuring.a.                nor’s.recommendation.for.statewide.
child.care.support.from.100.hours.                more.highly.trained.workforce,.reducing.          implementation.of.the.Job,.Education.
down.to.90.hours.for.every.two.weeks..            the.level.of.caseloads,.assisting.kincare.        and.Training.program..The.support.
Michigan’s.Children.reports.that.the.             and.guardianship.providers.in.gaining.            allows.means.nearly.$18.million.will.be.
governor’s.original.proposal.of.cutting.          foster.care.support,.and.increasing.the.          provided.for.the.program,.designed.
$23.million.would.have.impacted.                  oversight.of.public.and.private.child.            for.state.welfare.recipients..H
19,000.families.across.the.state..The.            welfare.agencies..
budget,.however,.does.stipulate.the.
intent.to.increase.the.number.of.                 The.final.measure.adopted.by.the.
support.hours.back.to.100.if.additional.          Legislature.adopts.many.of.the.
revenues.are.gained..                             governor’s.principal.objectives,.although.
                                                  lawmakers.sought.to.save.public.
                                                  expenditures.through.an.increased.
School Success:
                                                  reliance.on.private.providers..The.
Focus on K-2                                     Legislature.did.allocate.funds.for.an.
The.final.budget.also.brings.Michigan.            additional.171.child.welfare.staff—..
funding.for.schools.to.its.highest.mark.          86.fewer.than.what.the.governor.
ever..Over.$156.million.was.added.to.             recommended—and.dedicates.$2.5.
the.student.basic.foundation.allowance..          million.for.private.agencies.to.access.
This.formula-based.program.deter-                 licensed.relatives.as.foster.parents..
mines.allocations.of.educational.
spending.per.student..The.2007.                   The.final.budget.also.seeks.to.create.a.
increase.provides.an.additional.$48.              pilot.program.to.promote.adults.caring.
per.student..School.districts.with.               for.children.in.out-of-home.care.to.
lower.foundation.allowances.will.                 serve.as.their.legal.guardians..The.new.
receive.an.additional.$96.per.student..           $4.6.million.would.mean.that.these.
Entering.the.legislative.session,.the.            children.would.not.be.under.the.legal.
basic.foundation.allowance.for.the.               jurisdiction.of.the.state,.but.would..
2007.school.year.was.set.at.$7,085..               .


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                         59
Minnesota                                                                                                              MN


  Governor.Tim.Pawlenty.(R).declared.the.2007.legislative.session.a.success..Many.of.his.initiatives.were.sup-
  ported.by.state.lawmakers..Through.the.new.laws.adopted,.more.children.will.continue.to.have.access.to.health.
  and.early.education.services..Greater.investments.were.made.to.support.the.state’s.education.system.




Supporting healthy                           A.new.law.allows.children.under.the.          develop.a.plan.whereby.each.legally,.
Development                                  age.of.10.who.are.diagnosed.with.             unlicensed.child.care.provider.would.
                                             hearing.loss.to.receive.services.from.a.      receive.a.one-time.home.visit..The.
Both.the.governor.and.Legislature.
                                             statewide.hearing.aid.and.instrument.         purpose.of.the.visit.is.to.provide.
are.committed.to.ensuring.that.all.
                                             loan.bank..A.newborn.hearing.screening.       information.on.health,.safety.and.
children.have.access.to.affordable.
                                             advisory.committee.also.was.established.      school.readiness....
health.care.coverage.through.the.
                                             to.develop.protocols.for.implementing.
Cover.All.Kids.Initiative..In.2007,..
                                             a.mandatory.newborn.hearing.screen-           Governor.Pawlenty.is.not.convinced.
the.eligibility.requirements.were.
                                             ing.program.                                  that.proposals.for.all-day.kindergarten.
streamlined.under.the.state’s.Medicaid.
                                                                                           are.targeted.and.meet.the.needs.of.
program,.Minnesota.Care..Children.
                                                                                           children.who.need.it.the.most,.yet.he.
who.become.ineligible.for.coverage.          School readiness:
                                                                                           does.support.some.early.childhood.
due.to.a.change.in.family.income.will.       Focus on Early Care                           education.programs..In.his.2007.state.
continue.to.receive.coverage.for.a.          and Education                                 of.the.state.address,.the.governor.called.
period.of.two.months..Children.for.
                                             Due.to.additional.investments.by.the.         for.scholarships.up.of.to.$4,000.per.
whom.eligibility.shifts.from.the.
                                             state,.child.care.copayments.will.be.         child.for.at-risk.toddlers.to.attend.a.
Medical.Assistance.program—another.
                                             reduced.from.$10.to.$5.for.families.          certified.kindergarten.readiness.
component.of.the.state’s.Medicaid.
                                             with.incomes.between.75.and.100.              program..Lawmakers.awarded.$6..
program—to.Minnesota.Care.will.be.
                                             percent.of.the.Federal.Poverty.Level.         million.to.support.the.governor’s.
automatically.enrolled.in.the.Minnesota.
                                             (FPL)..Copayments.for.families.               early.childhood.scholarship.program..
Care.program.
                                             earning.above.100.percent.of.the.FPL.         Families.whose.incomes.do.not.exceed.
                                             also.will.be.reduced,.based.on.a.sliding.     185.percent.of.the.FPL.will.be.eligible.
Children’s.mental.health.services.also.
                                             fee.scale.                                    to.receive.the.grants.
received.a.solid.funding.boost.from.
lawmakers..Increased.funding.was.
                                             Additional.investments.were.approved.         Support.was.given.for.voluntary.all-day.
provided.to.support.children’s.mental.
                                             to.support.the.child.care.workforce..         kindergarten.programs..Over.the.next.
health.grants.to.counties.for.the.
                                             Grants.will.be.made.available.for.child.      two.fiscal.years,.$32.5.million.will.be.
provision.of.services.for.children.with.
                                             care.providers,.including.family,.friend.     invested..Head.Start.received.a.5.percent.
emotional.disturbances..Funding.also.
                                             and.neighbor.providers.who.are.               increase.in.funding..The.additional.
was.awarded.to.support.the.Regional.
                                             interested.in.receiving.training..The.        investment.will.restore.Head.Start.
Children’s.Mental.Health.Initiative.
                                             state.also.plans.to.phase.in.a.mandatory.     funding.to.2003.levels..Lawmakers.also.
pilot.project..The.project.will.work.
                                             two-hour.training.program.for.all.early.      established.an.early.childhood.literacy.
toward.developing.a.model.for.children’s.
                                             childhood.practitioners..In.addition,.        program.to.better.prepare.Head.Start.
mental.health.services.delivery.
                                             lawmakers.called.on.the.Health.and.           students.to.enter.school.ready.to.read.
                                             Human.Services.Commissioners.to.
                                                                                                               continued on next page


60                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Minnesota (continued)
School Success:                                   language.program.for.all.grade.levels,.
Focus on K-2                                     i.e.,.kindergarten.through.12.

Although.an.education.budget.bill.
                                                  Lawmakers.also.appropriated.over.
with.additional.funding.was.agreed.to.
                                                  $90.million.in.technology.invest-
by.lawmakers,.Governor.Pawlenty.
                                                  ments.for.the.state’s.schools..
was.disappointed.that.many.of.his.
education.reform.and.accountability.
measures.were.not.approved.by.the.                Child Safety: Protections
Legislature..The.governor.hoped.to.               Against Abuse, Neglect,
raise.the.state’s.per-pupil.education.            Exploitation and Violence
funding.formula.level.by.4.percent.per.
                                                  Lawmakers.adopted.a.measure.
year;.however,.the.adopted.measure.
                                                  designed.to.curb.cyber-bullying..The.
included.a.3.percent.increase.spread.
                                                  new.law.requires.each.school.board.to.
over.the.next.two.budget.years.
                                                  adopt.a.written.policy.that.addresses.
                                                  electronic.bullying.
The.governor.made.clear.his.desire.to.
better.prepare.students.to.compete.in.
                                                  For.adults.over.the.age.of.19.who.have.
a.growing.global.market..Lawmakers.
                                                  been.separated.from.their.siblings.due.
agreed,.and.additional.state.funding.
                                                  to.adoption.or.placement.under.the.
will.be.invested.for.the.creation.of.new.
                                                  custody.of.the.state,.a.new.law.allows.
regional.math.and.science.academies.
                                                  an.individual.to.access.their.siblings’.
to.provide.professional.and.develop-
                                                  contact.information.if.all.parties.consent.
ment.for.all.teachers..Students.also.
                                                  to.the.information.being.released.
will.be.given.greater.opportunities.to.
earn.college.credits.while.in.high.
school.through.increased.investments.             Economic Stability:
in.Advance.Placement.(AP).and.Inter-              An investment in the Future
national.Baccalaureate.(IB).programs.
                                                  The.governor.called.on.lawmakers.to.
                                                  provide.property.tax.relief,.but.ended.
Lawmakers.supported.Governor.
                                                  up.vetoing.a.measure.that.was.passed.
Pawlenty’s.ACHIEVE.II.scholarship.
                                                  by.the.Legislature.due.to.additional.
program..High.school.students.who.
                                                  tax.provisions.included.in.the.bill..H
complete.calculus,.physics,.AP.or.IB.
coursework.will.be.eligible.to.receive.
college.credit.and.a.$1,200.scholarship.
for.any.Minnesota.college.or.university.

Money.also.was.set.aside.for.schools.
interested.in.developing.a.world.
language.program..Five.schools.will.
be.awarded.grants.to.enhance,.develop.
or.implement.a.high-quality.world.




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   6
Mississippi                                                                                                             MS


  Governor.Haley.Barbour.(R).emphasized.the.need.for.greater.investment.in.the.state’s.education.system.in.
  his.2007.state.of.the.state.address,.and.responded.to.this.need.by.signing.the.highest.appropriations.measure.
  in.state.history.for.education.funding..The.governor.continued.efforts.to.rebuild.the.Gulf.Coast.by.extending.
  over.$100.million.to.public.housing.authorities..Efforts.were.also.made.to.address.the.state’s.childhood.obe-
  sity.epidemic.and.much-needed.reallocation.funds.were.awarded.to.the.federal.State.Children’s.Health.In-
  surance.Program,.CHIP.KIDS..Throughout.the.2007.legislative.session,.the.needs.of.Mississippi’s.children.
  were.represented.by.VOICES’.member,.Mississippi.Forum.on.Children.and.Families..




Addressing Equity:                           Mississippi.eighth.in.the.country.in.         Nearly.$3.5.billion.in.total,.the.funding.
Narrowing Societal gaps                      childhood.obesity..In.response.to.            will.allow.K-12,.community.colleges.
                                             Mississippi’s.high.prevalence.of.             and.universities.to.enhance.services,.
Still.recovering.from.the.horrific.
                                             childhood.obesity,.the.governor.signed.       and.will.fully.fund.the.Mississippi.
aftermath.of.Hurricane.Katrina,.
                                             the.Mississippi.Healthy.Students.Act,.        Adequate.Education.Program.(MAEP)..
Governor.Barbour.directed.$105.
                                             requiring.schools.serving.grades.K-12.        MAEP.is.the.funding.process.which.
million.of.the.Community.Develop-
                                             to.provide.increased.amounts.of.physical.     determines.the.amount.of.funding.
ment.Block.Grant.state.funds.to.assist.
                                             activity.and.health.education.instruction..   each.school.district.in.the.state.requires.
the.five.public.housing.authorities.in.
                                             The.bill.requires.schools.to.provide.at.      in.order.to.provide.an.“adequate.
building.and.reconstructing.damaged.
                                             least.150.minutes.of.physical.activity-       education”.as.defined.according.to..
or.destroyed.public.housing.along.the.
                                             based.instruction.as.well.as.45.minutes.      accreditation.standards.established.by.
Gulf.Coast.
                                             of.health.education.instruction.per.          the.state.Department.of.Education’s.
                                             week.for.students.in.grades.K-8..The.         Level.3.Accreditation.Standards.
Supporting healthy                           legislation.stipulates.that.students.in.
Development                                  grades.9-12.must.complete.one.half-
                                                                                           Economic Security
The.state’s.Division.of.Medicaid.was.        unit.of.physical.education.in.order.to.
awarded.an.additional.$23.million.in.        qualify.for.graduation..Additionally,.        With.the.third.highest.percentage.of.
reallocation.funds.by.the.U.S..Depart-       Mississippi.was.one.of.10.states.to.          children.living.in.grandparent-headed.
ment.of.Health.and.Human.Services,.          receive.a.$100,000.grant.from.the.            households,.Mississippi.will.provide.
which.will.help.fund.the.CHIP.KIDS.          National.Governor’s.Association.Center.       greater.supports.to.grandparents.and.
program..According.to.Governor.              for.Best.Practices.in.order.to.enhance.       other.kinship.care.providers.caring.
Barbour,.“without.the.additional.funds,.     the.effort.by.schools.and.communities.        for.children.who.are.not.able.to.
Mississippi.faced.a.serious.shortfall.       to.fight.childhood.obesity.                   remain.with.their.parents..Kinship/
for.this.program.that.provides.health.                                                     guardianship.care.providers.are.an.
benefits.for.more.than.60,000.children.                                                    effective.option.for.placing.children,.
                                             School Success:                               allowing.them.to.maintain.critical.
age.18.and.younger.whose.family.
                                             Focus on K-2                                 family.and.cultural.relationships...
incomes.are.below.200.percent.of.the.
Federal.Poverty.Level..                      Governor.Barbour.signaled.a.new.              The.legislation,.which.passed.last.
                                             focus.for.placing.education.as.a.top.         year,.allows.relative.caregivers.to.
Nearly.one.in.every.five.children.in.        state.priority.by.signing.the.highest.        receive.the.same.level.of.reimburse-
the.state.is.overweight—ranking.             appropriations.measure.in.state.history..     ment.as.nonrelative.foster.parents..H.



62                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Missouri                                                                                                                        MO


  At.a.child.advocacy.rally.held.last.year,.Governor.Matt.Blunt.(R).expressed.his.commitment.to.improve.      .
  Internet.safety,.provide.better.health.care.and.offer.a.“world.class”.education.for.Missouri’s.children..The.
  governor’s.2007.state.of.the.state.address.sought.further.investments.for.the.state’s.education.system—from.
  kindergarten.through.college.—and.placed.emphasis.on.improving.the.state’s.health.care.programs..

  The.children.of.Missouri.are.well.served.by.VOICES’.members.Citizens.for.Missouri’s.Children.and.Part-
  nership.for.Children,.which.work.together.to.strengthen.public.policies.for.children.living.in.the.state..




Supporting healthy                                affordability.threshold.was.reduced.              coverage.access.to.needed.medical.
Development                                       and.restructured.as.follows:                      services.while.their.application.is.
                                                                                                    under.process..Currently,.four.children’s.
Governor.Blunt.continued.his.efforts.
                                                  H. For.families.earning.between.150.              hospitals.are.authorized.to.offer.
to.reform.the.state’s.Medicaid.system..
                                                     and.185.percent.of.the.FPL—.                   presumptive.eligibility..The.new.law.
Early.in.2007,.the.governor.unveiled.
                                                     affordability.threshold.is.set.at..            calls.for.a.cost-benefit.study.to.be.
his.MO.HealthNet.initiative,.which.
                                                     3.percent.of.income.                           conducted.that.will.assess.the.expansion.
would.replace.the.state’s.traditional.
                                                                                                    of.presumptive.eligibility.to.federally.
paper-based.program.with.an.entirely.
                                                  H. For.families.earning.between.185.              qualified.health.centers,.rural.health.
new.system.and.would.guarantee.
                                                     and.225.percent.of.the.FPL—.                   clinics.and.all.hospitals.
access.to.primary.and.preventive.care.
                                                     affordability.threshold.is.set.at..
for.all.beneficiaries..The.MO.Health-
                                                     4.percent.of.income.                           All.told,.nearly.20,000.of.the.70,000.
Net.legislation.signed.into.law.
                                                                                                    children.who.left.state.health.coverage.
included.several.provisions.that.will.
                                                  H. For.families.earning.between.225.              will.have.their.eligibility.restored.and.
allow.more.children.to.have.access..
                                                     and.300.percent.of.the.FPL—                    approximately.900.youth.aging.out.of.
to.health.care.coverage.
                                                     affordability.threshold.is.set.at..            the.foster.care.will.continue.to.have.
                                                     5.percent.of.income.                           access.to.health.coverage.until.age.21.
Under.the.new.law,.Medicaid.coverage.
is.extended.to.foster.care.children.
                                                  In.addition,.the.bill.that.establishes.           Missouri’s.newborn.screening.program.
through.their.21st.birthday..In.addition,.
                                                  MOHealthNet.states.if.private.                    was.expanded.to.include.screening.for.
restrictions.put.in.place.in.2005.that.
                                                  insurance.does.not.cover.a.child’s.               cystic.fibrosis.and.biotinidase..The.
caused.70,000.children.to.lose.access.
                                                  preexisting.condition.or.if.the.child.            state’s.newborn.screening.program.now.
to.the.federal.State.Children’s.Health.
                                                  exceeds.the.annual.coverage.limit.of.             tests.for.29.disorders..The.governor.
Insurance.Program.(SCHIP).have.been.
                                                  the.private.insurance,.it.will.not.be.            also.signed.legislation.that.will.allow.
eased..The.2005.law.set.an.“afford-
                                                  considered.affordable.                            newborn.screening.results.to.be.released.
ability.provision”.in.SCHIP.requiring.
                                                                                                    to.a.health.professional.providing.care.
families.earning.above.150.percent.of.
                                                  The.state.also.will.assess.the.cost.and.          to.a.child.so.that.the.quality.of.care.is.
the.Federal.Poverty.Level.(FPL).to.
                                                  benefit.of.expanding.presumptive.                 improved..Researchers.also.will.be.given.
prove.that.they.were.unable.to.purchase.
                                                  eligibility.to.other.health.care.providers..      access.to.newborn.screening.specimens.
health.insurance.coverage.for.their.
                                                  Presumptive.eligibility.gives.children.
child.that.cost.less.than.9.percent.of.
                                                  who.appear.to.be.eligible.for.public.                                continued on next page
their.family.income..In.2007,.the.


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                         63
Missouri (continued)
for.the.purpose.of.studying.genetic.         none.of.the.bills.garnered.sufficient.        Governor.Blunt.again.expressed.his.
diseases..In.addition,.the.state’s.          support.to.make.it.to.the.governor’s.desk.    support.for.the.Parents.as.Teachers.
Metabolic.Formula.Distribution.                                                            program,.an.early.education.initiative.
Program.was.expanded.to.allow.more.          An.investigation.into.fraud.within.the.       that.has.maintained.strong.support.in.
children.with.an.inherited.metabolic.        state’s.subsidized.child.care.program.        Missouri.since.it.was.expanded.to.serve.
disorder.access.to.special.nutritional.      resulted.in.nearly.$20.million.in.savings.    every.Missouri.school.district.in.the.
formulas.                                    that.were.reinvested.in.a.significant.        1980s.under.Governor.Kit.Bond’s.
                                             expansion.of.the.program..Eligibility.        administration..The.program.received.
A.new.state.law.requires.children.           for.child.care.assistance.was.expanded.       additional.funding.in.2007.
entering.kindergarten.or.grade.1.to.         from.108.percent.of.the.FPL.(the.
receive.a.comprehensive.eye.examina-         lowest.rate.in.the.nation).to.126.            Lawmakers.successfully.repealed.the.
tion,.and.students.beginning.grades..        percent..Child.advocates.were.able.to.        sunset.date.for.two.early.education.
1.and.3.must.receive.a.vision.screening..    secure.additional.funding.through.            programs.that.were.scheduled.to.expire.in.
Citizens.for.Missouri’s.Children.            appropriations.to.raise.eligibility.even.     2007..The.First.Steps.program,.which.
opposed.this.measure.even.though.it.         further,.to.127.percent.of.the.FPL..          provides.early.intervention.services.
agrees.that.it.is.critical.that.children.    An.additional.3,348.children.will.            for.infants.and.toddlers.with.disabilities,.
undergo.a.vision.exam..Citizens.for.         benefit.from.the.expanded.eligibility..       and.special.education.programs.will.
Missouri’s.Children.held.that.the.bill.                                                    continue.to.serve.children.in.the.state..
did.not.adequately.provide.supports.         The.savings.in.the.child.care.subsidy.
for.families.who.are.not.able.to.afford.     program.also.funded.a.5.percent.rate.
                                                                                           School Success:
such.services..                              increase.for.licensed.providers..This.
                                             was.the.first.rate.increase.since.1991.
                                                                                           Focus on K-2
For.families.with.autistic.children,.        for.preschool.and.school-age.child.           Over.the.past.three.years,.Governor.
Governor.Blunt.and.the.state’s.              care.providers,.and.since.1998.for.           Blunt’s.commitment.to.education.has.
legislators.agreed.to.double.the.state’s.    infant.care..This.funding.also.was.           been.strong..The.governor.pledged.to.
funding.for.autism.spectrum.disorders..      used.to.establish.a.new.electronic.           enhance.students’.learning.opportunities.
The.funding.will.be.used.to.improve.         time.and.attendance.system,.which.            in.Math,.Engineering,.Technology.
diagnostic.and.treatment.services.           will.help.protect.children’s.safety.          and.Science,.commonly.referred.to.as.
                                             while.also.producing.further.savings.         METS.in.the.state..To.support.the.
                                             in.the.program.                               METS.program,.the.governor.promised.
School readiness:                                                                          to.fund.100.technology.classrooms.in.
Focus on Early Care                          Child.advocates.worked.to.enact.              100.different.schools..He.also.sought.
and Education                                legislation.to.establish.a.quality.rating.    to.provide.an.additional.$1.million.
Child.advocates.fought.hard.in.2007.         system.for.early.childhood.facilities.        for.afterschool.programs..Legislators.
to.prevent.lawmakers.from.raiding.the.       and.afterschool.programs..Despite.            agreed,.and.the.programs.were.
state’s.Early.Childhood.Development,.        bipartisan.support.in.the.Senate,.House.      supported.in.the.approved.Fiscal.Year.
Education.and.Care.Fund,.which.is.           members.attached.several.controversial.       2008.budget..To.encourage.students.
the.primary.funding.source.for.pre-          education.measures.to.the.bill.that.          to.enroll.in.Advanced.Placement.(AP).
kindergarten.and.early.childhood.            reduced.support.for.the.underlying.           math.and.science.courses,.the.state.
quality.improvement.initiatives..The.        quality.rating.system.legislation.and.        also.will.now.pay.a.portion.of.the.AP.
fund.is.supported.through.gaming.            ultimately.prevented.the.bill.from.           testing.fees.if.a.student.decides.to.take.
admissions.fees..Lawmakers.introduced.       being.approved.by.both.chambers..             the.exam.
several.bills.that.would.have.either.
                                                                                                             continued on next page
reduced.or.eliminated.the.fund;.luckily,.


64                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Missouri (continued)
Advocates.had.hoped.that.the.2007.                Missouri.is.in.the.process.of.seeking.
session.would.provide.additional.                 accreditation.for.its.Children’s.Division.
protections.for.children.in.foster.care..         (CD).from.the.Council.on.Accredita-
Several.bills.were.introduced.that.               tion.(COA)..In.2004,.a.bill.was.
would.have.laid.out.“educational.rights”.         enacted.that.stated.it.was.the.intention.
for.foster.care.children..These.bills.            of.the.General.Assembly.for.the.CD.
would.have.allowed.foster.care.children.          to.be.accredited.within.5.years.by.the.
and.youth.to.remain.in.the.school..               COA..To.help.reach.full.accreditation,.
in.which.they.are.enrolled.or,.if.                the.Department.of.Social.Services.
transferred,.would.have.allowed.school.           requested.an.increase.of.$3.8.million.
credits.to.transfer.to.the.new.school..           in.General.Revenue.funds.and.an.
Advocates.will.continue.to.support.a.             additional.32.full-time.employees..
“foster.care.education.bill.of.rights”.           The.Governor’s.Request.and.the.final.
during.the.upcoming.legislative.session.          FY2008.budget.included.an.increase.
                                                  of.only.$1.7.million.and.an.additional.
                                                  6.full-time.employees..H
Protections Against
Abuse, Neglect,
Exploitation and Violence
Governor.Blunt.signed.several.
measures.to.better.protect.Missouri’s.
children..Legislation.was.enacted.that.
strengthens.existing.law.governing.
the.rights.of.domestic.violence.and.
sexual.assault.victims..In.addition,.the.
governor.signed.a.measure.to.support.
the.“I.Know.Better”.campaign—a.
public.awareness.effort.to.combat.
Internet.predators.who.target.children..
The.campaign.will.seek.to.educate.
parents.on.how.to.communicate.with.
their.children.about.Internet.dangers..
The.approved.FY2008.budget.also.
appropriated.$1.25.million.for.a.
cyberspace.grant.program.to.help.the.
police.protect.children.from.cyberspace.
sexual.predators.

Foster.care.parents.will.benefit.from.
an.increased.monthly.reimbursement..
Missouri.lawmakers.appropriated.
$2.5.million,.which.will.amount.to.a.
$40.to.$50.monthly.increase.



F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   65
Montana                                                                                                                  MT


  Montana’s.general. 2007.legislative. session. ended. without. a. budget. agreement..Lawmakers. were.called.
  back.by.Governor.Brian.Schweitzer.(D).to.hammer.out.the.two-year.budget..Elected.officials.were.at.odds.
  over.the.level.of.tax.reductions.and.education.spending.but.eventually.came.to.agreement.and.passed.a.
  budget.that.supported.several.initiatives.that.will.positively.impact.children.

  Lawmakers.agreed.to.expand.access.to.the.Montana.Children’s.Health.Insurance.Program.and.provided.
  funding.for.all-day.kindergarten.




Supporting healthy                            the.Fetal.Alcohol.Spectrum.Disorder.          In.addition,.current.law.was.amended.
Development                                   (FASD).Advisory.Council.to.study.             to.include.methamphetamine-related.
                                              and.recommend.public.policy.for.the.          activities.as.a.form.of.child.endanger-
To.ensure.that.more.children.have.
                                              prevention.of.FASD.                           ment..An.individual.will.be.held.
access.to.health.insurance.coverage,.
                                                                                            responsible.for.child.endangerment.if.
Montana.lawmakers.expanded.the.
                                                                                            the.individual.knowingly.produces.or.
state’s.eligibility.for.the.federal.State.    School Success:
                                                                                            manufactures.methamphetamine.in.
Children’s.Health.Insurance.Program.          Focus on K-2                                 the.presence.of.a.child.
from.150.to.175.percent.of.the.
                                              Montana.lawmakers.fulfilled.the.
Federal.Poverty.Level..State.officials.
                                              promise.that.Governor.Schweitzer.
estimate.that.3,000.children.will.
                                              made.to.make.available.all-day.
                                                                                            Economic Stability:
benefit.from.this.decision;.however,.
                                              kindergarten..The.state’s.education.          An investment in the Future
over.35,000.children.remain.uninsured.
                                              budget.will.provide.school.districts.         The.governor.opened.the.2007.
in.the.state.
                                              with.financial.assistance.to.those.           legislative.session.with.a.promise.to.
                                              interested.in.making.all-day.kinder-          ease.the.tax.burden.on.the.state’s.
Legislation.also.was.enacted.that.            garten.available.to.their.youngest.           families.through.a.property.tax.
requires.all.newborns.to.undergo.             students..Governor.Schweitzer.sees.the.       reduction..Although.there.were.
hearing.screenings..Early.detection.of.       provision.of.all-day.kindergarten.as.an.      disagreements.on.the.governor’s.plan,.
hearing.loss.will.allow.families.and.         important.workforce.development.tool.         in.the.end.lawmakers.came.together,.
providers.to.quickly.obtain.necessary.                                                      and.Montana.families.who.owned.a.
treatment.and.services.so.as.to.                                                            home.in.2007.will.receive.a.property.
prevent.significant.setbacks.in.a.            Child Safety: Protections
                                                                                            tax.credit.of.$140.while.those.who.
child’s.development.                          Against Abuse, Neglect,                       owned.one.in.2006.will.receive.a.$400.
                                              Exploitation and Violence                     tax.refund..An.estimated.260,000.home.
Through.executive.order,.the.governor.        Through.executive.order,.the.governor.        owners.are.eligible.for.the.tax.credit.
established.the.Family.Health.Advisory.       established.the.Youth.Justice.Council..
Council..The.council.is.tasked.with.          The.council.will.be.charged.with.             The.Montana.Legislature.will.convene.
providing.recommendations.to.                 implementing.the.federal.requirements.        again.in.2009..H
improve.the.delivery,.access.to.and.          of.the.Juvenile.Justice.and.Delinquency.
quality.of.services.to.Montana’s.             Prevention.Act.as.well.as.reviewing.
families..The.governor.also.established.      the.state’s.juvenile.justice.system.


66                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Nebraska                                                                                                                       NE


  Governor. Dave. Heinemen. (R). led. the. progress. in. several. areas. of. child. and. family. services. while. seeking.
  greater.supports.for.children.with.autism,.strengthening.the.state’s.early.education.system.and.allowing.more.
  young.adults.to.attend.college..VOICES’.member.in.the.state,.Voices.for.Children.in.Nebraska,.also.notes.that.
  the.state.will.continue.to.develop.the.best.learning.environment.possible.for.special.education.services.




Supporting healthy                                School Success:                                   In.order.to.determine.the.reliability.
Development                                       Focus on K-2                                     of.educational.services.provided,.the.
                                                                                                    Quality.Education.Accountability.Act.
The.Autism.Treatment.Program.Act.                 Attempting.to.provide.greater.access.
                                                                                                    establishes.a.statewide.measurement.
creates.a.program.at.the.University.of.           for.low-income.students.to.participate.
                                                                                                    of.student.learning.as.well.as.how.
Nebraska.Medical.Center.to.develop.               in.college.courses.while.still.in.high.
                                                                                                    schools.perform.in.comparison.to.other.
and.administer.a.five-year.pilot.                 school,.Governor.Heineman.signed.
                                                                                                    schools.in.Nebraska,.and.throughout.
program.of.statewide.early.intervention.          into.law.the.Access.College.Early.
                                                                                                    the.nation.and.internationally..
services.for.children.with.autism.                Scholarship.Program..The.program.
spectrum.disorder..Over.400.children.             benefits.high.school.students.whose.
would.be.served.through.the.program.              families.are.eligible.for.public.                 Economic Stability
at.the.conclusion.of.the.fifth.year..A.           benefits,.so.that.they.will.not.be.               To.comply.with.the.federal.Temporary.
total.of.$5.million.is.designated.for.            denied.the.opportunity.for.college.               Assistance.for.Needy.Families.
the.treatment.center..The.state.will.             due.to.income.status..                            economic.support.program,.Nebraska.
also.seek.a.federal.Medicaid.waiver.to.                                                             took.on.several.major.initiatives.that.
assist.with.the.coverage.of.early.                According.to.Voices.for.Children..                will.have.a.lasting.impact.on.future.
intervention.services..                           in.Nebraska,.the.state.will.also.be.              beneficiaries..Changes.in.the.law.
                                                  looking.to.provide.the.first.major.               include.changing.the.time.limits.for.
                                                  assessment.of.special.education.                  public.benefits.from.the.previous.
School readiness:
                                                  services.in.over.a.decade.through.the.            two-year.cap.to.no.more.than.60.
Focus on Early Care                               creation.of.a.Special.Education.                  months—the.same.standard.applied.
and Education                                     Services.Task.Force..The.task.force,.             to.the.federal.TANF.program;.the.
To.better.align.resources.and.engender.           whose.final.report.was.due.to.the.                elimination.of.postsecondary.education.
a.shared.mission,.the.Early.Childhood.            Legislature.at.the.end.of.2007,.will.             as.an.approved.work.activity;.and.
Training.Center.was.transferred.from.             examine.the.application.of.the.“least.            allowing.part-time.work.activities.for.
the.educational.service.unit.to.the.              restrictive.environment”.doctrine,.the.           single.parents.with.children.under.the.
State.Department.of.Education.                    accessibility.of.services,.and.the.role.          age.of.6..H
effective.September.1,.2007.                      that.private.providers.have.in.special.
                                                  education.services.in.the.public.
An.additional.$1.2.million.over.the.              school.system..The.task.force.will.
course.of.two.years.is.allocated.for.             also.examine.the.cost.of.services.for.
continued.growth.of.high.quality.                 both.the.school.system.and.parents,.
home.visiting.services.designed.to.               in.Nebraska.as.well.as.in.other.states..
increase.school.readiness.for.children.
under.the.age.of.3..


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                      67
Nevada                                                                                                                  NV


  The.explosive.growth.experienced.by.Nevada.in.recent.years.has.given.the.state’s.leadership.a.platform.
  from.which.to.address.issues.crucial.to.children.and.families..Working.to.shape.and.inform.these.efforts,.
  the.Children’s.Advocacy.Alliance,.a.member.of.the.VOICES.network,.produces.an.annual.report.card.on.
  child.well-being.while.focusing.its.advocacy.efforts.on.Nevada’s.most.vulnerable.children..




In.December.2007,.Governor.Jim.              The.approved.budget.for.K-12.                      progress.of.participating.children.
Gibbons.(R).announced.the.state.was.         education.allocates.nearly.$2.2.billion.           and.of.parental.involvement.
projecting.a.$450.million.shortfall.for.     over.the.next.two.years—representing.
fiscal.years.2008.and.2009.due.to.the.       an.18.percent.increase.over.current.          H. $50,000.is.allotted.annually.for.
unexpected.loss.of.revenue..In.response,.    funding..Highlights.of.the.education.            each.school.district.to.provide.
a.4.5.percent.across.the.board.cut.for.      budget.are.listed.below.                         counselors.to.serve.at-risk.
all.state.agencies.with.the.only.exemp-                                                       elementary.school.students.
tions.being.for.child.welfare.and.           H. Nearly.$300.million.is.focused.on.
juvenile.justice.programs,.as.well.as.          reducing.classroom.sizes.through.          The.Legislature.also.approved.a.high.
previously.scheduled.salary.increases.          recruiting.and.retaining.teachers.         school.reform.package.that.requires.
for.state.employees.was.ordered..               by.providing.additional.salaries.and.      school.districts.to.develop.a.four-year.
Curtailing.the.improvements.for.                benefits..The.goal.is.to.achieve.a.        academic.plan.for.all.students.grade.9..
educational.services.was.not.antici-            student-to-teacher.ratio.over.the.         The.new.academic.plan.is.a.joint.
pated.to.be.among.the.budget.cuts..             next.two.years.of.16-to-1.for.grades.      collaboration.with.the.student,.parents.
                                                1.and.2,.and.19-to-1.for.grade.3.          or.legal.guardians.and.the.school.
                                                                                           counselor..The.reform.efforts.also.
School Success:
                                             H. $185.million.is.allocated.for..            increased.the.age.for.compulsory.school.
Focus on K-2
                                                the.purchase.of.textbooks.and.             attendance.from.17.to.18.for.all.students..
Governor.Jim.Gibbons.(R).entered.               classroom.supplies.
office.declaring.a.commitment.to.
improve.the.state’s.educational.system.
                                                                                           Child Safety: Protections
                                             H. More.than.$65.million.is.dedicated.
by.increasing.support.systems.focused.          to.assisting.school.districts.seeking.
                                                                                           Against Abuse, Neglect,
on.graduation.rates,.teacher.recruit-           to.expand.full-day.kindergarten.           Exploitation and Violence
ment,.school.district.funding.and.class.        programs..                                 In.response.to.a.highly.publicized.
resources..As.part.of.his.Education.                                                       child.death.earlier.in.the.year,.the.
First.initiative,.which.was.approved.        H. $6.5.million.is.to.be.distributed.         governor.signed.legislation.to.
by.the.voters.in.2006.as.an.amendment.          through.competitive.state.grants.          dramatically.improve.child.welfare.
to.the.state.constitution,.the.Legisla-         for.the.development.of.early.care.         services..Among.the.reforms.are.steps.
ture.is.required.to.fund.public.schools.        and.education.programs..The.state.         creating.a.multidisciplinary.team.to.
before.acting.on.any.other.budget.              Department.of.Education.also.must.         provide.oversight.and.review.of.the.
measures..The.initiative.ensures.that.          develop.statewide.performance.             evaluations.produced.by.state.child.
schools.and.students.are.the.priority.          indicators.for.all.publicly.funded.        protection.agencies.following.child.
for.state.fiscal.operations..                   early.childhood.programs.and.
                                                track.the.long-term.developmental.                          continued on next page



68                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Nevada (continued)
fatalities;.assigning.the.state.Depart-
ment.of.Health.and.Human.Services.
the.authority.to.enforce.state.child.
welfare.operational.plans—including.
sanctions.for.failure.to.comply.with.
operational.plans;.and.bringing.the.
state.into.compliance.with.the.federal.
Child.Abuse.Prevention.and.Treat-
ment.Act..


Economic Stability:
An investment in the Future
Prior.to.the.federal.minimum.wage.
increase,.the.governor.signed.
legislation.increasing.the.state.
mandated.minimum.wage..As.of.July.
1,.2007,.employees.with.health.
insurance.will.earn.a.15-cent.increase,.
bringing.the.state.level.to.$5.30.per.
hour..Employees.without.health.
insurance.will.see.the.same.15-cent.
increase,.bringing.their.total.earnings.
to.$6.30.per.hour..H




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   69
New hampshire                                                                                                             NH


  New.Hampshire.officials.spent.much.of.2007.debating.Governor.John.Lynch’s.(D).failed.proposal.to.add.
  an.amendment.to.the.state.constitution.that.directly.identifies.the.state’s.role.in.K-12.education..Other.
  areas.of.focus.included.increasing.the.state’s.minimum.wage,.modifying.public.assistance.guidelines,.and.
  providing.tuition.support.for.former.foster.youth.enrolled.in.state.colleges..VOICES’.member,.the.Children’s.
  Alliance.of.New.Hampshire,.continues.efforts.to.expand.health.care.and.early.education.for.all.children.
  in.the.state..




Supporting healthy                             incomes.exceeding.public.benefits’.           The.governor.was.unsuccessful,.
Development                                    maximums..Established.in.2006,.the.           though,.in.obtaining.a.constitutional.
                                               Initiative.now.reaches.out.to.assist.         amendment.that.directly.affirms.the.
The.state.took.substantial.steps.to.see.
                                               parents.earning.between.190.and.250.          state’s.inherent.responsibility.for.K-12.
that.youth.transitioning.into.adulthood.
                                               percent.of.the.Federal.Poverty.Level..        education..Supported.by.the.state.De-
are.healthy,.modifying.current.law.to.
                                                                                             partment.of.Education,.the.battle.to.
allow.children.to.remain.dependents.
                                                                                             gain.a.constitutional.amendment.was.
of.their.parents.until.their.26th.birthday..   School Success:
                                                                                             the.result.of.a.1997.state.Supreme.
Young.adults.in.New.Hampshire.can.             Focus on K-2                                 Court.ruling.that.found.the.school.
now.still.be.claimed.as.dependents.for.
                                               The.legislature.affirmed.much.of.             financing.structure.was.unconstitu-
the.purposes.of.health.insurance.
                                               Governor.Lynch’s.top.educational.             tional.due.to.inequities.in.the.amount.
coverage.if.they.are.not.married.and.are.
                                               priorities.presented.in.his.Fiscal.Year.      of.taxable.resources.among.districts..
enrolled.in.a.higher.education.program..
                                               2008.budget.proposal..With.the.goal.of.       In.2006,.the.state.court.rejected.a.
                                               lowering.the.state’s.high.school.dropout.     proposal.for.school.funding,.again.
New.Hampshire.made.inroads.in.                 rate.and.boosting.graduation.rates,.New.      citing.the.lack.of.equality.for.school.
addressing.childhood.lead.poisoning.           Hampshire.increased.the.age.for.              districts.across.the.state..In.calling.for.
by.adopting.legislation.that.is.equal.to.      compulsory.school.attendance—under.           support.for.the.proposed.amendment,.
national.standards..The.measure.also.          a.law.that.had.been.in.place.since.           the.governor.noted.that,.“directing.
includes.strengthened.prevention.              1903—from.age.16.to.18..The.approved.         more.education.aid.to.the.communi-
efforts,.and.the.Legislature.is.set.to.        budget.called.for.a.$4.million.increase.      ties.with.the.greatest.need.will.help.
convene.a.state.commission.to.address.         that.will.double.funding.for.tutoring.        ensure.fair.opportunities.for.all.of.our.
the.issue..                                    services.for.at-risk.students,.increase.      students..It.will.lift.up.the.communities.
                                               access.to.technical.education.centers.        that.are.struggling.to.provide.a.quality.
School readiness:                              and.invest.in.apprenticeship.programs..       education.and.ease.the.burden.of.
Focus on Early Care                                                                          property.taxes.in.those.communities.
and Education                                  The.governor.also.signed.legislation.         that.struggle.the.most.”.The.proposed.
                                               seeking.to.improve.the.educational.           amendment,.and.several.slight.
The.budget.sought.to.strengthen.               outcomes.and.stability.for.children.in.       variations,.failed.to.gain.legislative.
New.Hampshire’s.Quality.Early.                 foster.care,.who.may.be.transferred.          approval,.yet.did.spark.the.passage.of.
Learning.Opportunity.Initiative,.a.            out.of.their.home.school.district,.by.        other.legislation.defining.what.
child.care-based.scholarship.program.          allowing.ease.of.academic.transfer.
serving.working.families.with.                 and.greater.access.to.tutoring.supports..                         continued on next page



70                             Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
New hampshire (continued)

“adequate.education”.for.all.children.            The.state.also.made.available.20.                 In.order.to.keep.higher.education.
throughout.the.state.should.encompass..           tuition.waivers.annually.for.former.              affordable,.an.$11.million.increase..
                                                  foster.children.to.attend.postsecondary.          is.provided.to.New.Hampshire’s.
According.to.the.Children’s.Alliance.             education.within.the.state..                      community.colleges,.along.with.a..
of.New.Hampshire,.a.new.law.allows.                                                                 $16.million.increase.for.the.state.
the.General.Court,.the.legislative.                                                                 university.system..H
                                                  Economic Stability:
body.of.New.Hampshire,.to.determine.
the.cost.of.an.adequate.education.and.
                                                  An investment in the Future
will.develop.criteria.to.assist.schools.          New.Hampshire.also.was.successful.
in.gaining.the.additional.resources.              in.increasing.the.minimum.wage..By.
needed..The.final.measure.approved.               2008,.the.minimum.wage.for.hourly.
directs.the.Legislature.to.provide.               employees.will.increase.by.nearly.two.
additional.supports.for.schools.deemed.           dollars.from.$5.15.to.$7.25..This.mark.
to.be.in.need,.yet.fails.to.ensure.that.          is.ahead.of.the.timetable.established.
they.actually.receive.the.additional.             through.the.federal.increase.in.the.
supports..The.language.does.allow,.               minimum.wage,.which.is.set.to.reach.
for.communities.that.so.choose,.for.              $7.25.per.hour.in.2009..
expanded.efforts.into.half-.or.full-day.
kindergarten.programs..The.completed.             Led.by.the.Children’s.Alliance.of.
definition.of.“adequacy,”.set.to.be.              New.Hampshire,.legislation.was.
complete.by.June.2008,.will.serve.as.             approved.to.expand.the.program.
the.basis.for.the.new.education.                  flexibility.of.the.state.Temporary.
funding.formula..                                 Assistance.for.Needy.Families.(TANF).
                                                  program.while.maintaining.federal.
                                                  requirements.centered.on.outcomes.
Child Safety: Protections                         of.the.program..The.new.law.requires.
Against Abuse, Neglect,                           an.integrated.approach.to.job.training.
Exploitation and Violence                         to.meet.the.needs.of.the.state’s.
Focusing.on.children.who.enter.out-               employers,.utilizes.outcome.measures.
of-home.care,.New.Hampshire.                      to.monitor.TANF.success.and.identify.
adopted.a.plan.to.make.a.concentrated.            areas.of.concern,.requires.child.care.
effort.to.gain.permanent.homes.for.               and.transportation.referral.for.TANF.
children.after.efforts.have.been.made.            clients.in.order.to.overcome.partici-
for.family.reunification,.including.the.          pation.obstacles,.allows.for.ease.of.
use.of.legal.guardianship.or.kinship.             transition.for.TANF.clients.partici-
providers.and.adoption..State.child.              pating.in.approved.training.or.
courts.will.also.conduct.post-                    education.programs.into.full.employ-
permanency.hearings.on.an.annual.                 ment,.and.closely.aligns.legislative.
basis.to.determine.whether.family.                involvement.through.routine.reporting.
services.have.been.accessible,.available.         and.oversight..
and.appropriate..




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                        7
New Jersey                                                                                                             NJ


  Governor.Jon.Corzine.(D).followed.through.on.promises.made.in.his.state.of.the.state.address.by.seeking.
  to. revamp. the. K-12. school. funding. formula,. vastly. expanding. pre-kindergarten. availability. across. the.
  state,.and.allowing.greater.access.to.four-year,.higher.education.institutions..Championed.by.VOICES’.
  member,.the.Association.for.Children.of.New.Jersey,.the.governor’s.school.funding.formula.could.potentially.
  allow.20,000.more.children.to.gain.access.to.high-quality.early.education.services..




Supporting healthy                          data.on.autism.screening,.diagnosis.and.      The.Abbott.districts.are.the.original.
Development                                 intervention.programs.and.services;.          28.school.districts.that.sought.legal.
                                            and.the.public.distribution.of.such.          action.to.assure.a.quality.and.sufficient.
Looking.to.become.the.“model.state.
                                            information.to.the.health.community.          education.system.for.urban.areas...
for.services.addressing.autism.
                                            and.the.general.public..                      As.part.of.the.state.Supreme.Court.
spectrum.disorders”,.Governor.
                                                                                          settlement,.early.education.services.
Corzine.enacted.three.pieces.of.
                                            Approved.legislation.maintains.the.$1.        were.deemed.a.priority,.as.a.large.
legislation.targeted.at.increased.
                                            surcharge.for.each.motor.vehicle.fine,.       percentage.of.poor.students.required.
training,.education,.research,.and.
                                            first.established.in.2003,.that.will.be.      “an.education.beyond.the.norm.”.
funding.for.autistic.children..New.
                                            deposited.into.the.Autism.Medical.            Seeking.to.close.the.gap.between.the.
Jersey.leads.the.nation.in.the.rate.of.
                                            Research.and.Treatment.Fund..The.             Abbott.school.districts.and.others.
autism,.with.one.child.in.every.95.
                                            legislation.eliminates.the.sunset.            across.the.state,.lawmakers.approved.
diagnosed.with.the.disorder;.the.
                                            provision.that.was.set.to.end.the.funding.    a.$10.million.enhancement.for.quality.
national.average.is.one.in.every.150..
                                            availability.in.2009..A.combined.$8.5.        preschool,.which.will.provide.greater.
Under.the.new.laws,.the.Commis-
                                            million.was.deposited.in.this.account.        supports.to.Head.Start.and.community.
sioner.of.Education.will.develop.a.
                                            through.fiscal.years.2005.and.2006..          child.care.centers.for.non-Abbott.
series.of.recommendations.addressing.
                                            This.provision.is.expected.to.generate.       districts..In.December.2007,.the.
teacher.instruction,.professional.
                                            an.estimated.$4.million.annually.for.         governor.and.state.Education.Commis-
development.that.incorporates.the.
                                            the.fund..                                    sioner.introduced.a.new.K-12.school.
characteristics.of.autistic.children,.
                                                                                          funding.formula.that.includes.a.broad.
curriculum.planning,.specialized.
                                                                                          investment.for.quality-based.preschool.
teaching.strategies.and.inclusive.          School readiness:
                                                                                          that.could.allow.an.additional.25,000.
educational.practices..                     Focus on Early Care                           3-.and.4-year-old.children.to.benefit.
                                            and Education                                 from.programs.that.are.built.on.the.
The.state.Department.of.Health.and.
                                            Licensed.child.care.centers.across.the.       success.of.pre-kindergarten.efforts.in.
Senior.Services,.Early.Intervention.
                                            state.will.now.be.able.to.apply.for.a.        the.Abbott.school.districts..
Program,.will.also.develop.a.set.of.
                                            $1,500.grant.for.a.preliminary.assess-
comprehensive.services.that.meet.the.
                                            ment.to.determine.if.a.child.care.site.       According.to.the.Association.for.
unique.needs.of.children.diagnosed.
                                            has.been.contaminated.by.hazardous.           Children.of.New.Jersey,.the.governor’s.
with.autism.spectrum.disorders..This.
                                            wastes.that.pose.a.significant.threat.to.     proposal,.set.to.be.considered.by.the.
will.include.the.timely.referral.to.
                                            a.drinking.water.source.or.to.determine.      Legislature.in.early.in.2008,.will.seek.
community.resources.for.children.and.
                                            general.conditions.promoting.good.
families;.the.collection.of.statewide.                                                                        continued on next page
                                            health..


72                          Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
New Jersey (continued)
to.provide.greater.access,.for.all.3-.and.        H. 60.percent.of.all.beverages.in.                Child Safety: Protections
4-year-old.children.in.over.100.districts,.          middle.and.high.schools.must.be.               Against Abuse, Neglect,
to.full-day,.high-quality.preschool.                 milk,.water,.or.100.percent.fruit.             Exploitation and Violence
across.the.state..If.the.governor’s.                 or.vegetable.juices;.and
proposal.is.fully.implemented,.by.the.                                                              The.state.budget.sees.a.$10.million.
2013-2014.school.year,.estimates.show.            H. No.more.than.40.percent.of.all.                increase.for.the.Child.Protective.and.
that.20,000.more.children.will.be.                   ice.cream.and.frozen.desserts.shall.           Permanency.Services.program.within.
enrolled.in.preschool—elevating.                     exceed.the.standards.for.sugar,.fat.           the.Department.of.Youth.and.Family.
enrollment.to.a.total.of.60,000..Funding.            and.saturated.fat.for.middle.and.              Services,.allowing.staffing.to.increase.
will.also.increase.by.$330.million,.bringing.        high.school.students.                          by.nearly.400..New.Jersey.continues.
total.state.allocations.to.$850.million..                                                           its.efforts.to.strengthen.its.child.
                                                                                                    welfare.system.by.featuring.new.
                                                  In.December.2007,.Governor.Corzine.
                                                                                                    increased.investments.in.child.abuse.
                                                  fulfilled.an.initiative.addressed.in.his.
School Success:                                                                                     prevention.and.family.supports..For.
                                                  state.of.the.state.address.by.unveiling.
Focus on K-2                                     a.new.school.funding.plan.that.expands.
                                                                                                    FY2008,.the.state.will.be.operating.
Beginning.with.the.2007.school.year,.                                                               with.an.additional.$6.million.for.the.
                                                  the.definition.of.“needy”.students.and.
New.Jersey.schools.that.participate.in.                                                             implementation.of.a.differential.
                                                  providing.greater.supports.to.school.
child.nutrition.programs.are.prohibited.                                                            response.framework.for.children.who.
                                                  districts.that.serve.them..Under.his.
from.serving.foods.of.minimal.                                                                      do.not.formally.enter.out-of-home.
                                                  proposal,.A.New.Formula.for.Success:.
nutritional.value;.food.and.beverages.                                                              care,.and.for.the.establishment.of.
                                                  All.Children,.All.Communities,.a.
that.label.sugar.as.the.first.ingredient;.                                                          Family.Success.Centers—a.targeted.
                                                  $530.million.increase.will.be.distrib-
and.any.forms.of.candy,.as.defined.by.                                                              child.abuse.prevention.measure.achieved.
                                                  uted.in.Fiscal.Year.2009—bringing.
the.state.Department.of.Agriculture..                                                               by.strengthening.family.supports..
                                                  the.total.resources.for.K-12.education.
At.the.same.time,.schools.must.also.              to.$7.8.billion..The.new.formula.
begin.reducing.the.purchase.of.any.               establishes.a.base.amount.for.what.each.          Another.$3.3.million.also.will.be.
food.products.containing.any.trans.fats..         school.district.should.be.allocating.             available.for.the.creation.and.expansion.
                                                  per.student.to.reach.state.educational.           of.home-based.visiting.services—.
The.new.legislation.also.places.tighter.          standards..Included.in.the.formula.are.           a.proven,.research-based.and.cost-
restrictions.on.any.food.that.is.sold.            determinations.for.students.eligible.             efficient.method.to.ensure.that.
on.school.grounds..New.restrictions.              for.free.or.reduced.lunches,.for.students.        children.grow.up.healthy,.safe.and.
on.food.served.include:                           with.limited.English.proficiency,.for.            ready.to.learn..
                                                  those.in.special.education.courses,.
H. No.more.than.eight.grams.of.fat.               and.for.districts.with.high.areas.of.             The.state.has.launched.efforts.to.
   per.serving—with.the.exception.                poverty..The.governor’s.proposal.also.            increase.the.information.available.to.
   of.nuts.and.seeds;                             encourages.school.districts.to.expand.            school.districts.to.promote.the.Safe.
                                                  kindergarten.to.a.full-day.duration.              Haven.Infant.Protection.Act..The.
H. All.beverages,.excluding.2.percent.            through.the.new.formula..                         public.media.effort.will.produce.
   milk.or.water,.shall.not.exceed.12.                                                              pamphlets,.posters.and.educational.
   ounces;                                                                                          materials—at.no.cost.to.school.districts—
                                                                                                    to.help.deter.the.abandonment.of.
H. Only.milk,.water,.100.percent.fruit.                                                             newborn.infants.to.harmful.conditions..
   or.vegetable.juices,.or.water.are.
   acceptable.beverages.for.elemen-
   tary.schools;                                                                                                        continued on next page



F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                          73
New Jersey (continued)
The.state.will.also.begin.outreach.to.         transfer.of.credits.from.an.associate.
elementary.schools.aimed.at.early.             program.to.a.bachelor’s.academic.
intervention/prevention.of.gang.               program..H
involvement.and.violence..


Economic Stability:
An investment in the Future
As.outlined.in.the.FY2008.state.
appropriations.package.signed.by.the.
governor,.an.additional.300,000.
working.families.earning.between.
$20,000.and.$40,000.annually.will.
now.benefit.from.expansions.in.the.
state.Earned.Income.Tax.Credit..The.
expansion.removes.the.previous.
$20,000.income.cap.and.aligns.efforts.
with.those.of.federal.standards..The.
legislation.also.increases.the.maximum.
state.refund.from.20.to.22.5.percent.
in.FY2009.and.by.25.percent.in.FY2010..

Legislation.that.would.have.estab-
lished.a.New.Jersey.Council.on.Child.
Poverty.to.develop.a.plan.to.reduce.
child.poverty.in.the.state.within.10.
years.languished.at.the.committee.level..

Led.by.the.efforts.of.the.Association.
for.Children.of.New.Jersey,.thousands.
of.students.who.have.obtained.associate’s.
degrees.across.the.state.will.now.find.
it.easier.to.transfer.to.one.of.New.
Jersey’s.four-year.institutions..Before.
the.legislation.was.enacted,.each.student.
often.lost.transferred.credits.or.was.
forced.to.repeat.the.same.academic.
curriculum,.as.credits.were.accepted.
on.a.course-by-course.basis..The.new.
legislation.mandates.that.every.public.
institution.of.higher.education.will.
enter.into.a.collective.statewide.transfer.
agreement,.allowing.for.a.seamless.




74                             Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
New Mexico                                                                                                                     NM


  Governor. Bill. Richardson. (D). kept. his. promise,. made. in. his. state. of. the. state. address,. to. increase. the.
  minimum.wage.in.2007..He.also.championed.a.tax.cut.greatly.benefiting.the.state’s.working.families..The.
  governor.showed.his.continued.commitment.to.early.education.by.allotting.funds.that.will.increase.the.
  number.of.students.in.pre-kindergarten.by.63.percent..The.governor.also.signed.legislation.to.enhance.
  school.success.in.the.state..New.Mexico.Voices.for.Children,.VOICES’.member.in.the.state,.served.as.a.
  strong.advocate.for.children.and.families.by.working.closely.with.the.administration.and.the.Legislature.
  to.ensure.that.these.changes.became.a.reality..




Addressing Equity                                 Beginning.in.June.of.last.year,.it.is.            provide.an.addition.3,500.4-year-olds.
                                                  now.illegal.to.smoke.in.most.work-                with.access.to.early.childhood.
New.Mexico.Voices.for.Children.
                                                  places,.including.most.bars.and.                  education.
strongly.supports.the.need.to.
                                                  restaurants.in.New.Mexico..New.
understand.and.eliminate.the.forces.
                                                  Mexico.Voices.for.Children.accredits.             Many.low-income.families.across.the.
that.lead.to.an.overrepresentation.of.
                                                  the.Surgeon.General’s.recent.report.              state.cannot.afford.to.work.due.to.the.
racial.minorities.in.the.juvenile.justice.
                                                  that.no.level.of.secondhand.smoke.is.             high.costs.of.quality.child.care.pro-
and.child.welfare.systems..Leading.
                                                  safe,.and.to.the.hard.work.put.forth.             grams..New.Mexico.sought.to.address.
Race.Matters,.an.initiative.that.looks.
                                                  by.the.youth.of.the.various.anti-                 this.by.increasing.assistance.for.child.
at.all.social.policy.from.a.racial.lens,.
                                                  tobacco.coalitions.across.the.state.              care.programs.by.$5.7.million.last.
New.Mexico.Voices.for.Children.
                                                                                                    year,.with.$2.5.million.dedicated.
supported.the.funding.of.$100,000—.
                                                  Legislation.was.passed.last.year.that.            toward.expanding.the.program.to.
made.available.in.state.funds—to.
                                                  will.extend.health.care.coverage.to.              include.families.living.at.165.percent.
conduct.racial.impact.assessments.on.
                                                  more.children.of.split.families.by.               of.the.Federal.Poverty.Level.and.
state.services.and.programs..
                                                  giving.the.court.more.options.in.                 another.$2.million.for.increased.
                                                  determining.which.parent.should.be.               payments.to.child.care.centers.
Supporting healthy                                responsible.for.the.child’s.medical.
Development                                       support.
                                                                                                    School Success:
Insurance.companies.are.now.required.                                                               Focus on K-2
to.pay.for.hearing.and.related.services.          School readiness:                                 High.School.Redesign,.is.a.new.law.
for.insured.children.under.18.years.of.           Focus on Early Care                               targeting.gaps.between.middle.
age.or.under.21.years.of.age,.if.still.           and Education                                     school,.high.school,.college.and.
attending.high.school..The.coverage.
                                                  Governor.Richardson.is.seeking.to.                career.schools.by.raising.expectations.
would.include.the.full.cost.of.one.
                                                  expand.quality.pre-kindergarten.                  for.students.passed.last.year..The.
hearing.aid.per.hearing.impaired.ear,.
                                                  programs.in.the.state.by.allocating.              legislation,.effective.beginning.in.the.
up.to.$2,220.every.36.months.
                                                  $14.million.in.2007,.raising.the.                 2009-2010.school.year,.requires.that.
                                                  number.of.students.served.by.63.                  students.complete.four.years.of.math.
Mandated.coverage.for.the.new.
                                                  percent..The.increase.in.funds.will.              with.at.least.one.course.of.Algebra.II.
human.papillomavirus.vaccine.for.
girls.age.9.to.14.was.established.after.          pay.for.19.new.programs.across.the.
                                                                                                                       continued on next page
legislation.passed.in.2007.                       state..The.increased.investment.will.


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                        75
New Mexico (continued)
or.higher,.four.years.of.English,.and.       Governor.Richardson.signed.a.series.          Economic Stability
three.years.each.of.lab-based.Science.       of.bills.last.year.to.further.protect.the.
                                                                                           In.September,.the.governor..
and.Social.Studies.for.graduation..          children.of.New.Mexico..The.Criminal.
                                                                                           announced.the.first.increase.in.12.
Algebra.I.would.be.made.available.           Sexual.Penetration.of.Children.bill.
                                                                                           years.to.the.state’s.“standard.of.need”,.
during.grade.8,.and.at.least.one.            mandates.life.imprisonment.for.
                                                                                           a.formula.the.state.designed.to.
Advanced.Placement,.dual-enrollment,.        aggravated.sexual.penetration.against.
                                                                                           determine.how.much.money.a.family.
or.online.course.would.be.mandatory.         a.child.under.age.9,.which.makes.the.
                                                                                           needs.each.month.to.pay.for.house-
for.students..The.bill.also.extends.the.     crime.a.first-degree.felony..The.law.
                                                                                           hold.necessities..According.to.
legal.dropout.age.to.18.years.and.           also.requires.real-time.global.position.
                                                                                           Governor.Richardson,.“this.cost-of-
requires.the.Public.Education.               system.monitoring.of.all.paroled.sex.
                                                                                           living.increase.will.help.13,600.New.
Department.to.establish.an.assessment.       offenders,.and.establishes.lifetime.
                                                                                           Mexico.families,.including.nearly.
system.by.the.2008-2009.school.year.         parole.for.the.worst.sex.offenders..
                                                                                           21,000.children,.who.are.struggling.
in.order.to.measure.student.readiness.       The.Child.Solicitation.by.Electronic.
                                                                                           to.make.ends.meet.each.month.and.
for.success.in.college.or.career.            Device.bill.will.protect.children.from.
                                                                                           rely.on.state.programs.”.Temporary.
schooling..This.would.include.a.high.        communication.by.sexual.predators.
                                                                                           Assistance.to.Needy.Families.carry-
school.readiness.assessment.in.grade.        directly.or.via.electronic.device,.by.
                                                                                           over.funds.of.approximately.$40.
9,.college.readiness.in.grade.10,.and..      adding.the.offense.to.the.sex.offender.
                                                                                           million.dollars.in.the.next.state.
a.workplace.readiness.assessment.in.         registration.requirements.and.by.
                                                                                           budget.year.make.the.increase.
grade.11..                                   providing.an.extended.period.of.parole.
                                                                                           possible..The.carryover.funds.are.
                                             for.this.offense..
                                                                                           unspent.federal.dollars,.which.can..
Child Safety: Protections                                                                  be.used.solely.for.cash.assistance.for.
                                             After.the.passage.of.the.Child.Helmet.
Against Abuse, Neglect,                      Safety.Act,.adults.are.no.longer.permit-
                                                                                           needy.families..Scheduled.to.begin.
Exploitation, and Violence                                                                 early.this.year,.the.15.percent.increase.
                                             ted.to.knowingly.allow.their.children.
                                                                                           will.raise.the.current.amount.for.a.
The.Children,.Youth,.and.Families.           to.go.bike.riding,.roller.skating.or.
                                                                                           family.of.three.by.$58,.raising.it.from.
Department.received.a.$21.million.           pursue.other.such.activities.without.
                                                                                           $389.to.$447.per.month.
increase.in.funding.to.allow.Juvenile.       the.use.of.a.safety.helmet..According.
Justice.Services.and.Child.Protective.       to.New.Mexico.Voices.for.Children,.
                                                                                           New.Mexico.took.action.before.the.
Services.to.hire.more.workers,.provide.      “this.bill.will.cut.down.on.traumatic.
                                                                                           federally.mandated.minimum.wage.
more.treatment.for.incarcerated.girls,.      brain.injuries,.keeping.kids.safe,.and.
                                                                                           increase,.which.went.into.effect.on.
and.to.make.much-needed.improve-             saving.the.health.care.system.money.”
                                                                                           January.1,.2008..The.minimum.wage.
ments.in.facilities.
                                                                                           in.New.Mexico.increased.from.$5.15.
                                             A.new.section.was.added.to.the.
                                                                                           to.$6.50.per.hour,.and.it.will.further.
The.Native.American.Youth.Suicide.           Children,.Youth,.and.Families.
                                                                                           increase.to.$7.50.per.hour.in.2009..This.
Prevention.program.received.$50,000.         Department.Act.requiring.that.all.
                                                                                           increase.will.benefit.160,000.workers.
in.funding.in.2007.with.the.recognition.     volunteers.and.staff.with.unsupervised.
                                                                                           statewide.over.the.next.two.years..
that.poverty,.the.legacy.of.discrimina-      direct.contact.with.clients.at.any.
tion.and.cultural.destruction,.and.          juvenile.detention.facility.undergo.a.
                                                                                           The.Working.Families.Tax.Credit.
high.rates.of.alcoholism.and.drug.           background.check.as.well.as.finger-
                                                                                           will.give.$52.million.back.to.low-.and.
abuse.place.Native.youth.at.a.much.          printing.before.being.employed..This.
                                                                                           middle-income.families..Included.in.
higher.risk.of.committing.suicide.           addition.seeks.to.further.protect.
                                                                                           this.legislation.is.a.$29.million.tax.
than.their.white.and.Hispanic.               children.within.the.juvenile.justice.
counterparts.                                system.in.the.state.of.New.Mexico.
                                                                                                                continued on next page



76                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
New Mexico (continued)
credit.for.more.than.200,000.working.
families,.who.will.receive.an.average.
credit.of.$144..It.will.also.eliminate.
the.taxes.that.are.placed.on.active.
duty.military.salaries..This.legislation.
is.part.of.a.series.of.tax.cuts.designed.
to.create.high-paying.jobs,.cut.costs.
for.health.providers.serving.needy.
New.Mexicans,.and.to.build.a.clean,.
high-tech.economy..The.expansion.of.
the.$2,500.per.person.exemption.will.
benefit.over.235,000.low-.and.
middle-income.families..Additionally,.
a.personal.income.tax.credit.of.$1,000.
per.year.for.each.special.needs.child.a.
family.has.adopted.was.also.added.

The.Low.Income.Home.Energy.
Assistance.Program.(LIHEAP),..
a.program.run.by.state.and.federal.
governments.to.assist.low-income.
families.with.paying.their.heating..
and.electricity.bills.was.funded.at.$6.
million.last.year..New.Mexico.Voices.
for.Children.stressed.the.importance.
of.this.program,.stating.that..
“low-income.families.too.often.must.
choose.between.putting.food.on.the.
table.and.paying.utility.bills…such.a.
choice.may.have.fatal.repercussions.”.

New.Mexico.saw.an.increase.in.
unemployment.insurance.last.year,.
which.is.crucial.in.helping.families.in.
need.during.tough.times..According.
to.New.Mexico.Voices.for.Children,.
under.legislation.approved.by.the.
legislature.and.signed.by.Governor.
Richardson,.“weekly.[unemployment].
benefits.increase,.[the].dependent.benefit.
climbs.from.$15.a.week.per.child.to.
$25.a.week,.and.employers.get.a.break.on.
their.unemployment.insurance.taxes.”.H




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   77
New York                                                                                                                 NY


  Governor.Eliot.Spitzer.(D).entered.office.with.an.ambitious.agenda.that.sought.to.provide.high-quality.
  pre-kindergarten.and.health.care.available.for.all.children..Led.by.the.efforts.of.VOICES.members—.
  Citizens’.Committee.for.Children.of.New.York,.the.Schuyler.Center.for.Analysis.and.Advocacy,.and.the.
  Westchester. Children’s. Association—other. improvements. were. made. in. the. areas. of. school. nutrition,.
  child.protection.and.family.economic.security...




Addressing Equity:                            additional.400,000.children.and.              Washington.in.pursuing.legal.action.
Narrowing Societal gaps                       providing.high-quality.early.care.and.        against.the.federal.administration.for.
                                              education.for.children.from.ages.0.to.        attempts.to.violate.the.federal.statute.
The.New.York.State.Citizen.Review.
                                              5.in.the.state..The.Children’s.Cabinet.       allowable.under.the.federal.State.
Panels.for.Child.Protection.recruited.
                                              Advisory.Board,.which.is.co-chaired.          Children’s.Health.Insurance.Program,.
national.leaders.to.develop.strategies.
                                              by.the.Schuyler.Center.for.Analysis.          which.would.allow.states.to.expand.
addressing.racial.disparities.in.the.
                                              and.Advocacy,.will.assist.the.cabinet.        their.programs.
state.human.service.systems..Through.
                                              in.developing.these.two.initiatives.
efforts.coordinated.by.the.Schuyler.
                                                                                            The.governor.also.successfully.
Center.for.Analysis.and.Advocacy,.the.
                                              The.governor.proposed.expanding.              championed.legislation.that.would.
Office.of.Children.and.Family.
                                              Child.Health.Plus.to.provide.health.          extend.food.stamp.benefits.to.as.many.
Services—including.20.state.agencies.
                                              care.services,.from.the.current.              as.100,000.additional.households.over.
—reviewed.a.July.2007.U..S..Govern-
                                              maximum.of.250.to.400.percent.of.             the.course.of.the.next.18.months..
ment.Accountability.Office.report.
                                              the.Federal.Poverty.Level,.to.allow.an.
detailing.the.disproportional.repre-
                                              additional.60,000.children.to.gain.
sentation.of.children.in.foster.care,.and.                                                  School readiness:
                                              health.insurance..The.federal.waiver.
has.now.developed.an.interagency.task.
                                              required.to.make.this.policy.change.
                                                                                            Focus on Early Care
force.to.address.racial.disparities.
                                              was.denied.by.the.federal.Centers.for.        and Education
throughout.the.state.human.service.
                                              Medicare.and.Medicaid.Services..              Another.key.initiative.for.the.Children’s.
systems..
                                                                                            Cabinet.is.seeking.to.provide.high-
                                              The.cabinet.also.will.work.to.develop.        quality.pre-kindergarten.to.every.
Supporting healthy                            innovative.ways.to.enroll.more.               child.in.the.state..The.final.budget.
Development                                   currently.eligible.children.in.Medicaid.      included.a.50.percent.increase.in.
                                              and.Child.Health.Plus..The.group.is.          funding.for.pre-kindergarten.to.reach.
As.promised.in.his.first.state.of.the.
                                              exploring.strategies.such.as.increasing.      an.anticipated.134.new.school.districts.
state.address,.Governor.Spitzer.called.
                                              technology,.streamlining.paperwork.           and.22,800.additional.children..The.
for.a.major.new.investment.in.New.
                                              and.using.innovative.outreach.methods.        governor.also.appointed.a.nine-person.
York’s.children.and.established.a.
                                                                                            Task.Force.on.Preschool.Special..
Children’s.Cabinet.through.executive.
                                              In.an.effort.to.preserve.these.efforts,.      Education.to.study.ways.of.improving.
order..The.cabinet’s.initial.charge.is.
                                              Governor.Spitzer.announced.in.                early.education.for.children.with.
to.lead.the.22.state.agencies.who.are.
                                              August.that.New.York.would.be.                special.needs.
members.of.the.cabinet.to.work.
                                              joining.Arizona,.California,.Illinois,.
collaboratively.with.the.goals.of.
                                              Maryland,.New.Hampshire.and.                                      continued on next page
providing.access.to.health.care.for.an.


78                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
New York (continued)
The.governor.signed.an.executive.                 sugar.and.sodium.included..During.                additional.funds.to.reduce.child.
order.to.allow.the.unionization.of.               the.school.day,.students.will.be.                 welfare.caseloads.
family.care.providers.                            allowed.only.to.purchase.fruits,.
                                                  vegetables,.whole.grains.or.other..               The.state.Medicaid-funded.Bridges.
                                                  low-fat.or.nondairy.items..The.Act.               to.Health.program.also.was.estab-
School Success:
                                                  limits.beverages.sold.to.those.                   lished.to.exclusively.allow.foster.care.
Focus on K-2                                     featuring.100.percent.fruit.or.                   children.with.severe.disabilities.to.be.
Governor.Spitzer.announced.a.four-                vegetable.juice.and.low-fat.milk..                served.in.their.home,.not.in.restrictive.
year.investment.plan.based.on.a.new.                                                                or.other.high-cost.rehabilitative.
foundation.aid.formula.for.New.                                                                     institutions..The.program,.the.first.in.
York’s.schools.and.an.increase.in.
                                                  Child Safety: Protections
                                                                                                    the.nation.devoted.to.foster.children,.
overall.school.aid..He.appointed.a.               Against Abuse, Neglect,                           is.expected.to.serve.more.than.3,300.
Deputy.Secretary.for.Education,.                  Exploitation and Violence                         kids.when.fully.implemented..
charged.with.implementing.the.                    Legislation.was.passed,.and.became.
governor’s.agenda..The.new.founda-                effective.immediately,.allowing.the.
tion.aid.formula.replaces.30.separate.
                                                                                                    Economic Stability:
                                                  state.Office.of.Child.and.Family.
aid.programs.and.directs.aid.to.the.              Services.(OCFS).to.permit.local.child.
                                                                                                    An investment in the Future
neediest.school.districts..This.funding.          protection.agencies.to.utilize.an.                Governor.Spitzer’s.economic.security.
will.require.enhanced.accountability.             alternative.response.approach.to.                 agenda’s.goal.is.to.strengthen.and.
and.improved.performance.through.                 reports.on.families.where.a.full.child.           grow.the.middle.class.by.helping.
Contracts.for.Excellence..Another.                abuse.investigation.is.not.deemed.                New.York’s.low-income,.working.
part.of.this.new.accountability.will.be.          necessary..This.alternative.approach.             families.achieve.financial.security...
the.release.of.annual.School.Leader-              allows.families.to.be.assigned.to.an.             In.2007,.the.governor.established.an.
ship.Report.Cards,.which.will.track.              assessment.track,.providing.services.             Economic.Security.Cabinet.to.bring.
the.performance.of.principals.and.                truly.focused.on.the.strengths.of.the.            together.17.state.agencies.to.provide.
superintendents.and.create.an.                    family..The.approach,.currently.                  new.focus.on.his.agenda,.specifically.
assessment.system.to.track.each.                  adopted.to.some.degree.in.nearly.half.            charged.with:
individual.student’s.progress..The.               of.states.across.the.country,.engages.
schools.received.an.additional.$1.1.              family.members.in.a.nonadversarial.               H. Reducing.New.York’s.high.cost..
billion.in.2007-2008,.with.the.funding.           process.that.deters.child.abuse.and.                 of.living;
boost.projected.to.rise.to.$5.5.billion.          neglect.and.the.need.for.family.
by.2010-2011..                                    interventions,.reducing.the.recur-                H. Establishing.educational.and.work-
                                                  rence.of.child.maltreatment..Six.                    force.development.opportunities;
The.governor.also.signed.the.Healthy.             counties.have.expressed.interest.in.
Schools.Act,.which.would.require.                 offering.the.approach..OCFS.has.                  H. Improving.services.that.target.
nutrition.to.be.a.crucial.element.of.             targeted.implementation.of.the.Family.               low-income.working.New.Yorkers.
education.throughout.New.York’s.                  Assessment.Response.for.June.1,.2008.                at-risk.of.falling.into.the.social.
public.education.systems..The.new.                                                                     safety.net;.and
law.requires.that.meals.served.at.                In.2007,.the.governor.requested.
schools.be.free.of.trans.fats,.and.meet.          increased.accountability.in.state.                H. Bringing.back.jobs.into.New.
limits.on.sodium.and.cholesterol..                funding.contracts..As.a.result,.OCFS.                York’s.communities..
Similar.to.the.measure.that.passed.in.            requires.all.preventive.contracts.to.
New.Jersey,.all.food.sold.at.schools.             include.outcome-based.provisions..
                                                                                                                        continued on next page
will.have.limits.on.the.amount.of.fat,.           The.2007-2008.budget.included..


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                         79
New York (continued)
The.governor’s.economic.security.              Looking.to.address.family.poverty,.
agenda.includes.a.Working.Families.            the.governor.signed.legislation.to..
Food.Stamp.Initiative,.as.mentioned.           create.New.York.City’s.first.local.
above,.with.a.goal.of.increasing.access.       refundable.tax.credit.for.child.care.
to.food.stamps.for.working.families.           expenses..An.estimated.49,000.families.
by.simplifying.the.barriers.to.entry.          in.New.York.City.with.incomes.up.to.
and.streamlining.the.application.              $30,000.annually.are.set.to.benefit,.
process..The.goal.of.this.initiative.is.       with.a.maximum.$1,000.city.tax.credit.
to.enroll.100,000.additional.working.          per.family..The.new.initiative.will.
families..The.United.States.Depart-            work.in.conjunction.with.existing.
ment.of.Agriculture.gave.approval.to.          state.and.federal.child.care.tax.credits..
New.York.to.waive.some.enrollment.
requirements,.such.as.having.to.have.          The.governor’s.economic.security.
a.face-to-face.interview,.and.allowed.         agenda.also.includes.funds.for.
enrollment.online..This.initiative.is.         affordable.housing.and.use.of.a.debit.
part.of.the.newly.formed.Council.on.           card.to.access.child.support.payments,.
Food.Policy.that.will.coordinate.              again.for.New.York.City.families..H
policies.promoting.agriculture,.health.
and.nutrition.

The.governor.also.proposed.the.Paid.
Family.Leave.Act,.offering.12.weeks.
of.paid.leave.for.parents.with.a.new.
child.and.for.people.caring.for.a.
seriously.ill.family.member..Although.
the.bill.did.not.pass.in.the.2007.
session,.it.remains.part.of.the.governor’s.
economic.security.agenda.

In.May,.Governor.Spitzer.established.
the.Commission.on.Higher.Education.
to.study.potential.changes.to.the.
state’s.public.higher.education.system..
The.commission.delivered.its.
preliminary.report.in.December..It.
contained.several.proposals.that.
would.aid.adult.students.with.children,.
notably,.full.funding.for.community.
colleges;.funding.for.noncredit.courses.
primarily.used.by.adult.students;.and.
investment.in.2,000.new.full-time.
faculty.at.City.University.of.New.York.
and.the.State.University.of.New.York.




80                             Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
North Carolina                                                                                                                   NC


  While.there.were.substantial.accomplishments.in.2007,.Action.for.Children.North.Carolina.also.reports.
  that.significant.work.remains.in.2008.due.to.legislation.that.did.not.gain.approval..These.include.proposals.
  that.would.raise.the.age.of.jurisdiction.for.juvenile.court.from.16.to.18,.the.prohibition.of.corporal.pun-
  ishment.in.schools,.upgrading.the.criminal.penalty.from.a.misdemeanor.to.a.felony.charge.for.caretakers.
  who.willfully.put.youth.in.danger,.and.efforts.to.redefine.school.bullying.that.allow.school.systems.to.adopt.
  policies.for.greater.prevention.of.bullying..




Supporting healthy                                The.2007.budget.provides.an.addi-                 The.Legislature.also.approved.$11.7.
Development                                       tional.$56.million.for.the.More.at.               million.to.fund.Learn.and.Earn.Online,.
                                                  Four.program—allowing.an.additional.              enabling.all.416.high.schools.across.the.
North.Carolina.continues.to.make.
                                                  10,000.young.children.to.attend.high-             state.to.utilize.web-based.technology.
providing.health.coverage.for.children.
                                                  quality.pre-kindergarten..Children.of.            to.allow.students.to.participate.in.
a.priority..In.2007,.$7.5.million.was.
                                                  deployed.military.families.are.now.also.          community.college.and.university.
approved.for.the.NC.Kids’.Care.
                                                  eligible.to.participate.in.the.program..          courses.while.still.in.high.school..
program,.allowing.38,000.children.
from.families.between.200.and.300.
                                                  More.child.care.slots.will.soon.be.               For.students.continuing.on.to.a.North.
percent.of.the.Federal.Poverty.Level.
                                                  available,.as.the.governor.has.approved.          Carolina.public.university,.an.additional.
(FPL).to.gain.access.to.health.care..
                                                  $8.4.million.in.funding.to.allow.for.             $100.million.scholarship.program.is.
                                                  over.1,500.additional.child.care.                 available.for.low-income.families..
North.Carolina.joined.the.growing.
                                                  subsidies..                                       The.Education.Access.Rewards.
ranks.of.states.in.opting.to.take.
                                                                                                    North.Carolina.Scholars.Fund.
advantage.of.federal.authority.to.
                                                                                                    provides.eligible.students.in.families.
provide.Medicaid.coverage.for.former.             School Success:
                                                                                                    with.incomes.below.200.percent.of.
foster.youth.until.the.age.of.21..                Focus on K-2                                     the.FPL.with.$4,000.per.year.for.two.
                                                  According.to.VOICES’.member,.                     years.of.college..This,.combined.with.
School readiness:                                 Action.for.Children.North.Carolina,.              the.potential.use.of.Learn.and.Earn,.
Focus on Early Care                               the.state.will.be.able.to.open.an.                federal.Pell.Grants.and.income.from.
and Education                                     additional.nine.Learn.and.Earn.                   part-time.employment,.will.provide.
                                                  centers.as.a.result.of.$3.1.million.              the.opportunity.for.a.student.to.
Governor.Michael.Easley.(D).has.                  approved.by.the.legislature..The.                 graduate.from.college.debt-free..
continued.efforts.to.make.North.                  Learn.and.Earn.program.allows.
Carolina.a.national.leader.in.education.          students.to.gain.a.high.school.diploma.           The.state.is.also.seeking.to.keep.the.
and.seeks.to.provide.the.opportunity.             and.two.years.of.college.credit.in.only.          best.educators.within.its.borders.by.
for.every.child.in.the.state.to.gain.a.           five.years.of.academic.study..The.new.            providing.a.5.percent.salary.increase.
quality.education,.from.pre-kinder-               appropriation.allows.for.a.total.of.70.           for.all.public.school.teachers,.
garten.through.college,.debt-free...              Learn.and.Earn.centers.across.the.                community.college.instructors.and.
In.2007,.the.state.took.several.crucial.          state.by.the.fall.of.2008..                       university.professors..
steps.toward.achieving.this.goal..
                                                                                                                       continued on next page



F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                         8
North Carolina (continued)
Child Safety: Protections
Against Abuse, Neglect,
Exploitation and Violence
The.state.is.also.seeking.a.greater.
focus.on.allowing.former.foster.youth.
to.obtain.permanency.by.expanding.
on.the.supports.available.for.that.
population.to.attend.higher.education..
Lawmakers.appropriated.$3.3.million.
to.allow.college.tuition.waivers.for.
former.foster.youth..


Economic Stability:
An investment in the Future
The.state.enacted.a.$48.million.
expansion.to.the.state.Earned.Income.
Tax.Credit,.allowing.an.additional.
800,000.individuals.to.benefit.from.
this.critical.program.to.lift.children.
out.of.poverty.and.provide.needed.
support.to.working.families..H




82                          Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
North Dakota                                                                                                                   ND


  Governor.John.Hoeven.(R).maintained.his.commitment.to.revising.the.school.funding.formula.in.2007,.
  while.also.providing.greater.higher.education.supports.and.increasing.the.state.minimum.wage..VOICES.
  member.North.Dakota.KIDS.COUNT.remains.committed.to.improving.child.well-being.by.addressing.
  children.at.risk,.child.care,.economics,.education,.family.supports,.health.care.and.the.state’s.child.population.




Supporting healthy                                     receive.equity.payments.under.the.           Department.of.Career.and.Technical.
Development                                            new.formula.have.fewer.than.500.             Education..Over.$3.million.was.made.
                                                       students.                                    available.for.grants.to.high.schools.
Under.legislation.enacted.in.2007,.
                                                                                                    for.centers.in.parts.of.the.state.that.
the.Department.of.Human.Services.is.
                                                  H. Per.student.payments,.providing.               are.not.currently.served.as.well.for.
set.to.implement.a.Medicaid.coverage.
                                                     $3,250.per.student.in.2007-2008.               career.and.technical.education.pro-
program.allowing.families.with.
                                                     education.allocations.and.$3,325.              grams.such.as.welding,.automotive.
incomes.up.to.200.percent.of.the.
                                                     for.2008-2009;                                 technology,.marketing.education,.
Federal.Poverty.Level.to.buy.into.
                                                                                                    business.and.office,.and.agriculture..
Medicaid..Additionally,.$2.7.million.
                                                  H. Special.education.funding,.
is.now.available.to.provide.in-home.
                                                     increasing.funding.by.$8.million;
services.to.children.with.medical.                                                                  Economic Stability
needs.otherwise.requiring.hospitaliza-                                                              Following.through.on.a.commitment.
                                                  H. Early.childhood.education,.
tion.or.nursing.home.care..                                                                         made.in.his.state.of.the.state.address,.
                                                     providing.$5.million.to.allow..
                                                     for.the.first.statewide.funding.for.           Governor.Hoeven.finalized.legislation.
School Success:                                      all-day.kindergarten;.and                      increasing.higher.education.services.
Focus on K-2                                                                                       by.$89.million,.bringing.total.higher.
                                                  H. English.language.education,.                   education.funding.to.$633.million..The.
North.Dakota’s.students.are.set.to.                                                                 23.percent.increase.from.2006.funding.
                                                     increasing.funding.by.10.percent.
benefit.from.a.landmark.K-12.education.                                                             allows.for.the.state.to.freeze.tuition.
                                                     for.non-native.English.speakers.
bill.that.reforms.the.state’s.funding.                                                              increases.for.the.next.two.years,.with.
allocation.to.provide.an.additional.                                                                additional.support.for.ongoing.mainte-
$90.million.to.achieve.greater.equity.            Nearly.$22.million.was.provided.to.
                                                  enhance.North.Dakota’s.career.and.                nance.and.technology.costs..An.
in.education.funding..Key.provisions.                                                               additional.$3.million.also.is.to.be.pro-
of.the.legislation.include:                       technical.skills.programs.in.order.to.
                                                  adjust.to.new.jobs.that.a.growing.                vided.for.workforce.training.grants.to.
                                                  economy.has.created..A.29.percent.                postsecondary.schools.for.programs.
H. Equity.for.all.students,.by.providing.                                                           that.meet.critical.workforce.needs.
                                                  increase.($4.9.million).made.this.the.
   for.all.schools.to.be.at.90.percent.
                                                  largest.increase.since.the.mid-1970s,.
   of.the.statewide.average.in.funding.                                                             An.increase.in.the.state.minimum.
                                                  when.the.Career.and.Technical.Centers.
   by.2009,.requiring.a.minimum.                                                                    wage.from.$5.15.to.$5.80.per.hour.
                                                  were.created..This.effort.is.part.of.a.
   increase.in.funding.of.3.5.percent.                                                              became.effective.in.spring.2007..
                                                  total.$8.million.increase.in.workforce.
   for.each.student.in.2008.and.6.                                                                  Another.increase.up.to.$6.55.is.slated.
                                                  training.funds.coordinated.between.
   percent.by.2009.to.help.transition.                                                              for.2008..By.March.4,.2009,.the.state.
                                                  K-12.education,.the.university.system,.
   schools.to.the.new.formula..Nearly.                                                              minimum.wage.will.be.set.at.$7.25.
                                                  the.Commerce.Department,.Job.
   60.percent.of.the.districts.that.                                                                per.hour..H
                                                  Services.of.North.Dakota,.and.the.


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                       83
ohio                                                                                                                   OH


  Governor.Ted.Strickland.(D).continues.to.make.children.and.families.a.priority,.and.in.2007.called.for.
  expansion.of.the.federal.State.Children’s.Health.Insurance.Program;.a.concentrated.focus.on.a.quality,.
  holistic.approach.to.early.education;.and.strengthened.supports.to.be.available.for.children.in.foster.care,.
  while.also.addressing.the.disproportionate.representation.of.children.of.color.in.care..Voices.for.Ohio’s.
  Children.served.as.the.leader.in.championing.much.of.the.2007.victories.in.the.state..




Supporting healthy                          250.percent.of.the.FPL.with.special.          School readiness:
Development                                 needs.who.have.been.turned.down.for.          Focus on Early Care
                                            care.by.other.insurance.programs.             and Education
Governor.Ted.Strickland.(D).followed.
through.on.a.top.priority.of.his.first.                                                   Many.of.the.proposals.offered.by.the.
                                            On.a.positive.note,.former.foster.
state.of.the.state.address.by.signing.a.                                                  governor.during.his.state.of.the.state.
                                            youth.from.ages.18.to.21.now.have.
budget.package.that.would.have.                                                           address.on.the.need.for.early.invest-
                                            access.to.health.coverage.funded.
extended.health.insurance.coverage.to.                                                    ments.in.education.gained.strong.
                                            through.Medicaid..Expectant.mothers.
children.from.families.with.incomes.                                                      support.from.the.Legislature..Accord-
                                            also.will.have.greater.access.to.health.
up.to.300.percent.of.the.Federal.                                                         ing.to.Voices.for.Ohio’s.Children,.a.
                                            services,.as.eligibility.was.expanded.
Poverty.Level.(FPL).under.the.federal.                                                    key.victory.included.increasing.the.
                                            from.150.to.200.percent.of.the.FPL..
State.Children’s.Health.Insurance.                                                        eligibility.level.for.the.state’s.highly.
                                            The.expansion.will.provide.an.additional.
Program..This.increase.in.health.care.                                                    popular.Early.Learning.Initiative.
                                            3,800.mothers.with.access.prenatal.care..
services.from.200.to.300.percent.                                                         (ELI),.which.provides.at-risk.children.
($62,000.for.a.family.of.four).was.                                                       with.comprehensive.early.intervention.
                                            Early.mental.health.services.gained.
expected.to.enroll.another.32,000.                                                        resources.and.services.designed.to.
                                            $2.5.million.for.services.in.2008,..
children.by.2009..Families.earning.                                                       allow.for.future.school.success..
                                            with.another.$500,000.available.for.
greater.than.300.percent.of.the.FPL.                                                      Beginning.in.2009,.eligibility.for.ELI.
                                            behavioral.treatment.from.birth.to.
with.special.needs.children.who.                                                          and.support.for.child.care.will.increase.
                                            age.7..Under.the.expansion.of.the.
currently.do.not.have.health.insurance.                                                   to.200.percent.of.the.FPL..The.state.
                                            Help.Me.Grow.program,.early.
coverage.would.have.been.able.to.                                                         will.also.seek.the.development.of.a.
                                            intervention.services.for.autism.
purchase.coverage.directly.from.the.                                                      sustained.funding.stream.for.early.
                                            increased.by.$800,000.in.2007..
state..An.estimated.20,000.uninsured.                                                     care.and.education.activities..
children.would.have.benefited.from.
                                            An.investment.of.$1.5.million.was.put.
this.opportunity..                                                                        Ohio’s.voluntary.early.education.quality.
                                            into.behavioral.health.services.to.divert.
                                                                                          rating.system,.Step.Up.To.Quality,.
                                            youth.from.being.placed.in.juvenile.
Sadly,.the.federal.Centers.for.Medicare.                                                  received.$12.5.million.for.the.fiscal.
                                            justice.facilities.
and.Medicaid.Services.denied.Ohio’s.                                                      year.to.ensure.that.the.state.programs.
waiver.to.expand.the.program..Ohio.                                                       for.the.youngest.children.meet.high.
has.recently.submitted.another.waiver.                                                    standards.for.performance.beyond.
to.cover.children.up.to.250.percent.of.                                                   minimum.health.and.safety.licensing.
poverty,.and.is.planning.to.design.a.                                                     requirements..
“buy-in”.program.for.children.above.                                                                          continued on next page



84                          Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
ohio (continued)
The.Legislature.approved.a.nearly.                number.of.state.regional.coordinators.            State.supports.were.also.made.available.
$30.million.increase.for.3-.and.4-year-           charged.with.providing.technical.                 to.assist.counties.in.achieving.accredi-
old.children.to.access.early.childhood.           assistance.for.coaching,.mentoring.               tation.for.their.child.welfare.programs..
education.services,.with.greater.                 and.additional.training.for.child.
outreach.and.supports.for.state.public.           caregivers..
                                                                                                    Economic Stability:
preschools..
                                                                                                    An investment in the Future
                                                  School Success:                                   The.governor.signed.legislation.that.
Over.$24.million.was.added.for.the.
Help.Me.Grow.program,.which.
                                                  Focus on K-2                                     increases.investments.in.higher.
provides.services.for.expectant.                  Along.with.meeting.the.early.education.           education.by.freezing.tuition.and.pro-
parents,.newborns,.infants.and.toddlers.          needs.for.children.in.Ohio,.the.state.            vides.greater.opportunities.for.youth.
to.promote.sound.health.and.devel-                is.also.making.an.investment.for.older.           to.gain.college.credit.while.still.in.
opmental.growth.for.children.and.                 youth..Governor.Strickland.maintains.             high.school.through.the.“senior.to.
families..In.2007,.counties.received.a.           his.commitment.to.increasing.by.                  sophomore”.program..H
12.percent.inflation.increase,.allowing.          230,000.within.10.years.the.number.
for.an.additional.$450.per.child.to.be.           of.Ohioans.earning.a.college.degree..
allocated.for.services..Under.the.new.            The.FY2008.budget.nearly.doubles.
plan,.all.counties.will.receive.a.minimum.        the.Ohio.College.Opportunity.Grant.
of.$130,000.for.the.provision.of.these.           funding.tuition.assistance.for.low-.to.
vital.developmental.services..                    moderate-income.families..The.current.
                                                  program.allows.support.for.families.
State.home.visiting-based.services.               earning.up.to.$75,000.to.access.
will.now.have.the.opportunity.to.                 higher.education.at.state.universities.
enhance.their.quality.of.services,.as.            and.colleges.
providing.agencies.will.now.receive.
$28.per.visit,.increasing.to.$40.per.
                                                  Child Safety: Protections
visit.beginning.in.Fiscal.Year.2009..
                                                  Against Abuse, Neglect,
To.ensure.that.children.of.preschool.
                                                  Exploitation and Violence
age.are.receiving.high-quality.                   For.the.first.time.in.20.years,.adoption.
instruction.and.care,.the.state.expanded.         assistance.for.special.needs.children.
licensing.requirements.to.mandate.                was.increased.for.over.6,000.children.
that.all.teachers.have.an.associate’s.            in.Ohio..Additionally,.$18.million.was.
degree.by.July.1,.2011..In.addition,.             invested.in.child.protection.services.
half.of.all.early.childhood.education.            to.support.prevention.and.upfront.
teachers.must.have.obtained.a.                    services.for.families,.foster.care.and.
bachelor’s.degree.in.early.education.             kinship.care..Temporary.Assistance.
or.related.fields..                               for.Needy.Families.funds.were.used.
                                                  for.child-only.adoption.recruitment.
The.Legislature.approved.a.measure.               (with.a.specific.emphasis.on.addressing.
that.doubles.the.number.of.state.                 the.disproportionate.representation.
infant.and.toddler.specialists..This.             of.children.of.color).and.kinship.care.
expansion.brings.to.24.the.total.                 supports.serving.over.2,300.children..




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                         85
oklahoma                                                                                                                OK


  Oklahoma. Governor. Brad. Henry. (D). championed. many. victories. in. 2007,. with. the. highlights. being.
  greater.access.for.health.care.and.early.education.opportunities.for.children..VOICES’.member,.the.Oklahoma.
  Institute.for.Child.Advocacy,.continues.its.leadership.in.advocating.for.strengthening.the.supports.available.
  for.the.state’s.children.and.families..




Supporting healthy                           families.determined.to.be.unable.to.          dependent.on.the.annual.appropria-
Development                                  consistently.meet.their.basic.nutri-          tions.process,.the.new.decision.estab-
                                             tional.needs.                                 lishes.a.sustained.funding.stream.for..
Oklahoma.joined.the.national.
                                                                                           a.crucial.higher.education.support.
movement.to.provide.greater.access.
                                                                                           serving.Oklahoma.students..
to.quality.health.care.for.low-income.       School readiness:
children.by.enacting.the.All.Kids.Act..      Focus on Early Care
The.initiative,.championed.by.               and Education                                 Child Safety: Protections
Governor.Henry.in.his.state.of.the.
                                             According.to.the.Oklahoma.Institute.
                                                                                           Against Abuse, Neglect,
state.address.and.dependent.on.federal.
                                             for.Child.Advocacy,.Oklahoma.                 Exploitation and Violence
approval,.allows.42,000.children.to.
                                             continues.its.strong.focus.on.early.          To.ensure.that.all.children.are.safe.
gain.access.to.the.state’s.Medicaid.
                                             education.opportunities..Building.on.         from.abuse,.the.state’s.definition.of.
program.by.expanding.the.eligibility.
                                             the.success.of.the.pre-kindergarten.          child.neglect.was.modified.to.better.
level.from.185.to.300.percent.of.the.
                                             program.known.as.Educare,.the.state.          address.caretakers.failing.to.provide.
Federal.Poverty.Level..
                                             now.has.allocated.$5.million.to.provide.      adequate.supervision..In.order.to.
                                             educational,.health.and.social.services.      provide.maltreated.children.with.safe.
To.ensure.that.students.receive.physical.
                                             to.low-income.children.age.5.and.             and.effective.advocates.in.court,.all.
education.at.school,.the.Legislature.
                                             younger..The.state.is.set.to.private.         court-appointed.special.advocates.now.
clarified.existing.statute.to.guarantee.
                                             receive.matching.funds.that.will.             are.required.to.undergo.criminal.
that.elementary.students.are.provided.
                                             support.the.initiative.                       background.checks..
at.least.60.minutes.of.physical.activity.
during.the.course.of.the.week..This.
                                                                                           The.approved.state.budget.also.includes.
requirement.modifies.legislation.            School Success:
                                                                                           $3.million.to.advance.the.governor’s.
passed.in.2005.and.further.stipulates.       Focus on K-2                                 “Smart.on.Crime.Initiative”,.which.
that.recess.time.cannot.be.included.in.
                                             The.highly.popular.Oklahoma.                  will.fund.mental.health.and.juvenile.
meeting.this.requirement..
                                             Higher.Learning.Access.Program.               drug.courts;.institute.alternatives.to.
                                             (OHLAP),.also.known.as.“Oklahoma’s.           incarceration;.and.allow.for.effective.
The.Legislature.also.established.the.        Promise,”.has.gained.a.permanent.             treatment.programs.for.low-level,.
Oklahoma.Task.Force.on.Hunger.to.            source.of.funding.from.state.general.         non-violent.criminal.offenders..
develop.a.comprehensive.approach.to.         revenues..OHLAP.provides.students.
delivering.additional.support.from.          with.incomes.of.less.than.$50,000.            Working.to.keep.communities.safe,.
public.and.private.investments,.to.          access.to.free.college.tuition.within.        Governor.Henry.signed.legislation.
enhance.the.services.currently.provided.     the.state..The.program.has.grown.             creating.the.Anti-Gang.Task.Force.
and.to.develop.recommendations.for.          from.2,000.scholarships.awarded.in.
greater.supports.for.children.and.                                                                             continued on next page
                                             2005.to.15,000.for.2007..Previously.


86                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
oklahoma (continued)
and.establishing.the.Oklahoma.Youth.
and.Gang.Violence.Coordinating.
Council..The.task.force.is.charged.
with.streamlining.anti-gang.initiatives.
and.determining.the.most.effective.
methods.to.address.gang.violence..
The.commission.will.examine.whether.
or.not.arrested.juvenile.gang.members.
should.be.transferred.to.the.Office.of.
Juvenile.Affairs.for.participation.in.
intervention.programs.that.are.more.
appropriate.for.their.age..


Economic Stability:
An investment in the Future
Students.entering.grade.7.at.the.start.
of.the.2008-2009.school.year.will.now.
have.to.complete.financial.literacy.
courses.before.they.can.graduate..
Designed.to.give.students.a.broad.
introduction.to.practical.and.personal.
economics,.the.financial.literacy.
education.will.include.an.understanding.
of.interest.and.credit.cards;.the.
responsibilities.related.to.renting.or.
buying.a.home;.the.importance.of.
savings.and.investing;.retirement.
planning;.bankruptcy;.how.to.balance.
a.checkbook;.financial.loans,.including.
predatory.lending.and.payday.loans;.
various.types.of.insurance;.identity.
fraud.and.theft;.charitable.giving;.the.
impact.of.gambling;.earning.an.
income;.and.understanding.state.and.
federal.taxes..H




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   87
oregon                                                                                                                  OR


  Governor.Ted.Kulongoski.(D).championed.efforts.to.dramatically.increase.health.care.coverage.availability.
  in.the.state.in.2007,.while.also.addressing.childhood.obesity,.child.abuse.prevention,.and.early.education.
  supports..VOICES.member.Children.First.for.Oregon.strongly.supported.the.health.care,.early.education.
  and.child.welfare.initiatives..




Supporting healthy                           minimum.weight.of.20.pounds—to.               School readiness:
Development                                  ride.in.a.rear-facing.infant.seat..For.       Focus on Early Care
                                             children.over.the.age.of.1.and.weighing.      and Education
A.top.priority.for.Governor.Kulon-
                                             between.20.and.40.pounds,.the.
goski.and.for.the.legislative.leaders.                                                     According.to.Children.First.for.Oregon,.
                                             statute.remains.unchanged,.requiring.
coming.into.2007.was.to.expand.                                                            an.additional.$39.million.available.
                                             them.to.sit.in.a.forward-facing.child.
“affordable,.accessible.health.care.for.                                                   from.new.revenue.gained.will.allow.
                                             safety.seat..Booster.seats.are.also.now.
Oregon’s.children.”.The.Healthy.                                                           3,000.more.children.to.have.access.to.
                                             required.for.all.children.over.40.
Kids.legislation.signed.by.the.governor.                                                   Head.Start..
                                             pounds.or.younger.than.age.8..
in.July.called.for.increases.to.state.
health.coverage.for.children.up.to.                                                        Another.$40.million.is.now.available.
                                             Targeting.child.obesity,.Oregon.has.
300.percent.of.the.Federal.Poverty.                                                        to.strengthen.the.Employment-Related.
                                             established.school.nutrition.standards.
Level.(FPL),.reaching.out.to.nearly.                                                       Day.Care.Program.to.allow.the.
                                             for.all.meals.and.beverages.sold.in.
100,000.children.without.health.                                                           restoration.of.income.eligibility.levels.
                                             schools,.beginning.with.the.2008-
coverage..Also.included.in.the.measure.                                                    to.185.percent.of.the.FPL..The.new.
                                             2009.school.year..The.measure.
were.initiatives.to.target.youth.                                                          funds.will.also.increase.provider.
                                             restricts.the.amount.of.total.calories.
tobacco.use.prevention.efforts,.and.                                                       reimbursement.to.75.percent.of.the.
                                             available.at.the.elementary,.middle.
the.expansion.of.community.health.                                                         market.rate..
                                             and.high.school.levels,.and.only.
centers.and.clinics.across.the.state..
                                             allows.foods.sold.to.have.up.to.0.5.

The.new.funding.for.the.program.
                                             percent.of.trans.fat..For.students.in.        School Success:
                                             grades.K-5,.the.only.available.               Focus on K-2
was.to.come.from.an.84.5-cent.
                                             beverages.will.be.water,.fruit.or.
increase.in.the.tobacco.tax,.making.                                                       The.Legislature.expanded.the.
                                             vegetable.juice,.or.milk..Similar.
Oregon.one.of.the.states.with.the.                                                         governor’s.initial.request.for.K-12.
                                             restrictions.apply.for.middle.and.high.
highest.tobacco.taxes.in.the.country.                                                      education.by.over.$200.million,.
                                             schools,.with.appropriate.adjustments.
at.over.$3.00..The.effort,.known.as.                                                       bringing.total.funding.over.the.next.
                                             made.for.the.size.of.the.beverage..
Ballot.Measure.50,.was.defeated—59.                                                        two.years.to.$6.25.billion..This.
percent.against.41.percent.in.favor—.                                                      represents.an.18.percent.increase.
                                             An.additional.$2.million.is.available.
during.the.November.state.elections.                                                       from.2005-2007.allotments..
                                             for.the.expansion.of.school-based.
and.will.not.go.into.effect..
                                             health.centers.for.six.new.counties..
                                                                                           Gaining.unanimous.approval.in.both.
                                             School-based.health.centers.are.a.
A.strengthening.of.the.state.child.                                                        legislative.chambers,.the.governor.
                                             cost-effective.way.to.deliver.quality.
booster.seat.law.took.effect.on.July.1,.                                                   signed.a.package.creating.a.mentoring.
                                             comprehensive.primary.and.preventive.
2007,.requiring.all.infants—from.
                                             care.to.children.and.youth..
birth.until.their.first.birthday.or..                                                                          continued on next page


88                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
oregon (continued)
program.for.Oregon.teachers.and.                  Other.legislative.victories.include:.             Economic Stability:
school.administrators..The.mentoring.             $4.8.million.available.to.support.                An investment in the Future
program.as.approved.will.provide.                 kinship.care.providers.for.children.in.
                                                                                                    Through.a.revamp.of.the.state’s.
direct.classroom.consultation,.aid.in.            out-of-home.care.and.a.dedicated.$10.
                                                                                                    Temporary.Assistance.to.Needy.
planning.and.preparation,.and.guidance.           million.of.new.funds.to.address.the.
                                                                                                    Families.(TANF).program,.$28.5.
for.providing.classroom.instruction..             mental.health.and.substance.treatment.
                                                                                                    million.was.added.to.strengthen.
                                                  for.parents.of.children.involved.in.the.
                                                                                                    initial.assessment,.ensuring.families.
Following.a.trend.throughout.other.               child.welfare.system..
                                                                                                    facing.multiple.barriers.will.gain.the.
states,.Oregon.school.districts.in.2008.
                                                                                                    supports.needed.for.success..These.
will.begin.phasing.out.high-sugar,.               Requirements.are.now.in.place.to.
                                                                                                    new.funds.will.allow.increased.access.
high-fat.junk.food.and.soda.in.favor.             increase.efforts.to.keep.siblings.united,.
                                                                                                    to.higher.education.and.greater.
of.healthier.snacks.                              whenever.possible,.and.for.caseworkers.
                                                                                                    supports.to.help.TANF.recipients.
                                                  to.document.more.accurately.face-to-
                                                                                                    successfully.transition.into.the.
                                                  face.visits.with.children,.along.with.
Child Safety: Protections                                                                           workforce.by.providing.health.care.
                                                  monitoring.their.educational.outcomes..
Against Abuse, Neglect,                                                                             and.child.care.assistance..
Exploitation and Violence                         The.Department.of.Human.Services.
                                                                                                    Seeking.to.improve.access.for.higher.
Working.to.improve.the.state’s.                   created.the.Child.Safety.Workgroup.
                                                                                                    education.programs.in.the.state,.the.
response.to.investigations.of.child.              to.develop.recommendations.for.
                                                                                                    Legislature.approved.the.governor’s.
abuse,.and.the.outcomes.of.children.              protecting.children.from.abuse.and.
                                                                                                    $87.million.increase.for.the.Oregon.
entering.out-of-home.care,.the.                   neglect..The.goals.of.the.working.
                                                                                                    University.System,.while.also.
governor.approved.several.pieces.of.              group,.required.to.make.recommen-
                                                                                                    revitalizing.the.Oregon.Opportunity.
legislation.to.enhance.child.welfare.             dations.by.May.2008,.include:
                                                                                                    Grant..This.new.“shared.responsibility”.
service.delivery..Among.the.new.
                                                                                                    approach.to.the.financing.of.the.state’s.
measures.are.provisions.that.require.             H. Reducing.the.number.of.child.
                                                                                                    higher.education.would.distribute.the.
the.development.of.a.permanency.                     abuse.and.neglect.cases;
                                                                                                    cost.of.higher.education.evenly.between.
plan.prior.to.a.judicial.decree.of.
                                                                                                    students.and.state.and.federal.aid..
termination.of.parental.rights;.identify.         H. Improving.family.stability;
                                                                                                    Students.would.be.responsible.for.half.
relatives.as.a.preferred.placement.
                                                                                                    of.the.cost,.with.other.federal.supports.
option.when.children.must.enter.out-              H. Reducing.foster.care.entry.by.
                                                                                                    coming.from.Pell.grants.and.tax.
of-home.care;.require.the.state.child.               improving.in-home.and.relative.
                                                                                                    credits..The.state.would.assume.the.
welfare.agency.to.notify.a.child’s.                  support.networks;.and
                                                                                                    remaining.portion..H
representing.attorney,.court-appointed.
special.advocate,.and.the.parent.when.            H. Ensuring.that.children.entering.
there.is.a.report.of.abuse.for.the.child.            foster.care.live.in.a.safe,.support-
currently.placed.within.state.custody;.              ive.and.healthy.environment.
strengthen.the.available.communica-
tions.between.the.Department.of.
Human.Services.and.the.Legislature.
through.regular.reporting.standards;.
and.establish.a.legislative.“sensitive.
review.committee”.to.provide.oversight.
of.department.practice.and.polices.in.
child.abuse.and.neglect..


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                         89
Pennsylvania                                                                                                            PA


  Governor.Edward.Rendell.(D),.in.his.2007.state.of.the.state.address,.set.priorities.to.provide.full-day.kin-
  dergarten.to.65.percent.of.all.eligible.students,.and.was.successful.in.this.effort.after.obtaining.the.requested.
  $25.million.in.funding..He.further.proved.his.commitment.to.education.by.establishing.a.number.of.pro-
  grams.and.securing.close.to.$140.million.in.funding.for.these.various.programs.to.better.the.education.of.
  the.state’s.children..The.governor.also.showed.much.support.for.the.safety.and.healthy.development.of.
  children.through.a.number.of.early.intervention.and.healthcare.initiatives.that.he.successfully.implemented.
  in.the.state..VOICES’.members,.Pennsylvania.Partnerships.for.Children.and.Public.Citizens.for.Children.
  &.Youth,.remain.the.leading.champions.for.child.and.family.services.throughout.the.state..




Addressing Equity:                           The.governor’s.enacted.budget.                Insurers.in.the.state.are.now.required.
Narrowing Societal gaps                      includes.$99.million.in.state.funds.          to.cover.up.to.$36,000.per.year.for.
                                             combined.with.$212.5.million.in.              autism.services..This.action.is.expected.
Pennsylvania’s.Bureau.of.Special.
                                             federal.funds.for.Cover.All.Kids,.            to.save.state.taxpayers.millions.of.
Education.was.awarded.a.five-year.
                                             Pennsylvania’s.SCHIP..Together,.these.        dollars.that.were.paid.from.the.Medical.
federal.grant,.which.will.allocate.$1.4.
                                             funds.will.provide.access.to.affordable,.     Assistance.program..Additionally,.the.
million.annually.to.help.prepare.and.
                                             comprehensive.health.care.coverage.           Department.of.Public.Welfare,.
retain.teaching.and.support.staff.for.
                                             for.175,000.children,.a.10.percent.           acknowledging.the.increase.in.the.
students.with.disabilities.
                                             enrollment.increase.from.2006.                number.of.families.supporting.a.loved.
                                                                                           one.with.autism,.made.100.additional.
Supporting healthy                           A.20.percent.increase.in.state.funds.         mini-grants.available.to.these.families..
Development                                  from.$244.to.$292.8.million.will.             Under.these.grants,.families.could.
                                             allow.76,325.eligible.at-risk.infants,.       receive.up.to.$500.to.be.used.for.
In.July,.Governor.Rendell.signed.
                                             toddlers,.and.children.up.to.age.5.           support.services.and.activities.such.as.
legislation.improving.Pennsylvanians’.
                                             with.developmental.delays.through.            child.care,.summer.camp/recreation.
access.to.dental.care..Under.the.new.
                                             the.state’s.Early.Intervention.program..      programs,.or.home.modifications...
law,.public.health.dental.hygiene.
                                             These.state-provided.services.minimize.
practitioners.will.be.allowed.to.provide.
                                             the.need.for.special.education.and.
services.within.their.current.scope.of.                                                    School readiness:
                                             related.services,.and.help.families.
practice—,in.specific.institutions.that.
                                             meet.the.unique.needs.of.their.
                                                                                           Focus on Early Care
include.schools,.mobile.dental.units.
                                             children..Early.Intervention.offers.          and Education
and.correctional.facilities—without.
                                             programs.for.children.from.birth.             Pre-K.Counts,.the.state’s.pre-
the.supervision.of.a.dentist..This.law.
                                             through.the.age.of.entry.into.school..        kindergarten.program,.received.full.
enables.the.children.in.the.Common-
                                             Program.services.are.targeted.to.the.         funding.in.the.amount.of.$75.million,.
wealth.who.are.covered.under.the.
                                             education.and.physical.needs.of.              allowing.11,000.new.3-.and.4-year-
federal.State.Children’s.Health.Insur-
                                             children.with.development.delays.or.          old.children.starting.in.the.2008-09.
ance.Program.(SCHIP).or.Medicaid.
                                             disabilities..Additionally,.programs.         school.year.to.participate.in.the.high-
to.have.better.access.to.routine.
                                             are.designed.to.assist.parents.in.            quality.pre-kindergarten.program..
preventive.dental.care.with.services.
                                             managing.their.child’s.issues..
provided.by.dental.professionals..                                                                             continued on next page



90                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Pennsylvania (continued)
Currently,.only.16.percent,.or.about.             School Success:                                   program,.of.which.half.is.dedicated.to.
49,000,.3-.and.4–year-olds.are.enrolled.          Focus on K-2                                     supporting.low-income.students..
in.Head.Start.or.public.school.pre-                                                                 Designed.to.allow.high.school.students.
                                                  An.investment.of.$25.million.in.
kindergarten.programs..Children.who.                                                                to.earn.college.credits,.the.program.
                                                  Accountability.Block.Grant.funds.was.
are.age.3.or.above.are.eligible.to.apply.                                                           will.receive.$10.million.in.funding.for.
                                                  included.in.the.governor’s.enacted.
for.the.pre-kindergarten.program.until.                                                             2008..In.2006,.the.governor.projected.
                                                  budget,.with.$20.million.for.the.full-
they.enter.kindergarten,.and.priority.                                                              that.this.program.would.benefit.30,000.
                                                  day.kindergarten.programs..With.an.
enrollment.will.be.targeted.to.children.                                                            youth.in.313.school.districts,.and.with.
                                                  additional.$15.million,.nearly.7,600.
who.may.have.economic,.language,.                                                                   the.additional.allocation.even.more.
                                                  more.children.will.be.able.to.enroll.in.
cultural.or.other.disadvantages.that.                                                               will.be.reached.in.the.coming.year.
                                                  full-day.kindergarten.for.the.2008-
put.them.at.a.higher.risk.of.failing.
                                                  2009.school.year..Additionally,.schools.
school..Children.living.in.families.                                                                In.an.attempt.to.improve.career.
                                                  that.already.offer.full-day.kindergar-
earning.less.than.300.percent.of.the.                                                               counseling.for.middle.and.high.school.
                                                  ten.programs.will.receive.$5.million.
Federal.Poverty.Level.are.considered.                                                               students,.$3.million.was.appropriated.
                                                  to.continue.supporting.these.programs..
at-risk.under.the.program’s.require-                                                                to.ensure.that.Pennsylvania’s.students.
                                                  Another.$5.million.increase.in.funding.
ments..                                                                                             will.be.better.prepared.and.guided.
                                                  will.provide.all.501.school.districts.
                                                                                                    toward.postsecondary.education..
                                                  with.a.2.percent.inflationary.increase.
In.the.governor’s.enacted.2007-08.                                                                  and.work.
                                                  in.their.Accountability.Block.Grant.
state.budget,.the.spending.plan.
                                                  funds..Pennsylvania.Partnerships.for.
included.funds.to.increase.child.care.                                                              Classrooms.for.the.Future,.a.three-
                                                  Children.notes.that,.“before.the.
quality.and.subsidies:.                                                                             year.investment.program.designed.to.
                                                  creation.of.the.block.grant.in.2003,.
                                                                                                    provide.laptop.computers,.high-speed.
                                                  only.29.percent.of.children.in.
H. $56.8.million.allotted.for.Keystone.                                                             Internet.access,.and.state-of-the-art.
                                                  Pennsylvania.attended.full-day.
   Stars,.Pennsylvania’s.quality.                                                                   software.to.high.school.classrooms.
                                                  kindergarten..This.past.academic.year.
   improvement.initiative.for.child.                                                                across.the.state,.was.expanded.to.255.
                                                  (2006-07),.over.55.percent.of.children.
   care.providers..These.funds.will.                                                                more.high.schools.this.past.year..This.
                                                  reaped.the.educational.benefits.of.full-
   allow.1,219.more.children.to.                                                                    brings.the.total.number.of.participat-
                                                  day.kindergarten.and.even.more.will.
   benefit.from.quality.early.learning.                                                             ing.high.schools.to.358.of.501.high.
                                                  benefit.from.the.$50.million.increase.”.
   environments..                                                                                   schools.in.Pennsylvania..This.program.
                                                                                                    aims.to.improve.learning.and.better.
                                                  Project.720,.named.for.the.number..
H. The.governor.also.provided.a..                                                                   prepare.students.for.future.success..
                                                  of.days.a.young.person.attends.high.
   $74.million.increase.to.allow.for.                                                               Governor.Rendell’s.2007-08.budget.
                                                  school,.secured.an.additional.$3.3.
   subsidized.child.care.services..                                                                 allocated.$90.million.to.provide.the.
                                                  million,.bringing.funding.to.$11.
   This.initiative.is.set.to.reach.out.                                                             255.million.schools.with.laptop.
                                                  million.and.allowing.30.additional.
   to.221,000.low-income.children,.                                                                 computers..The.budget.also.invested.
                                                  Pennsylvania.high.schools.to.join.the.
   providing.their.parents.an.                                                                      $11.million.to.provide.high-quality.
                                                  strict.reform.initiative..The.program.
   opportunity.to.work.                                                                             professional.development.for.12,100.
                                                  includes.increased.curriculum.rigor,.
                                                                                                    teachers.in.new.Classrooms.for.the.
                                                  establishes.smaller.learning.environ-
Pennsylvania.Partnerships.for..                                                                     Future.high.schools;.along.with.the.
                                                  ments.and.improves.counseling.
Children.notes.that.there.was.also..                                                                $2.million.in.federal.funds,.each.
                                                  services.to.youth.
an.increase.by.$10.million.in.state.                                                                participating.high.school.will.receive.
funding.for.Pennsylvania’s.Head..                                                                   $30,000.for.staff.development.
                                                  An.additional.$3.million.was.allocated.
Start.program,.bringing.funding.to..
                                                  to.fund.Pennsylvania’s.dual.enrollment.                             continued on next page
a.total.of.$40.million.


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                        9
Pennsylvania (continued)
At.the.start.of.the.2007-08.school.          Economic Stability
year,.$13.5.million.was.allocated.to.
                                             Understanding.the.importance.of.
expand.the.Science:.It’s.Elementary.
                                             eliminating.barriers.facing.low-
program.to.an.additional.25,800.
                                             income.families.in.Pennsylvania,.
students..The.program.allows.
                                             Governor.Rendell.announced.a..
elementary.students.to.learn.science.
                                             $2.35.million.investment.in.the.state’s.
by.interacting.through.practical.
                                             welfare-to-work.transportation.
application..As.of.fall.2007,.it.was.
                                             program.in.order.to.help.residents.in.
found.to.benefit.nearly.57,000.
                                             31.counties.get.to.work.and/or.take.
students.in.more.than.120.school.
                                             their.children.to.day.care.and.
districts.across.the.state..
                                             afterschool.programs..This.program,.
                                             to.be.operated.by.Pennsylvania’s.
Child Safety: Protections                    Department.of.Transportation,.
Against Abuse, Neglect,                      provides.transportation.services.for.
Exploitation, and Violence                   free.or.at.low.cost.and.includes.
                                             reduced.fares.on.shared-ride.service,.
The.Ounce.of.Prevention.legislation,.
                                             the.purchase.of.cars,.driver.training,.
designed.to.provide.in-home.support.
                                             car.insurance,.car.repair,.mileage.
visits.to.at-risk.families.with.newborn.
                                             reimbursement.and.subsidized.fixed-
children,.was.approved..Under.the.
                                             route.service.to.low-income.neigh-
measure,.an.intensive.home.visitation.
                                             borhoods.
grant.program.for.at-risk.expectant.
mothers.and.their.newborn.children.
                                             Through.the.hard.work.of.children’s.
will.be.established..
                                             advocates.in.the.state,.Taxpayer.Bill.
                                             of.Rights.legislation.designed.to.cap.
The.Pennsylvania.Commission.on.
                                             state.spending.was.successfully.
Crime.and.Delinquency,.the.state’s.
                                             blocked..The.proposed.legislation.
criminal.justice.planning.agency,.
                                             would.have.put.a.limit.on.state.
awarded.more.than.$6.million.to.
                                             spending.according.to.a.formula.that.
support.15.evidence-based.delinquency.
                                             accounts.for.inflation.and.population.
and.violence.prevention.programs..
                                             growth..This.would.in.turn.impose.
in.17.counties.in.the.state..The.
                                             artificial.curbs.on.state.spending.that.
programs.will.be.implemented.over..
                                             would.negatively.impact.the.state’s.
a.four-year.period.
                                             ability.to.provide.services.to.children.
                                             and.their.families..H




92                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
rhode island                                                                                                                     RI


  Facing.a.$350.million.budget.shortfall,.Governor.Don.Carcieri.(R).sought.to.rein.in.state.spending.by.
  laying.off.state.employees.and.curtailing.some.state.social.services.impacting.children,.youth.and.families..
  Many.of.the.proposals.submitted.by.the.governor.would.have.been.detrimental.to.vulnerable.populations.
  across.the.state..Ultimately,.the.battles.over.the.budget.resulted.in.wins.and.losses.throughout.the.state..
  Throughout.the.budget.turmoil,.VOICES’.member,.Rhode.Island.KIDS.COUNT,.remained.steadfast.in.
  its.call.to.preserve.programs.for.vulnerable.youth..




Supporting healthy                                The.system.is.to.include.child.care.              school.districts.that.have.a.dropout.
Development                                       centers,.family.child.care.homes,.                rate.of.15.percent.or.greater..Efforts.
                                                  group.family.child.care.homes,.school-            include.early.intervention.initiatives.
To.address.the.growing.childhood.
                                                  age.child.care.programs.and.preschools..          for.students.who.face.academic.
obesity.rate.in.the.state,.the.General.
                                                  The.voluntary.rating.system.aims.to.              challenges.as.freshmen:.offering.
Assembly.enacted.legislation.that.calls.
                                                  measure.early.education.services.                 comprehensive.supplemental.educa-
for.healthier.beverages.and.snacks.
                                                  provided.throughout.the.state.and.to.             tional.programs.for.middle.school.
sold.in.vending.machines.in.high.
                                                  increase.accountability.for.the.complete.         students.who.are.below.grade.level.in.
schools.beginning.January.1,.2008..
                                                  continuum.of.early.care.services..                reading.and.math;.engaging.teachers.
This.effort.complements.previous.
                                                                                                    to.address.the.needs.of.youth.at.risk.
legislation,.effective.January.2007,.
                                                  The.child.care.subsidy.rate.for.eligible.         of.dropping.out;.broad.outreach.to.
which.called.for.healthier.beverages.
                                                  families.dropped.from.225.to.180.                 parents.and.students.regarding.local.
to.be.sold.in.elementary.and.middle.
                                                  percent.of.the.Federal.Poverty.Level.             afterschool.programs;.and.specific.
schools..Elementary.and.middle.
                                                  (FPL)..Copayments.increased.by.1.                 outreach.to.youth.in.foster.care,.
schools.will.also.implement.the.sale.
                                                  percent.for.families.with.incomes.at.             pregnant.youth.and.youth.who.are.
of.healthier.snacks.beginning..
                                                  100.percent.of.the.FPL,.and.the.                  already.parents,.youth.with.special.
January.1,.2008..
                                                  scheduled.provider.rate.increase.was.             education.needs,.and.those.with.
                                                  delayed.until.the.start.of.the.next.              English.as.a.second.language..
The.state.will.also.begin.in.selected.
                                                  fiscal.year..According.to.Rhode.Island.
cities.a.pilot.program.that.incorporates.
                                                  KIDS.COUNT,.the.delay.means.that.                 The.state.also.clarified.the.steps.that.
physical.exercise.with.healthy.
                                                  the.reimbursement.rate.will.continue.             students.must.take.to.drop.out.of.
nutritional.plans.to.target.child.obesity..
                                                  to.remain.frozen.at.the.2002.level..              school,.and.establishes.a.“double-up”.
                                                  Governor.Carcieri.also.rejected.                  and.a.“fast.track.to.college”.program.
School readiness:                                 efforts.that.would.unionize.child.care.           for.students.to.earn.a.high.school.
Focus on Early Care                               providers.throughout.the.states.                  diploma.while.also.working.toward.
and Education                                                                                       college.credit..

The.General.Assembly.passed.a.                    School Success:
measure.establishing.a.voluntary.                 Focus on K-2
quality.rating.system.to.assess.the.              Beginning.in.2008,.Rhode.Island.will.
quality.of.early.care.and.education.              also.begin.a.new.school.dropout..
programs.throughout.the.state...                  prevention.initiative.targeting.the.                                 continued on next page



F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                        93
rhode island (continued)
Child Safety: Protections                     Economic Stability:
Against Abuse, Neglect,                       An investment in the Future
Exploitation and Violence                     Wanting.to.develop.strategies.and.
Among.the.most.drastic.of.cuts.               legislation.to.meet.the.needs.of.the.
proposed.in.the.governor’s.budget.            state’s.one.of.every.three.children.
included.the.elimination.of.all.              living.in.poverty,.the.General.
services.for.youth.over.the.age.of.18..       Assembly.established.a.legislative.
This.included.all.transitional.services.      commission.to.review.current.state.
for.youth.who.age.out.of.foster.care,.        policies.designed.to.assist.family.
and.youth.in.the.juvenile.justice.or.         economic.security..The.commission.
behavioral.health.systems..In.the.end,.       will.also.identify.and.develop.programs.
the.General.Assembly.partially.               and.legislation.that.build.income.and.
rejected.this.measure;.it.mandated.           assets.for.families;.promote.financial.
that.18-21.year.olds.maintain.                education.and.counseling;.and..
eligibility.for.services,.but.the.state.      protect.families.from.predatory.
programs.will.have.to.do.so.with.half.        lending.services..H
of.their.previous.fiscal.year.budget..
The.General.Assembly.did.reject.a.
budget.proposal.that.would.have.
transferred.the.investigation.of.child.
abuse.and.neglect.to.local.police.
departments.from.the.state’s.child.
protective.services,.which.would.have.
resulted.in.less.experienced.investiga-
tors.examining.these.cases..

One.proposal.targeted.at.older.youth.
did.remain.in.the.final.budget..Youth.
adjudicated.prior.to.their.17th.birthday.
will.now.have.their.cases.transferred.
to.adult.court..Only.status.offenses.
(those.offenses.that.apply.only.to.
minors,.such.as.skipping.school,.
missing.curfew,.underage.drinking.of.
alcohol).can.remain.at.the.state.
training.school..

The.General.Assembly.also.approved.
legislation.to.require.prospective.
foster.parents.to.submit.to.a.state.and.
national.criminal.background.check.
prior.to.obtaining.their.license..




94                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
South Carolina                                                                                                                  SC


  Governor.Mark.Sanford.(R).faced.some.opposition.from.legislators.in.2007..At.the.conclusion.of.the.session,.
  he.vetoed.243.items.from.the.legislature’s.spending.plan..But.within.two.days,.the.Legislature.overrode.all.
  but.15.of.the.vetoes,.keeping.such.things.as.expanded.health.insurance.for.children.in.the.budget..Throughout.
  those.events,.the.needs.of.children.and.families.of.South.Carolina.were.well-represented.by.VOICES’.
  member,.Voices.for.South.Carolina’s.Children..




Supporting healthy                                An.enacted.bill.aims.at.cracking.down.            Economic Stability:
Development                                       on.youth.access.to.alcohol..Among.                An investment in the Future
                                                  the.key.provisions,.the.legislation.
The.General.Assembly.successfully.                                                                  Under.enacted.legislation,.students.
                                                  increases.fines.and.penalties.for.
overrode.Governor.Sanford’s.veto.to.                                                                who.are.eligible.for.the.Legislative.
                                                  underage.drinking.offenses,.makes..
maintain.a.provision.in.the.2007-2008.                                                              Incentives.for.Future.Excellence.
                                                  it.easier.for.the.police.to.track.keg.
budget.that.expands.the.federal.State.                                                              (LIFE).Scholarship.or.the.Palmetto.
                                                  purchases,.and.allows.minors.to.help.
Children’s.Health.Insurance.Program.                                                                Fellows.Scholarship.and.are.pursuing.
                                                  police.by.participating.in.stings.of.
(SCHIP).to.include.children.in.                                                                     program.majors.in.science,.math,.
                                                  bars.and.convenience.stores.
families.at.200.percent.of.the.Federal.                                                             computer.science.and.other.related.
Poverty.Level,.up.from.150.percent..                                                                disciplines.will.qualify.for.an.enhanced.
Also.included.in.the.final.budget.was.            School Success:                                   award.equaling.as.much.as.$3,300.in.
$21.million.to.make.health.care.                  Focus on K-2                                     more.aid.per.year..Eligibility.require-
available.to.an.additional.70,000.to.             A.bill.signed.by.the.governor.aims.to.            ments.for.the.basic.LIFE.and.Palmetto.
100,000.children..In.a.concurrent.                expand.learning.options.for.the.state’s.          Scholarship.programs.include.merit-
resolution,.legislators.urged.members.            students.by.creating.the.South.Carolina.          based.and.good-behavior.criteria..
of.the.South.Carolina.Congressional.              Virtual.Schools.Program..The.program.
delegation.and.members.of.the.state.              will.provide.students.greater.flexibility.        Family-focused.tax.measures.were.
government.to.work.together.to.achieve.           to.earn.graduation.credits.online.and.            also.a.component.of.2007’s.legislative.
a.timely.reauthorization.of.SCHIP.                opportunities.to.take.courses.not.                agenda..One.measure.removed.the.
                                                  normally.offered.in.their.home.school.            income.tax.on.the.lowest.bracket.of.
Under.a.bill.signed.by.the.governor,.             districts—such.as.Advanced.Placement.             taxable.income.and.another.eliminated.
hospitals.must.now.make.available.to.             or.foreign.language.courses..                     the.sales.tax.on.food..H
new.parents.a.video.presentation.on.
the.dangers.of.shaking.infants.as.well.
                                                  Child Safety: Protections
as.information.on.the.importance.of.
                                                  Against Abuse, Neglect,
infant.CPR..Child.care.facilities.must.
also.include.the.video.presentation.in.
                                                  Exploitation and Violence
the.training.of.their.caregivers.                 A.bill.signed.by.the.governor.includes.
                                                  a.requirement.that.an.autopsy.be.
                                                  conducted.if.a.child’s.death.occurs.as.
                                                  a.result.of.violence.or.is.unexplained,.
                                                  including.possible.sudden.infant.
                                                  death.syndrome..


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                        95
South Dakota                                                                                                           SD


  Governor.Mike.Rounds.(R).and.the.Legislature.worked.together.on.many.issues.of.interest.to.children.and.
  families.in.2007..In.sum,.VOICES.member,.South.Dakota.Voices.for.Children,.reported.17.gains—out-
  pacing.10.losses—on.legislation.related.to.early.education,.health,.Temporary.Assistance.for.Needy.Families.
  (TANF),. juvenile. justice. and. safety.. South. Dakota. Voices. for. Children. and. fellow. VOICES. member.
  South.Dakota.KIDS.COUNT.work.jointly.to.shed.light.on.the.needs.of.the.state’s.children.and.families..




Addressing Equity:                          Supporting healthy                             Also.signed.by.the.governor.is.an.act.
Narrowing Societal gaps                     Development                                    that.allows.and.provides.funding.for.
                                                                                           the.Department.of.Health.to.offer.
Under.legislation.signed.by.Governor.       The.Legislature.considered.several.
                                                                                           the.human.papillomavirus.vaccine.to.
Rounds,.South.Dakota.has.strength-          pieces.of.legislation.related.to.tobacco.
                                                                                           any.woman.between.11.and.19.years.
ened.the.Office.of.Indian.Education.        products.in.2007..A.new.law.prohibits.
                                                                                           of.age..
through.the.creation.of.an.Indian.          the.purchase.of.a.tobacco.product.on.
Education.Advisory.Council..The.            behalf.of.or.the.provision.of.a.tobacco.
                                                                                           An.act.requiring.children—ages.4.to.
Office.of.Indian.Education.will.support.    product.to.any.person.under.the.age.
                                                                                           7.who.weigh.40.to.80.pounds.or.are.
initiatives.aimed.at.ensuring.that.         of.18..Another.tobacco.measured.
                                                                                           less.than.57.inches.tall—to.be.in.
students.and.teachers.become.aware.         opposed.by.South.Dakota.Voices.for.
                                                                                           booster.seats.when.traveling.in.a.motor.
of.and.gain.an.appreciation.for.the.        Children.ultimately.was.deferred.by.a.
                                                                                           vehicle.passed.both.the.House.and.
state’s.unique.American.Indian.culture..    House.committee..The.bill.would.
                                                                                           Senate.but.was.vetoed.by.the.governor..
The.Indian.Education.Advisory.              have.reduced.the.taxes.on.cigarettes.
                                                                                           An.effort.to.override.the.veto.failed.
Council.will.consist.of.representatives.    and.tobacco.products.and.revised.the.
—appointed.by.each.tribal.council—.         distribution.of.tobacco.tax.revenue..
                                                                                           Another.piece.of.legislation.sought.to.
of.all.nine.tribes.in.South.Dakota.as.      Finally,.a.bill.passed.the.Senate.but.
                                                                                           provide.families.with.children.with.
well.as.educators.from.all.parts.of.the.    deferred.by.a.House.committee.would.
                                                                                           disabilities.the.opportunity.to.purchase.
state..Among.the.bill’s.key.provisions.     have.expanded.the.public.venues.where.
                                                                                           coverage.under.the.state’s.Medicaid.
are.a.requirement.that.all.new.teachers.    smoking.is.prohibited.to.include.
                                                                                           program.if.they.lacked.sufficient.
complete.a.three-hour.course.in.            casinos,.bars.and.some.restaurants..
                                                                                           income.and.resources.to.meet.the.
South.Dakota.Indian.studies.and.the.
                                                                                           medical.costs.for.providing.necessary.
creation.of.a.program.to.revitalize.the.    A.bill.that.provides.for.mandatory.
                                                                                           medical.services.to.the.child.with.the.
Lakota.language.by.offering.language.       continuation.of.health.insurance.
                                                                                           disability..Families.with.incomes.at.or.
instruction.to.educators.of.South.          coverage.for.youth.between.24.and.29.
                                                                                           below.300.percent.of.the.Federal.
Dakota’s.American.Indian.students..         years.of.age.who.remain.full-time.
                                                                                           Poverty.Level.would.have.been.
This.action.corresponds.to.objectives.      students.was.signed.by.the.governor..
                                                                                           eligible.for.this.coverage..Ultimately,.
outlined.in.Governor.Rounds’.state.of.      This.measure.was.supported.by.the.
                                                                                           though,.neither.this.bill.nor.a.bill.to.
the.state.address.                          governor.in.his.state.of.the.state.address..
                                                                                           fund.this.opportunity.was.enacted.




                                                                                                              continued on next page



96                          Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
South Dakota (continued)
School readiness:                                 teacher.compensation.assistance.                  The.first.would.have.repealed.provisions.
Focus on Early Care                               program.for.local.school.districts..              requiring.the.designation.of.a.juvenile.
and Education                                                                                       corrections.monitor—a.person.or.entity.
                                                                                                    with.primary.responsibility.for.protecting.
A.bill.was.deferred.by.a.House.                   Child Safety: Protections
                                                                                                    the.rights.of.individuals.in.the.custody.
committee.that.would.have.exempted.               Against Abuse, Neglect,                           or.care.of.juvenile.corrections.facilities..
from.license.fees.motor.vehicles.used.            Exploitation and Violence                         The.second.would.have.removed.the.
to.transport.children.to.and.from.a.                                                                provision.requiring.the.confidentiality.of.
                                                  Several.bills.were.enacted.during.the.
federally.funded.Head.Start.program.                                                                the.identity.of.a.person.making.a.report.
                                                  2007.session.that.strengthened.
                                                  protections.against.child.abuse..Under.           to.the.juvenile.corrections.monitor..
Also.not.enacted.was.a.piece.of.                  one.bill,.tribal.agencies.that.provide.
legislation.that.would.have.expanded.             child.welfare.services.are.now.allowed.           Child.advocates.also.opposed.an.
the.rulemaking.authority.of.the.Board.            to.obtain.results.from.a.check.of.the.            enacted.bill.that,.in.its.original.form,.
of.Education.to.include.pre-kinder-               central.registry.for.abuse.and.neglect..          would.have.made.the.report.of.the.
garten.schools..The.bill.was.passed.by.           Another.piece.of.legislation.established.         juvenile.corrections.monitor.an.open.
the.Senate.but.deferred.by.a.House.               provisions.impacting.the.child.abuse.             record.with.no.personal.identifying.
committee.                                        and.neglect.registry..Among.these.                data.revealed.except.circumstances.of.
                                                  provisions,.background.checks.can.                the.cases.investigated,.findings.of.the.
School Success:                                   now.include.information.obtained.                 monitor.and.corrective.actions.taken...
Focus on K-2                                     from.other.states’.registries.and.from.           The.final.version.signed.into.law.
                                                  national.crime.information.databases..            provided.that.only.a.statistical.summary.
An.act.that.would.have.repealed.
                                                  Additionally,.legislation.adopting.the.           of.cases.investigated.will.be.an.open.
prospective.mandates.requiring.that.
                                                  Uniform.Child.Abduction.Prevent.                  record,.which.was.opposed.also.by.
children.attend.kindergarten.and.
                                                  Act.was.signed.by.the.governor..The.              South.Dakota.Voices.for.Children,.as.
establishing.a.minimum.length.for.
                                                  Act.aims.to.deter.domestic.and.                   not.serving.the.best.interests.of.
kindergarten.programs.was.opposed.
                                                  international.abductions.of.children.             children..Also.related.to.the.juvenile.
by.South.Dakota.Voices.for.Children..
                                                  in.the.midst.of.custody.disputes.by.              corrections.monitor.was.legislation,.
The.bill.was.deferred.by.a.House.
                                                  allowing.individuals.concerned.about.             not.enacted,.that.would.have.expanded.
committee.and.ultimately.not.signed.
                                                  the.threat.of.abduction.to.petition.a.            its.role.to.include.the.investigation.of.
into.law..
                                                  judge.to.impose.certain.abduction.                alleged.incidents.of.abuse.or.neglect.
                                                  prevention.measures.                              of.juveniles.in.the.custody.or.care.of.
In.his.state.of.the.state.address,.the.                                                             the.Department.of.Corrections.or.
governor.pledged.to.introduce.legisla-                                                              another.private.facility..The.bill.passed.
                                                  A.bill.that.would.have.clarified.the.
tion.that.would.require.students.to.                                                                the.House,.but.was.tabled.by.the.Senate..
                                                  application.of.certain.statutes.for.the.
stay.in.school.until.they.graduate.or.                                                              Another.bill.passed.by.the.Senate.but.
                                                  protection.of.abused.or.neglected.
reach.the.age.of.18..The.governor.                                                                  deferred.by.the.House.would.have.
                                                  children.to.include.unborn.children.
fulfilled.this.pledge.and.signed.a.                                                                 included.several.more.entities,.including.
                                                  was.deferred.by.a.House.committee.
measure.into.law.that.increased.the.                                                                the.Chief.Justice.of.the.Supreme.
compulsory.age.for.school.attendance.                                                               Court.and.the.presiding.judge.in.each.
                                                  The.Legislature.also.considered.
to.18.years,.effective.with.the.2009-                                                               judicial.circuit.court,.as.recipients.of.
                                                  legislation.related.to.juvenile.justice..
2010.school.year.                                                                                   the.juvenile.corrections.monitor’s.
                                                  South.Dakota.Voices.for.Children.
                                                  opposed.several.bills,.including.two.             semiannual.report.
The.governor.also.signed.into.law.
                                                  bills.that.were.not.ultimately.enacted...
legislation.enacting.a.voluntary.                                                                                     continued on next page
                                                   .


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                           97
South Dakota (continued)
Legislation.that.establishes.provisions.     Economic Stability:
related.to.the.placement.of.juveniles.       An investment in the Future
under.the.jurisdiction.of.the.Depart-
                                             Children.and.families.receiving.
ment.of.Corrections.was.signed.by.the.
                                             support.through.the.TANF.program.
governor..Among.the.provisions.are.
                                             did.not.receive.a.cost-of-living.increase.
the.inclusion.of.community-based.
                                             in.2006..While.the.Legislature.did.
services.in.the.options.for.security.
                                             pass.a.3.percent.increase.for.2007,.
and.the.delivery.of.treatment..Also.
                                             additional.funds.were.not.included..
enacted.was.a.bill.that,.among.other.
                                             to.make.up.for.2006..H
things,.requires.a.check.of.the.child.
abuse.and.neglect.central.registry.for.
any.child.for.whom.a.placement.
decision.is.being.made..The.bill.also.
mandates.the.release.of.copies.of.
family.assessments,.court.reports.and.
family.service.agreements.relating.to.
any.child.committed.to.the.Department.
of.Corrections.

The.governor.also.signed.into.law.a.
bill.establishing.and.funding.a.teen.
court.grant.program.which.will.support.
the.development,.growth,.quality,.and.
continuation.of.teen.court.programs.
through.grants.awarded.by.the.South.
Dakota.Teen.Court.Association..Such.
courts.are.programs.in.which.youth.
sentence.their.peers.for.minor.
delinquent.and.status.offenses.as.well.
as.other.problem.behaviors.

Finally,.South.Dakota.Voices.for.
Children.successfully.opposed.a.piece.
of.legislation.that.would.have.created.
the.presumption.that.joint.physical.
care.of.a.child.is.in.the.child’s.best.
interest.whenever.a.parent.in.a.joint.
custody.agreement.requests.it—a.
judge.could.override.this.presumption.
through.written.findings.of.fact..The.
most.frequent.joint.physical.care.plan.
involves.children.spending.alternating.
weeks.at.each.parent’s.home.




98                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Tennessee                                                                                                                        TN


  VOICES.has.two.members.in.Tennessee.advocating.for.the.needs.of.children.and.families.in.the.state:.the.
  Black.Children’s.Institute.of.Tennessee.and.the.Tennessee.Commission.on.Children.and.Youth..These.
  members. worked. throughout. the. 2007. session. to. shed. light. on. the. collective. work. of. Governor. Phil.
  Bredesen.(D).and.the.General.Assembly.on.issues.impacting.children.and.families..Included.was.legislation.
  emphasized.by.the.governor.in.his.state.of.the.state.address.to.fund.new.education.programs.with.an.increased.
  cigarette.tax.and.other.bills.related.to.children’s.health.care,.school.readiness.and.success,.safety.and.family.
  economic.security.




Supporting healthy                                role.of.educators.in.providing.medical-           Another.enacted.bill.requires.that.
Development                                       related.services.to.students,.lawmakers.          certain.pilot.community-based.early.
                                                  passed.a.joint.resolution.directing.the.          childhood.education.and.pre-
Tennessee.lawmakers.recognized.the.
                                                  Education.Oversight.Committee.to.                 kindergarten.programs.be.funded.at.
long-term.positive.benefits.of.new.
                                                  hold.hearings.on.the.health.care.crisis.          the.same.level.as.the.funding.for.certain.
mothers.receiving.professional.
                                                  in.public.schools..                               other.pre-kindergarten.programs.
assistance.and.information.regarding.
how.to.adequately.care.for.their.
                                                  Finally,.lawmakers.passed.a.measure.              Also.in.2007,.pre-kindergarten.
newborns.and.young.children.by.
                                                  to.encourage.the.use.of.schools’.in-              programs.received.an.additional.$25.
establishing.a.new.program.that.offers.
                                                  service.training.days.to.provide.teachers.        million.in.funding,.bringing.the.total.
nurse.home.visits.for.first-time.mothers.
                                                  with.training.on.the.warning.signs.of.            funding.for.programs.to.$87.5.million..
during.pregnancy..The.program.will.
                                                  early-.onset.mental.illness.in.children.
begin.with.a.limited.number.of.
                                                  and.adolescents..The.legislation.
participants.and,.by.the.year.2017,.                                                                School Success:
                                                  provides.that.the.trainings.must.use.
will.expand.to.be.available.to.all.low-
                                                  certain.approved.curricula.and.may.
                                                                                                    Focus on K-2
income,.first-time.mothers.in.the.state.
                                                  be.conducted.by.school.counseling.                An.enacted.bill.served.to.reform.the.
who.consent.to.receiving.services.
                                                  personnel,.mental.health.clinicians.or.           state’s.education.funding.formula..
                                                  approved.personnel.from.mental.                   Among.the.bill’s.provisions.is.one.
Governor.Bredesen.also.signed.into.
                                                  health.advocacy.organizations.                    requiring.the.state.to.provide.100.
law.a.bill.that.authorizes.the.provision.
                                                                                                    percent.funding.for.at-risk.students.in.
of.vision.testing.in.schools.for.students.
                                                                                                    grades.K-12,.and.funding.for.teachers.
whose.families.are.unable.to.pay.for.             School readiness:                                 and.translators.for.English.language.
such.testing.                                     Focus on Early Care                               learner.students.at.a.ratio.of.1-to-20.
                                                  and Education                                     and.1–to-200,.respectively..Funding.
The.General.Assembly.took.steps.to.                                                                 for.new.education.programs.will.come.
                                                  Under.a.bill.signed.by.the.governor,.
enhance.schools’.capacity.to.serve.as.                                                              from.an.increase.in.the.cigarette.tax.
                                                  the.Office.of.Education.Accountability.
an.avenue.for.the.provision.of.health.                                                              rate—from.20.to.62.cents.per.pack..
                                                  is.directed.to.coordinate.a.study.on.
services..In.response.to.increasing.
                                                  the.effectiveness.of.pre-kindergarten.
numbers.of.medical-related.issues.
                                                  programs,.one.that.specifically.assesses.
among.the.state’s.student.population,.
                                                  the.short-.and.long-term.effects.of.
inadequate.access.to.a.school.nurse,.                                                                                  continued on next page
                                                  such.programs.on.student.achievement..
and.increasing.efforts.to.expand.the.


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                         99
Tennessee (continued)
Another.bill.signed.by.the.governor.        for.improvement.on.its.operations.            expanding.the.offenses.for.which.
authorizes.public.postsecondary.            and.effectiveness.                            notice.must.be.provided.to.the.school..
institutions.and.local.education.                                                         The.same.bill.also.expands.the.list.of.
agencies.to.jointly.establish.coopera-      Finally,.the.governor.also.signed.a.bill.     persons.that.must.be.notified.and.
tive.high.school.programs..These.           that.replaces.the.pre-graduation.exit.        makes.the.failure.to.provide.the.notice.
programs.may.include.the.creation.of.       examination.with.three.mandatory.             punishable.as.contempt.of.court..
a.school.within.a.school,.a.technical.      assessment.tests.to.provide.educators.        Another.bill.provides.that,.if.a.child.
high.school,.or.a.high.school.or.           with.information.that.will.improve.           convicted.of.a.felony.or.undergoing.
technical.center.located.on.the.campus.     high.school.graduation.rates.and.             inpatient.mental.health.treatment.is.
of.a.postsecondary.institution..The.        improve.postsecondary.achievement..           required.by.a.court.order.to.attend.
programs.will.target.those.high.school.     The.exams.will.be.administered.in.            school,.the.principal.of.the.school.the.
students.who.are.at.risk.of.dropping.       grades.8,.10.and.11.                          child.attends.must.be.notified..Both.of.
out.of.school.before.attaining.a.high.                                                    these.bills.also.stipulate.the.principal.
school.diploma.and.others.who.would.                                                      of.the.school.of.a.child.impacted.by.
                                            Child Safety: Protections
benefit.from.accelerated.academic.                                                        either.of.these.pieces.of.legislation.
instruction.                                Against Abuse, Neglect,                       must.develop.a.plan.to.allow.the.
                                            Exploitation and Violence                     student.to.succeed,.and.provide.for.
Several.bills.related.to.school.quality.    The.General.Assembly.passed.a.joint.          school.safety,.including.the.notification.
were.enacted..Under.one,.the.               resolution.urging.the.Department.of.          of.other.school.personnel.of.the.plan..
Commissioner.of.Education.and.local.        Correction.to.examine.the.National.
education.agencies.are.now.required.        Bill.of.Rights.for.Children.of.the.           Another.bill.signed.by.the.governor.
to.provide.supports.to.schools.that.        Incarcerated.to.incorporate.appropriate.      restricts.the.Department.of.Children’s.
have.been.placed.on.probation.for.          principles.for.supporting.the.children.       Services.over.the.next.three.years.to.
failure.to.make.progress.in.meeting.        of.incarcerated.parents..The.resolu-          spending.funds.only.on.those.juvenile.
the.performance.standards.of.the.           tion.also.directs.the.department.to.          justice.programs.that.are.evidence-
State.Board.of.Education..These.            work.with.state.and.local.agencies.to.        based..
supports.include.providing.profes-          set.policies,.practices.and.programs.
sional.development,.increasing.             that.will.improve.the.social.outlook..        An.enacted.bill.related.to.child.custody.
classroom.equipment,.using.targeted.        of.these.children..                           issues.clarifies.that.the.relationships.
tutoring,.increasing.school.counselors,.                                                  between.caretakers.and.children.as.
increasing.instructional.time,.imple-       Another.law.enacted.in.2007.makes.            well.as.between.parents.and.children.
menting.a.standards-based.curriculum,.      information.from.the.sexual.offender.         should.be.considered.when.a.court.is.
and.performing.other.tasks.to.improve.      registry.open.to.the.public..In.addition,.    determining.a.custody.arrangement.
the.school’s.performance..The.bill.         sexual.offenders.who.move.to.T  ennessee.     that.is.in.the.best.interest.of.the.child.
also.provides.for.an.annual.assessment.     and.were.registered.in.another.
of.those.schools.that.are.on.probation.     jurisdiction.are.required.to.register.in.
                                                                                          Economic Stability:
                                            the.state.
Under.another.measure,.the.General.
                                                                                          An investment in the Future
Assembly.directed.the.Office.of.School.     Other.legislation.was.enacted.related.        The.governor.signed.into.law.a.bill.
Accountability.to.study.the.overall.        to.juvenile.offenders.in.school.settings..    that.decreases.the.state.sales.tax.on.
school.accountability.system.and.           One.bill.expands.the.requirements.for.        food.from.6.to.5.5.percent,.effective.
produce.a.report.for.the.General.           notification.of.school.officials.that.a.      January.1,.2008.
Assembly.that.includes.suggestions..        delinquent.juvenile.is.in.attendance.at.                       continued on next page
 .                                          a.school.under.their.purview.by.


00                         Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Tennessee (continued)
The.General.Assembly.also.increased.
the.homestead.exemption.for.persons.
who.have.minor.children.in.their.
custody.

Several.bills.related.to.child.support.
payments.were.signed.into.law.by.the.
governor.during.the.2007.legislative.
session..These.bills.included.one.that.
makes.the.failure.of.an.employer.to.
turn.over.income.withheld.from.an.
employee.for.child.support.payments.as.
a.breach.of.the.employer’s.fiduciary.duty..

Another.bill.signed.by.the.governor.
authorizes.the.Commissioner.of.the.
Department.of.Children’s.Services.to.
provide.for.instruction.in.general.
education.development,.credential.
preparation,.and.vocational.and.
occupational.training.in.Youth.
Development.Centers—state-operated,.
residential.facilities.that.provide.treat-
ment.programs.for.delinquent.youth,.
ages.12.to.19..H




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   0
Texas                                                                                                                   TX


  The.Texas.Legislature.meets.biennially.for.140.days..In.2007,.the.80th.Legislative.Session.was.convened.
  and.resulted.in.mixed.outcomes.for.policy.changes.impacting.the.state’s.most.vulnerable.children..Among.
  legislation.related.to.children’s.health,.school.readiness.and.success,.safety.and.family.economic.security,.
  a.bill.was.introduced.that.would.have.required.each.bill.or.joint.resolution.considered.by.the.Legislature.be.
  accompanied.by.an.explanation.of.how.the.bill.would.affect.children.and.the.number.of.children.affected..
  Initiated.by.VOICES.member.T     exans.Care.for.Children,.the.legislation.did.not.make.it.to.the.desk.of.Governor.
  Rick.Perry.(R),.but.remained.in.committee..Advocates.will.continue.to.seek.support.for.this.initiative.in.
  future.sessions..




Texans.Care.for.Children.is.joined.by.       A.House.bill.designed.to.enroll.an.           check.every.six.months.for.families.
VOICES.members,.CHILDREN.AT.                 additional.170,760.children.who.are.          with.incomes.between.185.and.200.
RISK.and.Voices.for.Children.of.San.         eligible.but.not.enrolled.in.CHIP.            percent.of.the.Federal.Poverty.Level.
Antonio,.in.speaking.up.for.the.needs.       over.the.next.two.years.emerged.as.the.       (FPL)..The.state.budget.includes.
of.children.and.families.in.the.state.       leader.in.that.chamber..The.enacted.          funding.for.CHIP.to.cover.the.higher.
                                             bill.also.included.the.following.CHIP.        enrollment.numbers.anticipated.from.
                                             reforms:                                      this.bill..While.other.legislation.and.
Addressing Equity:
                                                                                           amendments.were.proposed.that.would.
Narrowing Societal gaps                      H. Returning.to.12.months.of.                 have.applied.CHIP.reforms.to.
An.enacted.bill.that.brought.about.             continuous.eligibility;.                   Children’s.Medicaid,.the.session.ended.
changes.to.the.Texas.Children’s.                                                           without.a.similar.expansion.of.the.
Health.Insurance.Program.(CHIP).             H. Allowing.for.the.deduction.of.             Medicaid.program.
included.a.measure.restoring.out-               child.care.expenses.from.a.family’s.
reach.through.community-based.                  income.when.determining.a.                 Additional.enacted.legislation.was.
organizations;.the.outreach.must.be.            child’s.eligibility;.                      designed.to.address.the.enrollment.
conducted.in.English.and.Spanish.                                                          decline.in.CHIP.and.Children’s.
                                             H. Eliminating.the.90-day.waiting.            Medicaid..A.rider.in.the.appropria-
                                                period.before.coverage.begins.for.         tions.bill.designated.$28.million.for.
Supporting healthy
                                                uninsured.children;.Increasing.the.        CHIP.outreach.activities..Another.
Development
                                                assets.limit.to.$10,000.(from.             bill.creates.a.Health.and.Human.
Signaling.the.rising.attention.that.            $5,000).and.the.vehicle.allowance.         Services.Eligibility.Legislative.Over-
children’s.health.issues.are.receiving,.        up.to.$18,000.(from.$15,000);.and.         sight.Committee.in.an.effort.to.
in.his.2007.state.of.the.state.address.                                                    address.the.fact.that.errors.and.delays.
Governor.Perry.committed.to.seeking.         H. Increasing.CHIP.outreach.efforts.          in.the.Health.and.Human.Services.
“maximum.flexibility”.for.Texas.in.             to.enroll.eligible.children..              Commission.(HHSC).electronic.
managing.CHIP.and.the.state’s.                                                             eligibility.system.caused.hundreds..
Medicaid.programs..Legislative.              The.final.version.of.the.bill.signed.by.      of.children.to.be.erroneously..
activity.reflected.this.with.a.large.        the.governor.also.included.a.provision.       denied.coverage.and,.in.many.cases,.
number.of.bills.relating.to.these.two.       to.require.an.electronic.eligibility.
programs.filed.early.in.the.session...                                                                         continued on next page



02                          Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Texas (continued)
contributed.to.delays.in.urgently.needed.         approved.that.creates.a.physical.                 School readiness:
medical.care..This.bill.also.requires.            activity.requirement.for.middle.school.           Focus on Early Care
that.an.outside.party.conduct.an.audit.           students;.$20.million.was.included.in.            and Education
of.the.electronic.eligibility.systems.            the.appropriations.bill.for.grants.to.
                                                  middle.schools.to.support.this.require-           Recognizing.the.importance.of.placing.
Several.efforts.focused.on.immunization.          ment..The.bill.also.requires.annual.              a.high.priority.on.preparing.young.
issues..Lawmakers.expanded.the.T      exas.       physical.fitness.assessments.for.students.        children.for.learning,.the.Legislature.
immunization.registry.with.many.                  in.grades.3-12..Other.legislation.enacted.        pursued.several.efforts.to.support.pre-
provisions.in.an.enacted.omnibus.                 relating.to.obesity.prevention.includes:          kindergarten.programs.in.the.state..
homeland.security.bill..Among.other.                                                                While.a.popular.comprehensive.
things,.the.expansion.allows.individuals.         H. Establishing.April.as.Texas.Fruit.             Senate.bill.that.would.have.improved.
over.the.age.of.18.to.keep.their.                    and.Vegetable.Month;                           the.quality.of.early.care.and.education.
immunization.data.in.the.registry,.                                                                 programs.did.not.receive.a.final.vote.
which.will.help.in.reporting.health.              H. Establishing.the.second.week.in.               in.the.House,.funding.for.many.of.its.
information.required.for.entry.into.                 September.as.Obesity.Awareness.                provisions.was.included.in.the.state’s.
college.and.other.advanced.degree.                   Week;.and                                      final.budget..The.governor’s.proposed.
programs.and.eliminate.revaccination.                                                               2007.budget.included.funding.to.
costs..A.House.bill.signed.by.the.                H. Creating.an.interagency.obesity.               support.educators.who.adopt.the.Texas.
governor.establishes.a.public.school.                council.                                       Early.Education.Model.(TEEM)..
immunization.awareness.program.                                                                     Likewise,.the.approved.funding.will:
beginning.in.the.2007-08.school.year..            The.Legislature.also.addressed.infant.
Under.this.program,.school.districts.             mortality..An.enacted.Senate.bill.                H. Expand.pre-kindergarten.services.
that.maintain.a.Web.site.will.be.                 authorizes.local.health.boards.to.establish.         through.the.TEEM.project;
mandated.to.list.immunizations.that.              infant.mortality.review.teams.to.better.
                                                  facilitate.investigations.of.infant.and.          H. Increase.child.care.reimbursement.
are.required.for.admission.to.school,.
                                                  fetal.deaths.within.the.community.                   rates;.and
recommended.immunizations.for.
school-age.children,.and.health.clinics.                                                            H. Support.professional.development.
in.the.district.that.offer.the.influenza.         Confronting.the.growing.numbers.of.
                                                                                                       opportunities.for.early.care.and.
vaccination..Additionally,.with.an.enacted.       children.with.autism,.an.enacted.House.
                                                                                                       education.professions.
bill,.the.Legislature.made.ineffective.           bill.mandates.that.insurance.companies.
an.executive.order.by.the.governor.               provide.coverage.to.children,.ages..
                                                  3.through.5,.with.autism.spectrum.                Much.attention.was.paid.to.state.
mandating.that.all.females.receive.the.
                                                  disorder.                                         oversight.of.child.care.facilities.and.
human.papillomavirus.vaccine.before.
                                                                                                    staff.during.the.2007.session..Back-
they.reach.grade.6..Instead.of.mandating.
                                                                                                    ground.checks.of.employees.of.
the.vaccine.for.young.female.students,.           Finally,.the.Department.of.State.Health.
                                                                                                    registered.child.care.facilities.were.
the.Legislature.required.HHSC.to.                 Services.requested.$82.million.in.new.
                                                                                                    expanded.by.including.fingerprinting.
provide.educational.information.about.            funding.for.community-based.mental.
                                                                                                    and.FBI.checks.into.the.Child.
the.vaccine.at.the.age-appropriate.               health.crisis.services.for.children.and.
                                                                                                    Protective.Services.(CPS).Reform.
time.in.the.immunization.schedule.                adults..This.item.was.funded.by.the.
                                                                                                    legislation..While.an.attempt.to.
                                                  Legislature.and.will.support.community-
                                                                                                    require.background.checks.for.relative.
While.the.Legislature.did.not.provide.            based.interventions.to.avoid.hospital-
                                                                                                    providers.receiving.state.funds.for.
additional.appropriations.for.obesity.            ization,.such.as.in-home.crisis.services,.
                                                                                                    providing.child.care.for.a.family.
prevention.programs.at.the.Department.            respite.services,.observation,.and.
of.State.Health.Services,.a.bill.was.             mobile.outreach.                                                  continued on next page



F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                       03
Texas (continued)
member.did.not.emerge.from.the.                H. Protecting.the.role.of.early.              Completion.and.Success.Initiative.
Legislature,.new.rules.recently.adopted.          learning.opportunities.for.at-risk.        Council..
by.the.Texas.Workforce.Commission.                children;.a.provision.was.included.
provide.background.checks.for.                    in.CPS.Reform.legislation.that.            On.the.funding.side,.the.Legislature.
certain.relatives.who.are.compensated.            will.allow.children.to.remain.             made.strides.to.improve.educational.
by.the.state.for.providing.child.care..           eligible.for.public.pre-kindergaretn.      equity.via.reform.of.the.school.finance.
                                                  after.leaving.foster.care;                 system..A.House.bill.signed.by.the.
Other.bills.sought.to.restructure.or.                                                        governor.protects.funding.for.school.
expand.the.purview.of.child.care.              H. Including.pre-kindergarten.                districts.by.providing.a.minimum.
licensing..One.which.became.law.                  students.in.eligibility.for.Commu-         funding.level.in.an.existing.formula.
without.the.signature.of.the.governor.            nity.in.Schools.(CIS).programs.(a.         that.equalizes.funding.across.school.
creates.a.separate.level.of.regulation.           dropout.prevention.initiative);.and,       districts.of.varying.property.wealth..
for.small.businesses.that.offer.child.
care.on.the.premises.for.employees..           H. Establishing.a.residential.infant.         Efforts.also.were.made.to.reform.
Under.this.legislation,.businesses.               care.and.parenting.program.that.           teacher.accountability.and.student.
operating.these.facilities.must.employ.           will.keep.infants.and.their.               assessment..An.enacted.Senate.bill.
caregivers.who.pass.a.background.                 incarcerated.mothers.together.to.          replaces.an.existing.testing.regimen.
check,.hold.a.credential,.and.care.for.           encourage.mother-child.bonding.            with.an.assessment.method.aimed.at.
no.more.than.four.children.per.                   and.provide.mothers.with.                  better.reflecting.school.achievement.
caregiver,.but.the.facilities.will.not.           childbirth.education,.baby.wellness.       and.college.readiness..Included.in.this.
have.to.comply.with.many.of.the.                  and.parenting.education.classes.           method.are.end-of-course.exams.in.
minimum.health.and.safety.standards.                                                         four.core.subject.areas.in.grades.9-12.
required.of.regulated.child.care.                                                            that.will,.in.most.cases,.count.as.15.
                                               School Success:
facilities..Also.rolled.into.this.bill.                                                      percent.of.a.student’s.overall.grade..
were.exemptions.from.child.care.
                                               Focus on K-2                                 An.average.score.of.70.percent.or.
regulation.for.some.rural.private.             A.bill.that.would.have.set.aside.$30.         above.on.these.exams.will.be.required.
schools.and.religious.education.               million.each.year.from.the.Texas.             for.students.to.be.eligible.for.graduation..
programs..Another.piece.of.legislation.        Education.Agency.(TEA).for.the.CIS.           The.bill.also.promotes.college.
signed.by.the.governor.provides.food.          program.to.help.youth.stay.in.school.         readiness.by.allowing.satisfactory.
bank.programs.serving.children.an.             was.sent.to.the.governor.in.a.weaker.         performance.on.Advanced.Placement/
exemption.from.child.care.regulation.          form.than.was.introduced.in.the.              International.Baccalaureate.or.similar.
                                               Legislature..As.signed,.the.bill.states.      college-level.standards.to.substitute.
Other.legislation.signed.into.law.includes:    that.some.portion.of.TEA’s.budget.            for.end-of-course.exams;.requiring.
                                               must.be.set.aside.for.CIS..Also,.to.          students.in.grades.8.and.10.to.complete.
H. Requiring.school.districts.to.              address.high.school.dropout.rates,.           college.readiness.diagnostics;.and.
   report.reading.scores.to.the.State.         another.bill.was.signed.by.the.governor.      giving.students.in.grade.12.the.option.
   Center.for.Early.Childhood.                 which.creates.a.$4.million.per.biennium.      to.complete.college.entrance.exams.at.
   Development.for.use.in.the.                 pilot.program.to.provide.grants.to.           state.expense.
   school.readiness.certification.             school.districts.to.fund.student.club.
   system;.this.system.is.under.               activities.for.at-risk.students..The.bill.    Regarding.student.safety,.a.Senate.bill.
   development.to.determine.if.early.          also.establishes.a.pilot.program.to.          signed.by.the.governor.requires.a.
   childhood.education.programs.are.           provide.intensive.summertime.                 national.criminal.history.background.
   succeeding.in.getting.children.             academic.instruction.to.at-risk.students.
   ready.for.kindergarten;                     and.establishes.the.High.School.                                continued on next page



04                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Texas (continued)
check.for.all.certified.public.school.                 placing.agency.to.notify.the.new.            The.Legislature.also.addressed.issues.
employees..A.rider.on.the.budget.sets.                 agency.of.prior.licensing.violations;.       relating.to.kinship.care—the.placement.
aside.an.additional.$13.million.in.                                                                 of.foster.children.with.a.relative.rather.
funding.over.the.2008-2009.biennium.              H. Establishing.a.Committee.on.                   than.with.a.foster.family..A.bill.signed.
to.implement.this.review.                            Pediatric.Centers.of.Excellence;.              by.the.governor.directs.DFPS.to.collect.
                                                                                                    data.on.kinship.placements.that.fail.
                                                  H. Directing.DFPS.to.work.with.the.               for.financial.reasons,.in.order.to.
Child Safety: Protections                            OneStar.Foundation,.focusing.on.               better.identify.what.would.be.necessary.
Against Abuse, Neglect,                              faith-based.organizations,.to.                 to.help.such.placements.succeed..
Exploitation and Violence                            increase.the.number.of.foster.
                                                     families;.
In.the.2007.session,.the.Legislature.                                                               A.bill.signed.into.law.directs.DFPS.to.
built.on.efforts.begun.in.the.previous.                                                             work.with.the.Interagency.Coordi-
                                                  H. Increasing.the.adoption.subsidy.
session.to.reform.the.CPS.system..A.                                                                nating.Council.for.Building.Health.
                                                     for.youth.who.would.otherwise.be.
bill.was.ultimately.signed.into.law.by.                                                             Families.to.develop.a.long-range.plan.
                                                     in.long-term.foster.care;.
the.governor.that.revises.legislation.                                                              for.child.abuse.and.neglect.prevention.
from.the.previous.session.and.                    H. Establishing.eligibility.for.free.             services..A.provision.added.to.this.bill.
implements.new.reforms,.including:                   pre-kindergarten.for.any.child.                will.protect.the.funding.of.the.Child.
                                                     who.has.ever.been.in.the.conser-               Abuse.and.Neglect.Prevention.Trust.
H. Establishing.a.program.to.provide.                vatorship.of.DFPS;.                            Fund.by.restricting.the.ability.of.the.
   in-home.support.(limited.funding.                                                                Legislature.to.appropriate.money.out.
   for.nonrecurring.expenses).for.                H. Requiring.DFPS.to.consult.with.                of.the.fund.for.purposes.other.for.than.
   families.in.which.poverty.is.the.                 the.child’s.caseworker,.attorney.ad.           child.abuse.and.neglect.prevention.
   primary.underlying.cause.of.                      litem,.guardian.ad.litem.or.court-             programs.
   neglect,.if.the.support.can.prevent.              appointed.special.advocate.
   removal.of.the.child.from.the.                    volunteer.whenever.possible.before.            Other.legislation.signed.by.the.
   home.or.quicken.the.child’s.                      making.a.placement.decision;.and.              governor.includes:
   reunification.with.the.family;.
                                                  H. Directing.DFPS.to.develop.a.                   H. Establishing.and.funding.the.
H. Supporting.the.Department.of.                     CPS.Improvement.Plan.that.                        Nurse-Family.Partnership.
   Family.and.Protective.Services.                   addresses.many.areas.still.in.need.               Program..This.program.will.
   (DFPS).workforce.by.studying.                     of.attention..                                    award.competitive.grants.to.fund.
   the.impact.of.reimbursing.                                                                          the.establishment.or.expansion.of.
   caseworkers’.educational.expenses.             The.reforms.from.the.2007.session.                   local.nurse-family.partnership.
   and.focusing.recruitment.on.those.             were.fully.funded.at.the.level.that.                 programs.by.March.2008..Eligible.
   with.a.bachelor’s.or.advanced.                 DFPS.identified.as.necessary.to.                     programs.include.those.that.can.
   degree.in.a.human.services.field;.             implement.the.changes,.though.none.                  serve.at.least.2,000.people.in.
                                                  of.the.funding.was.identified.to.                    multiple.communities.for.at.least.
H. Creating.a.new.process.for.child-              support.the.case.management.pilot.                   two.years.and.adhere.closely.to.
   placing.agencies.to.report.and.                project..Furthermore,.another.bill.                  the.model.developed.by.the.Nurse-
   check.information.on.a.foster.or.              signed.by.the.governor.guaranteed.                   Family.Partnership.National.
   group.home.that.has.been.closed.               that.institutions.providing.CPS.                     Service.Office..
   through.a.searchable.database,.                services.would.be.able.to.continue.to.
   and.requiring.foster.homes.                    do.so.if.they.had.done.so.prior.to.
   transferring.to.a.different.child-             September.2006.                                                    continued on next page



F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                        05
Texas (continued)
H. Increasing.the.hours.of.required.         H. Lower.staff-to-youth.ratios.to..           Elements.of.bills.introduced.separately.
   training.for.judges.and.other.               1-to-12;.                                  but.ultimately.contained.in.the.reform.
   judicial.officers.on.handling.cases.                                                    bill.include:
   of.child.abuse.and.neglect.and.           H. Segregation.of.youth.by.age..
   mandating.that.two.hours.be.on.              and.crime;                                 H. Calling.for.the.Sunset.Commission.
   child.abuse.and.neglect.topics.                                                            to.conduct.a.study.regarding.
                                             H. Youth.age.19.and.older.will.not..             moving.toward.a.regionalized.
H. Establishing.a.North.Texas.pilot.            be.held.at.TYC,.going.instead.to.             juvenile.justice.system.structure,.
   program.to.connect.foster.care.              parole.or.the.adult.system;                   with.smaller.facilities.and.more.
   youth.age.14.and.older.with.                                                               options.for.treatment.and.
   volunteer.adult.mentors.for.the.          H. The.creation.of.an.Office.of.                 rehabilitation;
   purpose.of.assisting.the.youth’s.            Inspector.General.and.Office.of.
   transition.to.adult.living.                  Ombudsman.to.increase.oversight;           H. Increasing.the.safety.of.TYC.youth.
                                                                                              by.not.allowing.a.sole.person.to.be.
H. Allowing.DFPS.to.access.reports.          H. Increased.use.of.community-based.             responsible.for.the.care.of.a.youth;
   of.family.violence.for.individuals.          alternatives.to.lower.the.TYC.
                                                                                           H. Disallowing.discharge.or.discrim-
   applying.for.a.foster.home.license.          population.and.rehabilitate.youth.
                                                                                              ination.against.TYC.employees.
   and.requiring.DFPS.to.create.a.              in.less.restrictive.environments;
                                                                                              who.report.wrongdoing.or.
   database.of.all.licensed.foster.care.
                                                                                              cooperate.with.investigations;
   homes.that.identifies.those.              H. Changes.in.the.TYC.leadership.
   currently.providing.services..               structure.to.include.an.Executive.         H. Requiring.that.TYC.youth.be.
                                                Commissioner.appointed.by.the.                informed.of.their.rights.and.how/
H. Incorporating.language.into.a.               governor.with.consent.of.the.Senate.          to.whom.to.report.violations.of.
   Medicaid.Reform.bill.that.allows.            and.abolished.on.September.1,.                their.rights;
   former.foster.youth.to.be.covered.           2009,.and.creation.of.a.new.
   by.Medicaid.until.age.23.if.they.            advisory.board;                            H. Requiring.TYC.to.establish.an.
   are.enrolled.as.a.student.in.Texas.                                                        Office.of.Inspector.General.to.
                                             H. Youth.charged.with.misdemean-                 investigate.criminal.allegations;.
Other.major.activity.surrounded.                ors.will.no.longer.be.committed.              and
juvenile.justice.issues..Allegations.of.        to.TYC.facilities;
sexual.abuse.of.Texas.Youth.Commission.                                                    H. Requiring.TYC.to.establish.an.
(TYC).youth.in.early.2007.prompted.          H. TYC.will.allow.advocacy.and.                  Office.of.Ombudsman.
the.creation.of.a.special.joint.legisla-        support.groups.to.provide.on-site.
tive.committee.to.oversee.the.handling.         services.to.incarcerated.youth;.           Continued.reforms.are.expected.during.
of.the.TYC.investigations.and.plans.                                                       the.review.of.the.TYC.during.the.
for.agency.reform..Also.motivated.by.        H. A.study.to.consider.moving.to.a.           upcoming.Sunset.Commission..As.a.
this.crisis.was.an.omnibus.reform.bill,.        regionalized,.diversified.treatment.       result.of.an.anticipated.transfer.of.part.
with.reforms.including:.                        model;.and.                                of.the.TYC.population.to.the.Texas.
                                                                                           Juvenile.Probation.Commission.(TJPC),.
H. More.training.for.juvenile.               H. New.county-based.programs.in.              TJPC.funding.was.increased.$82.45.
   correctional.officers.(training.to.          large.counties.for.certain.youth.          million.above.its.request.for.the.
   increase.to.300.hours.from.the.              charged.with.misdemeanors..                2008-2009.biennium.
   current.80.hours);.
                                                                                                              continued on next page



06                          Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Texas (continued)
Signed.by.the.governor.was.a.bill.to.             by.both.chambers.and.signed.by.the.
establish.an.offender-victim.mediation.           governor..While.the.Senate.bill.is.not.
program.for.juvenile.offenders.and.a.             as.comprehensive.as.the.bill.that.
program.to.collect.victim.restitution.            originated.in.the.House,.it.nevertheless.
from.juvenile.offenders..Alternately,..           serves.to.protect.children.in.families.
a.bill.that.would.have.established.a.             receiving.TANF,.in.part,.by.clarifying.
Criminal.Justice.Oversight.Committee.             the.Texas.Workforce.Commission’s.
responsible.for.conducting.research.              ability.to.serve.parents.of.children.on.
and.providing.objective.information.              TANF.without.subjecting.those.parents.
on.criminal.justice.issues.to.the.                to.mandatory.work.requirements.
Legislature.to.guide.policy.decisions.
was.never.brought.to.the.House.floor.             Another.bill.signed.into.law.directs.
                                                  the.creation.of.a.process.for.contesting.
                                                  the.HHSC’s.decisions.regarding.
Economic Stability:
                                                  applications.for.public.benefits,.such.
An investment in the Future                       as.Medicaid.or.food.stamps..This.
In.response.to.recent.changes.in.                 process.provides.individuals.who.have.
federal.law.by.the.Deficit.Reduction.             applied.for.but.been.denied.benefits.
Act.of.2006,.legislators.explored.ways.           with.the.opportunity.to.request.an.
to.increase.work.participation.among.             administrative.review.by.an.attorney.
recipients.of.Temporary.Assistance.to.            of.the.HHSC.or.file.a.petition.with..
Needy.Families.(TANF).with.several.               a.district.court.to.have.the.decision.
related.pieces.of.legislation..An.effort.         reviewed..H
to.implement.a.new.work.requirement.
with.a.more.narrow.definition.of.
“work”.was.passed.by.the.Senate.but.
failed.to.emerge.from.committee.in.
the.House..A.comprehensive.bill.was.
introduced.in.the.House.that.would.
have.required.the.HHSC.to.provide.
work.support.assistance.for.six.months.
to.former.TANF.recipients..The.bill.
would.have.also.established.a.program.
to.assist.persons.with.barriers.to.
employment,.such.as.a.disability.or.
being.the.caregiver.for.a.child.with.a.
disability,.and.implemented.a.pre-
sanction.review.so.that.families.would.
not.lose.benefits.if.they.had.good.
cause.for.not.complying.with.part.of.
their.agreement..While.the.House.
bill.did.not.make.it.out.of.committee,.
a.similar.bill.in.the.Senate.was.passed.




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   07
utah                                                                                                                        UT


  Throughout.the.2007.session,.which.is.held.over.45.days,.VOICES.member.Voices.for.Utah.Children.
  worked.to.advance.the.needs.of.children.and.their.families..It.closely.monitored.the.work.of.Governor.Jon.
  Huntsman.Jr..(R).and.the.Legislature.during.the.2007.session.on.issues.related.to.children’s.health,.school.
  readiness.and.success,.safety.and.family.economic.security..Priorities.that.were.both.outlined.in.Governor.
  Huntsman’s.state.of.the.state.address.and.made.a.reality.with.legislation.include.expanding.access.to.the.
  federal.State.Children.Health.Insurance.Program.(SCHIP),.providing.opportunities.for.voluntary.all-day.
  kindergarten,.and.reducing.the.sales.tax.on.food.items.




Supporting healthy                               Also.related.to.children’s.health.care,.      H. Another.initiative.was.intended.to.
Development                                      a.measure.was.enacted.that.prohibits.            increase.access.to.high-quality.
                                                 school.personnel.from.making.certain.            pre-kindergarten.experiences.for.
In.his.state.of.the.state.address,.
                                                 medical.recommendations.for.students..           all.4–year-olds.by.providing.
Governor.Huntsman.expressed.his.
                                                 The.prohibitions.include.those.                  optional.workshops.and.trainings.
commitment.to.making.sure.that..
                                                 regarding.the.use.of.psychotropic.               for.families,.child.care.centers.and.
children.have.access.to.health.care..He.
                                                 medications,.specifically.barring.the.           existing.pre-kindergarten.programs..
contrasted.the.fact.that.the.state.required.
                                                 consideration.of.a.petition.for.                 It.was.closely.monitored.by.Voices.
individuals.to.insure.their.automobiles.
                                                 removing.a.child.from.parental.custody.          for.Utah.Children.and.ultimately.
with.the.fact.that.it.did.not.mandate.
                                                 based.on.the.parent’s.refusal.to.consent.        failed.in.the.Senate.Education.
health.insurance.for.children..The.
                                                 to.the.administration.of.psychotropic.           Committee.
governor.was.able.to.secure.$4.million.
                                                 medications..
in.the.state’s.budget.to.re-open.the.
Children’s.Health.Insurance.Program.                                                           School Success:
(CHIP).so.that.an.additional.12,000.             School readiness:                             Focus on K-2
children.could.receive.coverage..Enroll-         Focus on Early Care                           Although.Governor.Huntsman.
ment.in.the.program.had.been.closed.             and Education                                 expressed.his.desire.to.reduce.class.
since.September.2006.due.to.budget-
                                                 Two.pieces.of.proposed.legislation.           size.at.the.beginning.of.the.year,.
ary.constraints,.and.was.re-opened.in.
                                                 related.to.early.care.and.education.          legislation.was.not.passed.that.
July.2007..In.addition,.a.bill.was.enacted.
                                                 programs.were.introduced.and.did.             supported.such.an.endeavor..Legislation.
to.require.that,.no.later.than.July.1,.
                                                 not.ultimately.receive.the.signature..        was.enacted.related.to.school.discipline.
2008,.program.benefits.must.be.
                                                 of.the.governor:                              and.conduct..Among.other.things,.the.
benchmarked.so.as.to.be.equivalent.to.
                                                                                               bill.clarifies.the.reach.of.school.
a.benefit.plan.with.the.largest.insured.
                                                 H. One.bill,.opposed.by.Voices.for.           discipline.and.conduct.provisions;.
commercial.enrollment.offered.by.a.
                                                    Utah.Children,.would.have.added.           provides.standards,.procedures.and.
health.maintenance.organization.in.the.
                                                    citizenship.or.legal.resident.status.      requirements.to.address.disruptive.
state..In.a.joint.resolution,.the.Legislature.
                                                    requirements.to.the.process.for.           behavior;.and.allows.habitually.
urged.Utah’s.Congressional.delegation.
                                                    obtaining.a.residential.child.care.        disruptive.students.to.be.subject.to.
and.the.governor.to.honor.the.governor’s.
                                                    certificate..It.did.not.emerge.from.       the.jurisdiction.of.juvenile.court.
commitment.by.working.collaboratively.
                                                    the.Senate.
to.reauthorize.the.SCHIP.program..                                                                                 continued on next page



08                              Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
utah (continued)
Additionally,.following.the.governor’s.           H. Appropriating.money.for.the.T   errel.              account.when.placing.children.with.
early.2007.commitment.to.invest.more.                H..Bell.Teaching.Incentive.Loans.                   families.unless.it.is.done.so.for.the.
money.in.extended-day.kindergarten,.                 Program,.which.provides.loans.to.                   purpose.of.placing.a.child.with.a.
a.bill.that.enjoyed.bipartisan.support.              students.who.enter.a.teacher.                       person.or.family.of.the.same.
was.enacted.to.establish.a.program.                  licensure.program.and.declare.                      religion.as.the.child.
under.which.school.districts.and.charter.            their.intent.to.teach.in.the.state.
schools.may.provide.voluntary.                                                                      H. Also.signed.into.law.was.a.bill.that.
extended-day.kindergarten..With.the.              H. Establishing.requirements.related.                replaces.the.term.“emergency.kin-
$7.5.million.ongoing.funding.for.this.               to.public.education.instructional.                ship.placement”.with.“emergency.
program,.school.districts.and.charter.               materials.that,.among.other.things,.              placement”.and.amends.other.
schools.are.directed.to.establish.                   prohibit.a.school.district.from.                  provisions.related.to.the.placement.
extended-day.kindergarten.programs.                  purchasing.certain.instructional.                 of.abused,.neglected,.and.dependent.
in.schools.with.the.greatest.need,.as.               materials.unless.they.have.been.                  children.
measured.by.the.percentage.of.students.              evaluated.by.an.independent.party.
eligible.for.free.lunch..Additionally,.              for.alignment.with.the.core.                   H. A.bill.failed.to.emerge.from.the.
the.Board.of.Education.is.permitted.                 curriculum.                                       House.that.would.have.allowed.
to.make.changes.to.the.allocation.of.                                                                  for.the.appointment.of.a.guardian.
funds.to.provide.sufficient.funding.for.          H. Providing.salary.increases.and.                   ad.litem.when.a.protective.order.
each.Title.I.school.to.participate.in.               bonuses.for.educators.and.bonuses.                is.issued.in.a.home.with.minor.
the.program..The.Legislature.also.                   for.classified.personnel.employed.                children.present..The.bill.also.
passed.a.resolution,.signed.by.the.                  by.school.districts.and.other.select.             sought.to.prohibit.the.extension.
governor,.which.recognizes.that.                     educational.institutions.                         of.a.20-day.period.for.an.ex.parte.
reading.with.a.child.20.minutes.a.day.                                                                 protective.order.without.the.
contributes.to.the.lifelong.learning.                                                                  respondent’s.consent.
and.success.of.children—as.well.as.to.
                                                  Child Safety: Protections
the.well-being.of.society.as.a.whole—             Against Abuse, Neglect,                           H. A.bill.failed.to.emerge.from.the.
and.encourages.such.activities.                   Exploitation and Violence                            Senate.that.would.have.established.
                                                  The.Legislature.considered.several.                  public.policy.regarding.in.loco.
Other.bills.signed.by.the.governor.               bills.related.to.child.welfare.issues:               parentis.(defined.as.a.legally.
include:                                                                                               recognized,.voluntary.and.tempo-
                                                  H. A.bill.was.signed.into.law.that.                  rary.delegation.of.parental.power).
H. Modifying.the.Public.Education.                   brings.the.state’s.human.services.
   Job.Enhancement.Program.                          and.judicial.codes.relating.to.child.          H. A.Senate.effort.to.appropriate.
   which.was.established.in.2001.to.                 protection.and.safety.and.foster.                 funding.to.provide.transitional.
   provide.stipends.and.scholarships.                care.placement.in.line.with.federal.              services.to.abused,.neglected.or.
   for.teachers.in.math,.science.and.                requirements..                                    dependent.children.of.bigamist.
   information.technology,.provided.                                                                   families.failed.
   recipients.commit.to.four.                     H. Another.enacted.bill.amends.
   additional.years.as.teachers.in.the.              provisions.of.the.judicial.code.               H. A.bill.that,.among.other.things,.
   area.of.expertise.for.which.they.                 relating.to.foster.placements.and.                included.child.abandonment.as.a.
   were.nominated..The.legislation.                  adoptions.so.that.priority.is.given.              type.of.child.abuse.and.defined.
   expands.the.positions.that.may.                   to.placing.children.with.married.                 strict.penalties.for.child.abandon-
   qualify.for.cash.awards.and.schol-                heterosexual.couples..The.bill.also.
   arships.under.the.program.                                                                                            continued on next page
                                                     prohibits.taking.religion.into.


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                         09
utah (continued)
    ment.that.results.in.physical.injury.    Economic Stability:                           university.ultimately.failed..Also..
    to.the.child.failed.                     An investment in the Future                   not.signed.into.law.was.a.bill.that.
                                                                                           would.have.changed.the.types.of.
                                             At.the.beginning.of.2007,.Governor.
The.Legislature.also.enacted.the.                                                          health.insurance.expenses.eligible..
                                             Huntsman.expressed.his.desire.to.             for.deduction..
Utah.Uniform.Child.Abduction.
                                             enact.a.single.statewide.sales.tax.rate.
Prevention.Act.which.sets.guidelines.
                                             to.“continue.giving.relief.to.Utahans.
for.determining.when.a.child.is.at.risk.                                                   The.governor.signed.into.law.a.
                                             on.life’s.most.basic.staple—food.”.           modification.to.the.Family.Employ-
for.abduction,.including.elements.
                                             Among.other.efforts.to.make.changes.          ment.Program.that.stipulates.that.any.
related.to.international.abductions..
                                             to.this.tax,.one.piece.of.legislation.        previous.temporary.cash.assistance.
The.act.also.allows.the.court.to.take.
                                             was.ultimately.enacted.that.reduces.          payments.that.families.may.have.
immediate.action.when.it.determines.
                                             the.state.sales.tax.on.food.and.the.          received.are.not.counted.toward.the.
that.a.child.is.at.risk.for.abduction.
                                             general.sales.tax.rate..The.same.bill.        program’s.cash.assistance.time.limits..
                                             also.creates.a.refundable.credit.for.         Additional.modifications.provide.
In.addition,.a.measure.was.signed.
                                             married.taxpayers.with.incomes.below.         transitional.support.cash.assistance.
into.law.that.allows.the.Department.
                                             $90,000.if.they.move.onto.the.flat.tax.       for.those.who.become.ineligible.for.
of.Health.access.to.juvenile.records.
                                             system..Also.included.in.the.legislation.     the.program.because.of.employment..
for.certification.or.licensing.of.people.
                                             is.the.implementation.of.a.commitment.
with.direct.responsibility.for.the.
                                             from.the.governor’s.state.of.the.state.       Legislation.regarding.child.support.
safety.of.children,.the.elderly.or.the.
                                             address:.a.reduction.in.the.rate.on.the.      obligations.was.also.an.issue.of.
disabled.in.health.care.facilities.
                                             flat.tax.system.from.5.35.to.5.percent.       consideration..In.addition.to.enactment.
                                                                                           of.a.bill.that.updates.and.makes.other.
Finally,.two.bills.related.to.automo-
                                             A.Senate.effort.to.create.a.state.refund-     corrections.to.child.support.guidelines,.
bile.safety.failed..One.sought.to.
                                             able.income.tax.credit.equal.to.10.           other.pieces.of.legislation.signed.into.
require.that.children.younger.than.8.
                                             percent.of.the.federal.Earned.Income.         law.include.establishing.a.procedure.
be.placed.in.child.restraint.devices—.
                                             Tax.Credit.(EITC).failed..A.House.            to.order.an.administrative.suspension.
a.change.from.the.existing.age-5-or-
                                             resolution.also.failed.that.sought.to.help.   of.a.person’s.driving.privileges.when.the.
younger.requirement..Another.would.
                                             create.a.private/public.partnership.to.       person.is.in.arrears.on.a.child.support.
have.prohibited.drivers.younger.than.
                                             increase.utilization.of.the.federal.EITC.     obligation.and.providing.exceptions.
age.18.from.using.a.mobile.phone.
                                                                                           for.income.withholding.for.child.
while.driving..
                                             Legislation.was.signed.into.law.that.         support.collection..
                                             requires.the.Office.of.Legislative.Fiscal.
Finally,.a.bill.failed.that.would.have.                                                    Other.efforts.ultimately.not.enacted.
                                             Analyst.to.submit.to.the.Executive.
modified.the.definition.of.material.                                                       tried.to.address:
                                             Appropriations.Committee.of.the.
that.is.harmful.to.a.minor.to.include.
                                             Legislature.an.annual.report.of.state.        H		 Including.attorney.fees.incurred.
inappropriate.violence..Two.bills.that.
                                             and.federal.funds.expended.to.provide.            in.obtaining.a.child.support.award.
made.it.through.the.legislative.process.
                                             financial.assistance.and.services.to.             as.part.of.a.child.support.obligation;.
and.were.signed.into.law.allow.felony.
                                             low-income.individuals.and.families.
indictments.for.second.offenders.of.                                                       H. Providing.the.Child.Support.
certain.types.of.sexual.offenses.against.                                                     Guidelines.Advisory.Committee.
                                             While.in.early.2007.the.governor.
children,.and.for.the.murder.of.a.                                                            with.responsibility.for.parent-time.
                                             expressed.his.desire.to.extend.higher.
child.younger.than.14.years.of.age.                                                           and.custody.issues;.and
                                             education.opportunities.to.residents.
                                             in.rural.communities,.an.effort.to.           H. Requiring.a.bond.posting.for.any.
                                             provide.a.refundable.tax.credit.up.to.           individual.with.delinquent.child.
                                             $300.for.tuition.paid.to.a.college.or.           support.payments..H


0                          Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Vermont                                                                                                                           VT


  VOICES.member.Voices.for.Vermont’s.Children.deemed.the.2007.legislative.session.a.good.year,.in.several.
  respects,.for.Vermont.children.and.youth..Not.only.did.young.children.benefit;.the.situation.for.youth.
  transitioning. from. the. custody. of. the. state. improved. immeasurably. due. to. legislation. passed. this. year..
  Despite.dire.warnings.of.a.lean.budget,.policymakers.worked.to.keep.existing.services.in.the.budget.and.
  even.secured.funding.for.a.few.new.programs.




Supporting healthy                                count.to.half.of.the.total.number.of.             School Success:
Development                                       3-.and.4-year-olds,.excluding.special.            Focus on K-2
                                                  education.students...
In.a.bill.signed.by.Governor.Jim.                                                                   The.Legislature.passed.a.bill,.aimed.
Douglas.(R),.the.Legislature.moved.                                                                 at.reducing.school.spending,.which.
                                                  Discussions.in.the.House.and.Senate.
the.division.of.mental.health.services.                                                             requires.a.second.vote.on.local.school.
                                                  committees.during.the.session.showed.
from.the.Department.of.Health.to.                                                                   budgets.if.the.amount.of.budget.growth.
                                                  that.policymakers.were.seriously.
the.newly.created.Department.of.                                                                    exceeds.a.certain.amount..Voices.for.
                                                  concerned.about.the.need.to.address.
Mental.Health..A.Commissioner.of.                                                                   Vermont’s.Children.believes.that.the.
                                                  the.underfunding.of.the.child.care.
Mental.Health.will.be.responsible.for.                                                              state.took.a.punitive.approach.to.what.
                                                  subsidy.program..While.the.governor’s.
ensuring.the.development.and.                                                                       policymakers.perceive.to.be.a.property.
                                                  proposed.budget.contained.a.2.percent.
provision.of.community-based.                                                                       tax.problem..
                                                  increase.in.the.child.care.subsidy.rates,.
prevention.and.early.intervention.
                                                  the.Legislature.bumped.the.increase.
services.for.children.and.adults..
                                                  up.to.3.percent..Additionally,.in.                Child Safety: Protections
                                                  legislation.to.make.changes.to.the.state’s.       Against Abuse, Neglect,
School readiness:                                 Temporary.Assistance.for.Needy.                   Exploitation and Violence
Focus on Early Care                               Families.(TANF).program,.legislators.
                                                                                                    In.his.2007.state.of.the.state.address,.
and Education                                     directed.the.Legislative.Council.and.
                                                                                                    Governor.Douglas.expressed.his.desire.
                                                  the.Joint.Fiscal.Office.to.provide.a.
An.enacted.bill.clarifies.that.each.local.                                                          to.reform.the.state’s.child.welfare.system.
                                                  summary.of.innovative.ideas.from.other.
community.has.the.option.to.use.                                                                    in.order.to.continue.providing.transi-
                                                  states.for.funding.investments.in.quality.
public.education.dollars.to.provide..                                                               tional.supports.for.youth.who.age.out.
                                                  child.care.and.of.any.available.cost-
10.hours.per.week.of.voluntary,.high-                                                               of.state.custody..The.Legislature.
                                                  benefit.analyses.of.such.investments..
quality.pre-kindergarten.services.to..                                                              answered.affirmatively.by.sending.the.
3-.and.4-year-olds—making.Vermont.                                                                  governor.a.bill.that.does.so,.which.
                                                  In.spite.of.these.promising.trends,.
one.of.only.seven.states.with.such.a.                                                               was.quickly.signed..The.bill.extends.
                                                  Voices.for.Vermont’s.Children.believes.
provision..Among.other.things,.the.bill.                                                            services.to.young.people.between.the.
                                                  that.more.could.be.done..A.large.gap.
allows.for.the.provision.of.preschool.                                                              ages.of.18.and.22.who.turned.18.while.
                                                  continues.to.exist.between.what.the.
services.either.directly.by.the.school.                                                             in.the.custody.of.the.state.or.were.in.
                                                  subsidy.program.provides.and.the.
or.through.contracts.with.private.                                                                  custody.for.at.least.five.years.between.
                                                  actual.cost.to.parents,.making.quality.
providers.in.centers.or.in.homes..                                                                  the.ages.of.10.and.18.and.who.elect.to.
                                                  child.care.more.and.more.out.of.reach.
However,.the.legislation.also.limits.                                                               continue.receiving.services..Youth.
                                                  for.low-income.families..
the.number.of.3-.and.4-year-olds.who.
can.be.included.in.a.district’s.school.                                                                                 continued on next page



F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                        
Vermont (continued)
under.the.age.of.22.who.leave.state.           consumers,.providers.and.representa-          H. Reach.Up—Vermont’s.current.
custody.after.the.age.of.16—and.at.or.         tives.of.disability.organizations.               income.support.program.for.low-
before.the.age.of.18—will.also.be.                                                              income.families.with.children..
eligible.for.services,.provided.they.          The.final.budget.also.included.a.1.2.            The.bill.contains.a.change.in.the.
voluntarily.request.additional.support..       percent.increase.in.the.foster.care.             earnings.disregard.that.will.be.used.
The.legislation.mandates.that.the.             reimbursement.rate.                              in.determining.a.family’s.eligibility.
administrative.rules.developed.for.                                                             for.benefits..With.the.change,.$200.
implementation.provide.age-appropriate.        The.governor.proposed.a.45.percent.              of.monthly.income.plus.25.percent.
services.to.ensure.a.successful.transition.    cut.($426,000).in.funding.for.balanced.          of.the.remaining.income.will.not.
to.adulthood,.including.foster.care,.          and.restorative.justice.programs.in.             be.considered.when.determining.
housing.assistance,.transportation,.           the.Fiscal.Year.2008.budget..After.              eligibility..The.previous.earnings.
case.management.services,.assistance.          making.its.way.through.both.houses.              disregard.was.$150.of.monthly.
with.obtaining.and.retaining.health.           of.the.Legislature,.the.final.budget.            income.plus.25.percent..
insurance.or.employment.and.other.             contained.a.cut.of.$76,000..The.
services..To.receive.services.under.this.      programs.are.designed.to.keep.youth.out.      H. Reach.Ahead—for.low-income.
bill,.youth.will.be.required.to.work.or.       of.the.corrections.system.by.including.          employed.families.or.families.
attend.an.educational.or.vocational.           the.victim.and.the.community.in.a.               receiving.food.stamps..It.provides.
program.and,.if.working,.required.to.          response.to.juvenile.criminal.behavior..         food.assistance.to.families.for..
contribute.to.the.cost.of.services..There.                                                      one.year..
is.a.‘”good.cause”.exception.for.young.
people.who.are.unable.to.work.or.attend.
                                               Economic Stability:
                                                                                             Under.this.three-program.system,.
school,.for.example,.due.to.a.disability..     An investment in the Future                   families.in.both.the.Reach.Up.and.Reach.
What.constitutes.good.cause.will.be.           Under.the.federal.government’s.Deficit.       Ahead.programs.are.counted.against.
determined.during.the.rulemaking.              Reduction.Act.of.2005,.states.must.           the.federal.work.participation.rate..
process..Also.under.the.bill.is.a.mandate.     implement.increased.work.participation.
against.imposition.of.a.copayment.for.         requirements.for.recipients.of.economic.      The.governor.also.signed.into.law.a.
prescription.drugs.for.individuals.under.      stability.support.or.face.harsh.sanctions.    bill.that.creates.a.child.poverty.council.
age.21.in.Medicaid.or.Dr..Dynasaur.            in.the.loss.of.federal.money.to.fund.         to.examine.child.poverty.in.the.state.
—Vermont’s.part.of.the.federal.State.          their.income.programs.for.poor.children.      and.to.make.recommendations.to.the.
Children’s.Health.Insurance.Program.           and.their.families..Vermont’s.response.       governor.and.the.Legislature.on.
                                               was.a.piece.of.legislation.signed.by.the.     methods.of.improving.the.financial.
The.legislation.also.directs.the.Secretary.    governor.that.splits.the.current.TANF.        stability.and.well-being.of.children..
of.Administration.to.complete.a.study.         program.into.three.separate.programs:         To.this.end,.the.council.will.develop.a.
of.the.costs.and.benefits.of.extending.                                                      ten-year.plan.to.reduce.the.number..
services.to.youth.transitioning.out.of.        H. Reach.First—a.program.of.services.         of.children.living.in.poverty.by.at.
state.custody.who.have.a.functional.              and.temporary.financial.assistance.        least.50.percent..The.bill.also.directs.
developmental.disability.and.have.been.           to.families.who.may.need.short-            that.the.council.be.composed.of.
receiving.services.through.an.indi-               term.assistance..If.families.move.         specific.legislators.or.their.designees,.
vidualized.education.program,.and.to.             out.of.the.program.within.four.            a.representative.from.Voices.for.
those.youth.who.have.received.state-              months,.they.are.not.included.in.          Vermont’s.Children.and.several.
funded.services.for.severe.emotional.             the.work.participation.rates..             agency.commissioners..H
disturbance.on.or.before.turning.18.              Families.can.transition.to.another.
years.old..The.bill.specifically.directs.         program,.if.it.is.necessary..
the.study.to.include.input.from.


2                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Virginia                                                                                                                        VA


  VOICES. member. Voices. for. Virginia’s. Children. played. an. active. role. throughout. the. 2007. session. in.
  speaking.up.for.the.needs.of.children.and.families..Among.the.issues.addressed.by.Governor.Tim.Kaine.
  (D).and.the.General.Assembly.were.priorities.laid.out.in.the.governor’s.state.of.the.state.address,.including.
  efforts.to.tackle.child.obesity.and.an.increase.in.the.state.income.tax.filing.threshold..Voices.for.Virginia’s.
  Children.and.other.child.advocates.were.pleased.that.the.approval.of.a.transportation.plan.during.the.
  2007.session.will.enable.elected.officials.to.turn.their.attention.to.neglected.issues.such.as.children.and.
  other.human.services.priorities.




Addressing Equity:                                The.governor.also.voiced.his.concern.             first.dose.of.the.vaccine.be.adminis-
Narrowing Societal gaps                           over.rising.childhood.obesity.rates..In.          tered.before.children.enter.grade.6..It.
                                                  response,.there.was.activity.in.the.2007.         also.includes.provisions.for.parents.or.
During.the.2007.session,.a.bill.was.
                                                  session.regarding.childhood.obesity.              guardians.to.elect.that.their.child..
enacted.that.amends.the.state.code.
                                                  and.healthy.choices.in.public.schools..           not.receive.the.vaccine.after.having.
relating.to.the.duties.of.the.Health.
                                                  The.General.Assembly.passed.a.joint.              reviewed.materials.describing.the.link.
Commissioner..With.the.amend-
                                                  resolution.to.establish.a.joint.subcom-           between.the.HPV.and.cervical.cancer..
ments,.the.commissioner.is.required.
                                                  mittee.to.study.childhood.obesity.in.
to.designate.a.licensed.physician.as.a.
                                                  the.state’s.public.schools.and,.among.            Another.bill.signed.by.the.governor.
senior.staff.member.at.the.Department.
                                                  other.things,.develop.legislative.                requires.health.insurance.providers..
of.Health.to.oversee.minority.health.
                                                  measures.to.combat.the.problem..                  to.continue.coverage.for.a.dependent.
efforts.of.the.department.
                                                  Another.joint.resolution.designated.              child.who.is.enrolled.as.a.full-time.
                                                  the.third.week.in.September.as.Healthy.           student.but.must.leave.school.or.
Supporting healthy                                Virginians/Healthy.Students.Week.in.              reduce.his.or.her.enrollment.status.
Development                                       the.state..Additionally,.an.enacted.bill.         because.of.a.medical.condition..The.
                                                  amended.existing.law.to.require.the.              requirement.applies.for.up.to.12.
In.his.state.of.the.state.address,.
                                                  Superintendent.of.Public.Instruction.             months.from.the.date.the.child.ceases.
Governor.Kaine.expressed.his.desire.
                                                  to.work.with.the.State.Health.                    to.be.a.full-time.student,.and.pertains.
to.reduce.the.state’s.infant.mortality.
                                                  Commissioner.to.combat.childhood.                 only.to.covered.children.under.age.25..
rate.by.increasing.the.eligibility.for.
                                                  obesity.and.other.chronic.health.
prenatal.care.services.so.that.more.
                                                  conditions.that.affect.school-age.                The.governor.also.signed.“Abraham’s.
expectant.mothers.have.access.to.care..
                                                  children.                                         Law”,.which.allows.children.14.or.
The.General.Assembly.concurred.and.
                                                                                                    older—in.concert.with.their.parents.
agreed.to.raise.the.threshold.for.
                                                  Also.enacted.was.a.10.percent.increase.           —to.refuse.medical.treatment,.provided.
covering.prenatal.care.for.pregnant.
                                                  in.Medicaid.reimbursement.rates.for.              the.child.has.sufficient.maturity,.all.
women.under.Medicaid.to.185.
                                                  physicians.providing.pediatric.services.          treatment.options.have.been.consid-
percent.of.the.Federal.Poverty.
                                                                                                    ered,.and.the.parents.believe.that.the.
Level—an.increase.from.166.percent..
                                                  Additionally,.a.bill.requiring.females.           refusal.of.a.particular.treatment.is.in.
Full.funding.for.this.increase.was.
                                                  to.receive.the.human.papillomavirus.              the.child’s.best.interest.
included.in.the.budget.resolution.
                                                  (HPV).vaccine.was.signed.by.the.
                                                                                                                       continued on next page
                                                  governor..The.bill.requires.that.the.


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                       3
Virginia (continued)
Finally,.an.enacted.bill.increases.the.       In.response.to.the.demand.for.highly.         Registry.will.automatically.forfeit.his.
age.that.children.must.be.secured.in..        skilled.workers,.a.bill.was.enacted.that.     or.her.public.office..Similarly,.another.
a.child.restraint.device.from.5.to.8.         directs.the.Board.of.Education.to.            bill.was.enacted.that.provides.that.an.
years.old..Among.other.things,.the.           establish.requirements.for.a.technical.       adult.who.has.been.convicted.of.a.
measure.requires.that.rear-facing.child.      diploma..This.type.of.high.school.            sexually.violent.offense.and.is.present.
restraint.devices.for.infants.from.birth.     diploma.must.meet.or.exceed.the.              on.public.or.private.elementary.
to.1.year.old.must.be.secured.in.the.         requirements.of.a.standard.diploma.           school.or.secondary.school.or.day.
back.seat.of.motor.vehicles..                 and.include.a.concentration.in.career.        care.center.property.without.a.
                                              or.technical.education..The.bill.also.        defined.reason.is.guilty.of.a.felony..
                                              provides.for.an.advanced.technical.
School readiness:
                                              diploma.for.those.students.who.meet.          There.was.activity.relating.to.gun.
Focus on Early Care                           the.requirements.of.an.advanced.studies.      safety.in.the.2007.session..In.particular,.
and Education                                 diploma.and.also.complete.a.concen-           one.enacted.bill.prohibits.anyone.
A.budget.amendment.in.2007.                   tration.in.career.and.technical.education..   other.than.a.law.enforcement.officer.
provided.funding.that,.according.to.                                                        or.someone.under.an.officer’s.
the.governor’s.office,.will.enable.the.                                                     supervision.from.attempting.to.
                                              Child Safety: Protections
state.to.enroll.more.at-risk.children.                                                      persuade.a.firearms.dealer.to.make.an.
in.high-quality.pre-kindergarten.
                                              Against Abuse, Neglect,                       illegal.sale..Finally,.the.Department.
while.also.testing.models.for.using.          Exploitation and Violence                     of.Game.and.Inland.Fisheries.is.
private.sector.providers.to.increase.         The.approved.budget.allocated.$3.             required.to.change.the.maximum.
access.for.more.4-year.olds..The.             million.for.a.10.percent.increase.in.         number.of.shells.a.shotgun.may.hold.
amendment.provides.$2.6.million.for.          maintenance.payments.made.to.foster.          and.still.be.a.legal.hunting.weapon.
preschool.programs.in.eligible.school.        family.homes.and.special.needs.
divisions.with.existing.programs.that.        adoption.homes..Also.in.the.budget.
                                                                                            Economic Stability:
have.established.partnerships.with.           was.$150,000.for.reimbursements.to.
private/non-profit.providers.and.elect.       school.districts.that.incurred.trans-
                                                                                            An investment in the Future
to.participate.in.a.pilot.for.at-risk.        portation.costs.related.to.providing.         In.early.2007,.the.governor.proposed.
preschool.students.not.currently.             transportation.for.foster.care.children.      an.increase.to.the.state.income.tax.
served..Another.portion.of.the.budget.        to.continue.their.education.at.the.same.      filing.threshold..In.an.enacted.bill.
includes.$3.8.million.for.targeted.           school.they.attended.before.being.            that.closely.matches.the.governor’s.
localities.for.child.care.subsidies..This.    placed.in.state.care..                        proposal,.the.filing.thresholds.were.
funding.will.help.to.partially.make.up.                                                     increased—for.individuals,.to.$11,950,.
for.a.loss.of.federal.matching.dollars..      The.nine.local.or.regional.juvenile.          and.for.married.persons,.to.$23,900.
                                              detention.centers.which.do.not.               by.2012..According.to.the.governor’s.
                                              currently.receive.state.funding.for.          office,.this.measure.will.take.more.
School Success:                                                                             than.140,000.low-income.people.off.
                                              mental.health.services.will.benefit.
Focus on K-2                                 from.a.$900,000.budget.allocation.for.        the.income.tax.rolls.and.represents.a.
A.measure.was.enacted.that.requires.          additional.mental.health.services.at.         $27.4.million.income.tax.cut..The.bill.
the.Board.of.Education.to.continue.           these.specific.facilities.                    also.increases.the.personal.exemption.
seeking.waivers.from.the.provisions.                                                        amount.from.$900.to.$930.in.2008..
of.the.No.Child.Left.Behind.Act.that.         An.enacted.bill.stipulates.that.a.public.
are.fiscally.and.programmatically.            official.who.is.convicted.of.an.offense.
burdensome.and.are.not.instructionally.       requiring.registration.on.the.Sex.                              continued on next page
sound.or.in.the.best.interest.of.children.    Offender.and.Crimes.against.Minors.


4                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Virginia (continued)
Also.successful.was.a.constitutional.
amendment.that.authorizes.the.
legislature.to.enact.legislation.allowing.
localities.to.exempt.or.defer.real.
property.taxes.on.up.to.20.percent..
of.the.value.of.residential.or.farm.
property.that.is.the.owner-occupant’s.
primary.dwelling.

Lawmakers.also.successfully.estab-
lished.the.Two-Year.College.Transfer.
Grant.Program..Under.this.program,.
individuals.who.have.successfully.
completed.an.associate.degree.program.
at.a.public.two-year.higher.education.
institution.are.eligible.for.up.to.$2,000.
per.year.to.pursue.a.four-year.degree.
at.an.in-state.public.or.private.university..
To.be.eligible.for.the.grant,.individuals.
must.also.demonstrate.financial.need.
and.enroll.in.the.four-year.public..
or.private.university.immediately.
following.the.completion.of.their.
associate.degree..H




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   5
Virgin islands                                                                                                          VI


  On.January.1,.2007,.the.Virgin.Islands.inaugurated.a.new.governor,.John.deJongh.Jr..(D),.who.entered.
  Intro
  office.by.announcing,.“We.can.no.longer.accept.that.a.third.of.our.children.live.in.poverty,.we.can.no.
  longer.accept.that.many.of.our.students.read.below.grade.level,.we.can.no.longer.accept.that.so.many.of.
  our.young.people.choose.to.leave.us.and,.if.they.return,.they.cannot.find.a.home,.and.we.can.no.longer.
  ignore.that.there.are.senior.citizens.sitting.in.darkened.rooms.unable.to.pay.their.power.bills..Since.we.
  can.no.longer.accept.and.ignore.these.facts—we.know.we.must.do.better.”.The.Community.Foundation.
  of.the.Virgin.Islands,.a.member.of.the.VOICES.network,.was.cheered.by.the.governor’s.pledge.to.do.better.
  for.the.children.and.families.of.the.Virgin.Islands.and.was.pleased.that.incremental.progress.was.made.on.
  these.important.goals.




Addressing Equity: Nar-                      the.governor.wrote.to.Chairman.of.             cantly.lower.level.than.in.most.states,.
rowing Societal gaps                         the.U.S..Senate.Finance.Committee.             creating.an.extreme.financial.hardship.
                                             Max.Baucus;.Chairman.of.the.U.S..              on.the.territory’s.health.care.system..
In.July,.Governor.deJongh.met.with.
                                             House.Ways.and.Means.Committee.                The.limited.Medicaid.funding.
executives.of.the.Community.
                                             Charles.Rangel;.U.S..Senators.Jeff.            requires.the.government.to.severely.
Foundation.of.the.Virgin.Islands.and.
                                             Bingaman,.John.D..Rockefeller.IV,.             curb.the.income.and.resource.criteria.
in.Leadership.Development.at.The.
                                             Charles.Grassley,.Tom.Harkin,.                 for.Medicaid.clients,.which.has.
Annie.E..Casey.Foundation.to.begin.
                                             Edward.Kennedy,.and.Orrin.Hatch;.              resulted.in.an.income.restriction.of.
collaborating.on.the.implementation.
                                             and.Representatives.Jim.McCrery.and.           $8,500.per.year.for.a.family.of.four,.
of.a.Leadership.in.Action.Program,.
                                             John.Dingell;.seeking.a.dedicated.             which.is.well.below.100%.of.the.
which.helps.communities.become.
                                             appropriation.to.fully.fund.the.program..      Federal.Poverty.Level,.which.in.2007.
mobilized.to.rapidly.accelerate.results.
                                                                                            for.a.family.of.four.was.set.at.$20,650.
for.children.and.families..The.program.
                                             It.is.estimated.that.between.$12.
is.vital.to.improving.the.well-being.of.
                                             million.and.$15.million,.or.$1,000.per.
children,.because.it.aims.to.decrease.                                                      School Success:
                                             qualified.child,.is.required.to.establish.
disparities.based.on.race,.class.and.
                                             a.full-fledged.SCHIP.program.in.the.
                                                                                            Focus on K-2
culture..The.unique.effort.brings.all.
                                             territory..Presently,.there.are.more.          Although.fiscal.restraints.required.the.
sectors.of.society.together.to.focus.on.
                                             than.12,000.uninsured.children.in.the.         governor.to.wield.the.veto.pen.on.
the.issue.of.early.child.care.in.the.
                                             Virgin.Islands.who.are.above.the.              several.key.budget.provisions,.impor-
territory.for.a.specific.period.of.time.
                                             Medicaid.threshold.and.not.covered.            tant.education.reforms.were.enacted..
                                             by.private.insurance..Due.to.limited.          Under.the.Fiscal.Year.2008.budget,.
Supporting healthy                           SCHIP.funding,.the.government.has.             district.superintendents.were.empow-
Development                                  struggled.to.provide.appropriate.              ered.with.enhanced.budget.authority..
                                             health.care.for.otherwise.qualified.           The.budget.reform.reallocates.
Governor.deJongh.launched.an.initia-
                                             children..Additionally,.the.federal.           resources.by.district,.and.transfers.
tive.to.create.a.State.Children’s.Health.
                                             contribution.to.Medicaid.funding.in.           managerial.responsibility.for.the.day-
Insurance.Program.(SCHIP).for.the.
                                             the.Virgin.Islands.is.capped.at.50.            to-day.operations.of.schools.to.the.
territory’s.qualified.uninsured.and.
                                             percent,.which.represents.a.signifi-
underinsured.children..In.September,.                                                                          continued on next page



6                          Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Virigin islands (continued)
district.level.and.away.from.state.
administration..This.will.allow.education.
funds.to.better.address.the.needs.of.
school.children.and.ensures.that.more.
money.is.spent.in.the.classroom.
rather.than.on.administration.

In.September,.the.governor.signed.an.
appropriations.bill.approving.various.
projects.to.be.funded.with.a.$1.7.
million.Community.Development.
Block.Grant.from.the.U.S..Housing.
and.Urban.Development,.including.
the.Teacher.Incentive.Scholarship.
Program..The.measure.also.provides.
more.flexibility.for.teachers.to.further.
their.own.education.under.the.
scholarship.program.administered.by.
the.Board.of.Education..Expanding.
professional.development.for.teachers.
was.one.of.the.key.education.goals.
laid.out.by.the.governor.in.his.state..
of.the.territory.address..H




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   7
Washington                                                                                                             WA


  Washington.state’s.2007.legislative.session.was.marked.by.great.victories.for.children,.including.significant.
  budget.investments.and.legislation.that.represented.the.culmination.of.years.of.work.by.VOICES’.member,.
  the. Children’s. Alliance.. Most. especially,. children’s. health. coverage,. early. learning. and. children’s. mental.
  health.received.unprecedented.state.support.that.will.have.a.direct.and.immediate.impact.on.children.




Addressing Equity:                           supports.for.primary.care.providers,.         Another.bill.signed.by.the.governor.
Narrowing Societal gaps                      and.nutrition.and.physical.activity.          directs.that.every.public.and.private.
                                             guidelines.for.schools.were.also.             school.in.the.state.provide.parents.
Recognizing.that.children.of.color.
                                             included.in.the.new.law..Funding.also.        and.guardians.of.children.entering.
fare.worse.than.other.children.in.the.
                                             was.provided.for.a.pediatric.rate.            grade.6.with.specific.information.
foster.care.system,.legislation.passed.
                                             increase.that.will.improve.access.to.         about.the.human.papillomavirus.and.
both.houses.with.overwhelming.
                                             health.care.by.allowing.pediatric.            its.vaccine..
support.and.was.signed.by.Governor.
                                             services.providers.to.see.more.children.
Chris.Gregoire.(D).that.represents.a.
                                             who.are.receiving.Medicaid,.a.goal.           Washington.became.the.first.state.to.
six-year.commitment.to.detailing.
                                             specified.by.the.governor.in.her.state.       ban.the.use.of.penta.and.octa.forms.of.
racial.disproportionality.in.the.state’s.
                                             of.the.state.address.                         PBDEs.(polybrominated.diphenyl.
child.welfare.system..The.legislation.
                                                                                           ethers),.flame.retardant.chemicals.
calls.for.a.state-level.commission.to.
                                             Additionally,.another.enacted.bill.will.      used.in.a.wide.array.of.household.
examine.why.the.disproportionality.
                                             improve.the.delivery.of.children’s.           products.that.have.been.found.to.
exists,.develop.specific.recommenda-
                                             mental.health.services..Among.its.            accumulate.in.breast.milk.and.other.
tions.and.implement.strategies.to.
                                             provisions,.the.legislation.expands.          tissues,.with.limited.exceptions,.by.
eliminate.the.problem..The.commis-
                                             mental.health.services.for.children.by:       2008..The.bill.also.bans.the.use.of.the.
sion.will.receive.$90,000.in.state.
                                                                                           deca.form.in.mattresses.by.2008.and.
funding,.with.plans.for.private.funding.
                                             H. Improving.outpatient.services;             the.use.of.the.deca.form.in.televisions,.
to.be.secured.by.the.Department.of.
                                                                                           computers.and.residential.upholstered.
Social.and.Health.Services.
                                             H. Piloting.expanded.wraparound.              furniture.by.2011,.as.long.as.a.safer,.
                                                services;                                  reasonable.and.effective.alternative.
Supporting healthy                                                                         has.been.identified..
Development                                  H. Revising.the.children’s.mental.
                                                health.benefits.package;
Under.a.bill.signed.by.the.governor,.                                                      School readiness:
Washington.became.one.of.only.a.few.                                                       Focus on Early Care
states.that.provides.comprehensive,.         H. Revising.access.standards.so..
                                                more.children.can.get.the.help.
                                                                                           and Education
affordable.health.coverage.to.all.
                                                they.need;.and,                            Following.on.the.heels.of.an.acknowl-
children..The.bill.opens.state-run.
                                                                                           edgement.by.the.governor.in.her.state.
programs.to.middle-income.families.
                                             H. Establishing.an.institute.at.the.          of.the.state.address.of.the.importance.
priced.out.of.the.employer-based.and.
                                                University.of.Washington.to.               of.a.rating.system.in.improving.the.
private.markets.by.charging.premiums.
                                                study.evidence-based.practices..           quality.of.early.education,.legislation.
based.on.a.sliding.scale..Provisions.
for.outreach.to.eligible.families,.             for.mental.health.services.                                    continued on next page



8                          Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Washington (continued)
was.enacted.that.creates.a.Quality.               all.campus-based.early.learning.                  have.been.identified.as.struggling.
Rating.and.Improvement.System.                    programs.and.services.in.order.to.create.         under.the.federal.No.Child.Left.
(QRIS)..The.QRIS.will.give.families.              a.coordinated.system.of.course.                   Behind.Act.guidelines.
standardized.information.about.the.               offerings.and.early.learning.education.
quality.of.child.care.centers,.and.offer.         opportunities,.including.parenting.               Several.efforts.to.ensure.that.youth.
support.and.incentives.to.providers.to.           education.and.on-campus.child.care..              complete.high.school.were.consid-
improve.their.programs..The.same.                 The.final.budget.also.includes.                   ered.in.the.2007.session..In.a.bill.
legislation.also.creates.an.early.                $500,000.in.funding.for.consultants.              signed.by.the.governor,.the.Legislature.
learning.advisory.council.that.will.              who.will.give.child.care.providers.               expanded.high.school.completion.
provide.guidance.on.the.development.              resources.for.helping.children.with.              programs..For.students.under.the.age.
of.a.statewide.early.learning.plan..The.          mental.health.issues.who.are.in..                 of.21.who.have.not.yet.received.a.
final.budget.also.included.funding.to.            their.care.                                       diploma.but.have.completed.all.
increase.child.care.reimbursement.                                                                  graduation.requirements.except.a.
rates—an.investment.of.more.than.                                                                   certificate.of.academic.achievement,.
                                                  School Success:
$85.million.                                                                                        the.bill.created.a.pilot.high.school.
                                                  Focus on K-2                                     completion.program.at.two.community.
Also.included.in.the.budget:                      In.her.state.of.the.state.address,.               colleges..A.statewide.program.for.
                                                  Governor.Gregoire.expressed.her.                  comprehensive.dropout.prevention.
H. $34.million.for.2,250.new.slots.in.            desire.to.phase.in.voluntary.all-day.             and.intervention.was.also.established..
   the.Early.Childhood.Education.                 kindergarten,.focusing.on.schools.                Subject.to.the.availability.of.funds,.
   and.Assistance.Program.(ECEAP).                serving.families.with.high.poverty.               the.program.will,.among.other.things,.
   —a.preschool.program.designed.                 levels..With.a.bill.she.signed,.the.              identify.individual.students.at.risk.of.
   to.help.low-income.and.at-risk.                Legislature.accomplished.this.key.                dropping.out.from.middle.through.
   children.and.their.families..                  goal.for.the.state’s.children..Also.              high.school.
   ECEAP.includes.four.interactive.               included.in.the.final.budget.was.$3.3.
   components:.education,.health.                 million.to.eliminate.the.reduced-price.           The.Legislature.also.provided.salary.
   and.nutrition,.family.support..                school.lunch.“co-pay”.for.kindergarten.           bonuses.for.teachers.certified.by.the.
   and.parent.involvement.                        through.grade.3..An.effort.in.2006.               National.Board.for.Professional.
                                                  that.successfully.eliminated.the.co-pay.          Teaching.Standards.in.a.bill.signed.by.
H. $1.7.million.for.child.care.                   for.the.breakfast.program.caused.a.               the.governor.
   resource.and.referral.services.                dramatic.increase.in.the.number.of.
                                                  children.eating.school.breakfast..The.
                                                  Children’s.Alliance.and.other.anti-
                                                                                                    Child Safety: Protections
For.children.who.are.in.early.childhood.
                                                  hunger.advocates.expect.to.see.similar.           Against Abuse, Neglect,
settings,.a.new.law.increases.safety.
measures.like.background.checks.and.              outcomes.as.a.result.of.this.measure.             Exploitation and Violence
expands.access.to.information.about.                                                                The.Legislature.also.took.steps.to.
providers..Another.bill.signed.by.the.            Two.afterschool.grant.initiatives.also.           help.foster.children.who.age.out.of.
governor.includes.in.the.minimum.                 received.funding..One.will.support.               the.system.at.18.to.make.the.transition.
licensing.requirements.a.prohibition.             community.programs.that.partner.                  to.adulthood..Medicaid.coverage.was.
on.the.use.of.window.blinds.with.pull.            with.school.districts.to.provide.                 extended.for.youth.who.age.out.of.
cords.or.inner.cords.capable.of.posing.           mathematics.support.activities..                  foster.care,.up.to.the.age.of.21..An.
a.risk.of.strangulation.for.young.                Another.will.be.directed.to.improving.            independent.youth.housing.program.
children..Also.enacted.was.a.bill.that.           reading.and.mathematics.proficiency.
requires.an.inventory.and.survey.of.              for.students.who.attend.schools.that.                             continued on next page



F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                       9
Washington (continued)
was.created.to.provide.rental.assistance.          providing.immunity.for.Depart-           alcohol,.or.drug.treatment;.domestic.
in.the.form.of.stipends.and.help.                  ment.of.Social.and.Health.               violence.services;.or.parenting.
youth.find.housing.when.they.age.out.              Services.representatives..Imple-         education.or.skills.to.participate.in.
of.the.foster.care.system..For.those.              mentation.funding.of.$80,000.was.        those.services.or.treatment.as.
who.want.to.pursue.postsecondary.                  included.in.the.final.budget.for.        appropriate,.up.to.20.hours.per.week..
opportunities,.foster.care.youth.will.             this.bill.                               The.legislation.also.requires.that.
be.eligible.to.receive.financial.support..                                                  DSHS.provide.information.about.
The.Passport.to.College.Promise.              The.final.budget.included.$6.million.         home.visitation.programs.to.TANF.
Program.was.created.to.significantly.         to.increase.court-appointed.special.          clients.with.children.under.the.age.of.
increase.outreach.to.foster.care.youth.       advocate.representation.around.the.           1..Funding.in.the.amount.of.$500,000.
between.the.ages.of.15.and.18.                state;.$6.6.million.to.increase.the.          was.included.in.the.final.budget.to.
regarding.the.availability.of.higher.         vender.rate.for.behavioral.rehabilita-        create.the.WorkFirst.Pathway.to.
education.opportunities.and.how.to.           tion.services.by.10.percent.over.the.         Engagement.Program..The.program.
access.them.                                  biennium;.and.$1.8.million.to.help.           will.support.families.in.the.community.
                                              ensure.Washington.state’s.compliance.         once.they.are.no.longer.receiving.
Several.bills.were.enacted.that.seek.to.      with.federal.requirements.of.the.             cash.assistance.from.the.state..
improve.the.child.welfare.system..            Indian.Child.Welfare.Act.which,.
One.measure.requires.that.foster.             among.other.things,.requires.that.            A.bill.signed.by.the.governor.creates.
parents,.pre-adoptive.parents.and.            placement.cases.involving.Indian.             a.family.leave.insurance.program.so.
other.caregivers.be.provided.notice.of.       children.be.heard.in.tribal.courts..          that.parents.can.stay.home.and.take.
their.right.to.be.heard.in.court.             if.possible.                                  care.of.a.newborn.or.newly.adopted.
proceedings.for.children.in.out-of-                                                         child.and—subject.to.minimum.
home.care..The.governor.also.signed.          The.Legislature.gave.the.nod.to.              eligibility.requirements—receive.a.
a.bill.requiring.certain.standards.be.        home.visitation.programs.by.funding.          benefit.of.$250.for.up.to.five.weeks..
met.and.background.checks.be.                 evidence-based.and.research-based.
conducted.before.a.child.is.returned.         home.visitation.programs.for.parents.         For.high-achieving.math.and.science.
to.his.or.her.home..                          to.improve.parenting.skills.and.              high.school.students,.a.bill.signed.by.
                                              improve.outcomes.for.children.                the.governor.provides.scholarships.to.
Other.pieces.of.legislation.related.to.                                                     pursue.mathematics,.science.or.a.
child.welfare.issues.that.were.signed.                                                      related.field.at.the.University.of.
                                              Economic Stability:
into.law.include:                                                                           Washington..Scholarship.recipients.
                                              An investment in the Future                   must.commit.to.working.in.a.math-
H. Requiring.the.petitioner.in.a.child.       Under.legislation.signed.by.the.              ematics,.science.or.related.field.for.at.
   welfare.case.to.provide.the.court.         governor,.parents.receiving.Temporary.        least.three.years.in.Washington.state.
   with.relevant.documentation;               Assistance.for.Needy.Families.(TANF).         following.the.completion.of.their.
                                              benefits.who.have.a.child.under.the.          bachelor’s.degree.
H. Adding,.to.the.list.of.appropriate.        age.of.1.now.have.a.“good.cause”.
   kinship.placements.for.children,.          reason.for.the.failure.to.participate.in.     Public.and.vocational.teachers.and.
   second.cousins.and.half-siblings;.         a.work.program..The.new.law.allows.           other.certified.instructional.staff.
   and,                                       the.Department.of.Social.and.Health.          seeking.employment.in.a.state-
                                              Services.(DSHS).to.require.any.               identified.shortage.area.will.now.have.
H. Reinstating.parental.rights.for.an.        recipient.with.a.child.under.the.age.of.      the.opportunity.to.waive.the.tuition.
   adolescent.who.is.in.state.care.and.       1.whose.comprehensive.evaluation.
   has.not.been.adopted.and.                  indicates.a.need.for.mental.health,.                            continued on next page



20                           Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Washington (continued)
and.fees.associated.with.their..
continuing.education..

Finally,.included.in.the.Fiscal.Year.
2008.budget:

H. $1.million.to.fund.the.Individual.
   Development.Accounts.program,.
   which.encourages.low-income.
   families.to.accrue.savings.that.are.
   then.matched.by.state.dollars..
   This.program.is.aimed.at.helping.
   families.reach.financial.security.
   through.saving.money.to.buy.their.
   first.home,.start.a.small.business.
   or.finance.higher.education.

H. $1.8.million.to.fund.an.Earned.
   Income.Tax.Credit,.and.provide.
   credit.counseling.and.debt.reduc-
   tion.services..Both.will.make.it.
   possible.for.low-income.families.to.
   keep.more.of.the.money.they.earn.

Child.support—a.key.component.of.
families’.economic.security—was.
recognized.by.the.Legislature.in.a.bill.
signed.by.the.governor.that.establishes.
work.groups.to.periodically.review.
child.support.guidelines.and.determine.
whether.such.guidelines.produce.
appropriate.results..H




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   2
West Virginia                                                                                                               WV


  Governor.Joe.Manchin.III.(D).began.the.year.by.expressing.priorities.related.to.obesity,.education.and.
  workforce. investments.. Throughout. the. 2007. session,. he. and. the. Legislature. worked. to. advance. bills.
  impacting. children’s. health,. school. readiness. and. success,. safety,. and. family. economic. security.. In. the.
  midst.of.this.activity,.VOICES’.member,.the.West.Virginia.KIDS.COUNT.Fund,.advocated.on.behalf.of.
  the.needs.of.children.and.families.in.the.state.




Supporting healthy                               School Success:                               The.governor.vetoed.a.bill.that.would.
Development                                      Focus on K-2                                 have.authorized.the.creation.and.
                                                                                               establishment.of.a.program.to.refurbish.
A.bill.signed.by.Governor.Manchin.               In.his.2007.state.of.the.state.address,.
                                                                                               and.donate.state.surplus.computers.
expands.required.newborn.screening.              Governor.Manchin.unveiled.a.$10.
                                                                                               from.state.agencies.to.public.schools.
to.allow.26.additional.tests,.including.         million.plan.to.provide.grants.to.county.
                                                                                               and.low-income.school.children..
tests.for.sickle.cell.anemia,.cystic.fibrosis.   boards.of.education.to.better.secure.
and.hearing.deficiency.                          and.monitor.access.to.school.property..
                                                                                               In.early.2007,.Governor.Manchin.
                                                 In.the.2007.session,.he.signed.a.bill.
                                                                                               proposed.a.2.5.percent.pay.increase.
                                                 that.puts.this.plan.into.law..The.
School readiness:                                                                              for.teachers.and.sought.to.increase.
                                                 governor.also.signed.a.bill.establishing.
Focus on Early Care                              the.21st.Century.Tools.for.the.21st.
                                                                                               the.starting.salary.for.teachers..The.
and Education                                                                                  governor’s.proposal.was.embraced.
                                                 Century.Schools.Technology.Initiative..
                                                                                               and.exceeded.with.legislation.that.was.
Late.in.the.year,.the.governor.issued.           This.program.seeks.to.give.students,.
                                                                                               enacted.establishing.a.3.5.percent.pay.
an.executive.order.that.gives.the.               from.pre-kindergarten.through.grade.
                                                                                               increase.for.teachers.and.service.
Partners.Implementing.an.Early.Care.             12,.the.knowledge.and.skills.needed.
                                                                                               personnel..Teachers.who.are.nationally.
and.Education.System.(PIECES).                   to.succeed.in.the.21st.century..Among.
                                                                                               board-certified.will.receive.an.additional.
Council.the.authority.to.study.the.              other.things,.the.bill.stipulates.that.
                                                                                               $3,500.per.year..
governance.of,.develop.quality.standards.        the.technical.equipment.and.services.
for,.and.examine.the.financing.of.an.            provided.to.students.and.teachers.
                                                                                               Other.key.legislative.victories.related.
early.child.care.and.education.program..         must.be.aligned.with.the.goals.of.the.
                                                                                               to.education.issues.include:
The.order.directs.the.council.to.devise.         West.Virginia.21st.Century.Strategic.
a.plan.and.examine.how.early.care.               Learning.Plan,.which.will.ultimately.
                                                                                               H. A.measure.permitting.retired.
can.be.funded..A.report.regarding.its.           guide.the.development.of.the.state.
                                                                                                  teachers.to.accept.employment.as.
progress.is.due.in.June.2008..The.               Department.of.Education’s.technology.
                                                                                                  substitutes.in.areas.of.critical.need.
council.was.established.as.an.advisory.          plan.for.schools..Another.bill.signed.
                                                                                                  for.an.unlimited.number.of.days.
body.to.develop.a.vision.for.the.early.          by.the.governor.establishes.a.compre-
                                                                                                  without.affecting.their.retirement.
care.and.education.system.in.the.state,.         hensive.statewide.student.assessment.
                                                                                                  benefits;.and
and.includes.representatives.from.the.           program.to.measure.student.performance.
state.Department.of.Education,.the.              and.progress.in.grades.3.through.12.
                                                                                               H. A.bill.stipulating.that.funds.to.
Department.of.Health.and.Human.
                                                                                                  reimburse.teachers.for.continuing.
Resources,.business,.labor.representa-
tives.and.child.care.providers..
                                                                                                                   continued on next page



22                              Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
West Virginia (continued)
     education.will.be.used.to.first.             and.provides.for.another.family.court.            Another.bill.signed.by.the.governor.
     compensate.teachers.who.take.                circuit..The.same.bill.realigns.a.number.         brings.the.West.Virginia.Works.
     courses.for.certification.renewal.           of.existing.family.court.circuits.to.             Program—the.state’s.Temporary.
     or.for.an.additional.endorsement.            reduce.the.caseloads.of.judges.as.mea-            Assistance.for.Needy.Families.
     in.a.shortage.area,.when.funding.            sured.by.a.recent.study.conducted.by.             program—into.compliance.with.
     resources.are.low..                          the.National.Center.for.State.Courts.             federal.law,.as.required.by.the.federal.
                                                                                                    Deficit.Reduction.Act..Under.the.bill,.
Finally,.in.an.executive.order,.the.              Juveniles.who.consume.alcohol.will.               eligible.people.who.are.enrolled.in.
governor.announced.the.launch.of.                 now.face.increased.penalties.under.a.             higher.education.courses.can.partici-
SEEDS.(Student.Educational.and.                   bill.signed.by.the.governor..The.                 pate.in.work.training.programs,.which.
Economic.Development.Success)—.                   penalties.range.from.up.to.eight.hours.           will.be.available.at.state.colleges.and.
a.new.volunteer.mentoring.program.                of.community.service.and/or.a.$25.                universities..The.bill.also.creates.a.
that.partners.a.public.school.principal.          maximum.fine.for.first-time.offenders.            special.and.separate.program.to.fund.
with.a.seasoned.business.leader.and.              to.up.to.24.hours.of.community.service,.          participants.in.a.two-parent.family..
master.educator.to.turn.around.a.                 up.to.a.$100.fine.and/or.a.driver’s.              While.a.special.account.will.be.created.
struggling.school..Five.pilot.SEEDS.              license.revocation.until.age.18.for.              to.fund.this.special.program,.all.
schools.were.chosen.for.the.launch.and.           third-time.offenders..Another.bill.               requirements.of.the.West.Virginia.
will.each.receive.grants.of.$75,000.to.           increased.the.maximum.fine.for.                   Works.Program.apply..H
invest.in.the.program.over.three.years..          providing.alcohol.to.a.person.under.
In.early.2008,.another.five.schools.              the.age.of.21.from.$100.to.$250..
will.be.accepted.into.the.program..
                                                  Regarding.safety,.a.bill.signed.by.the.
                                                  governor.adds.a.fine.to.an.existing.act.
Child Safety: Protections
                                                  prohibiting.the.use.of.hand-held.cell.
Against Abuse, Neglect,                           phones.by.a.minor.while.driving..These.
Exploitation and Violence                         penalties.apply.to.minors.holding.a.
Under.a.bill.signed.by.the.governor,.             level.one.instruction.permit.or.a.level.
the.Division.of.Corrections.can.now.              two.intermediate.driver’s.license..
create.correctional.center.nurseries.
where.an.eligible.inmate.and.her.
                                                  Economic Stability:
children.can.live.together..To.be.eligible.
to.participate.in.this.program,.the.
                                                  An investment in the Future
mother.must.give.birth.while.incar-               Related.to.families’.economic.security,.
cerated.and.comply.with.any.education.            an.enacted.bill.provides.for.a.maximum.
or.counseling.offered..                           $1,000.refundable.tax.credit.in.the.
                                                  amount.of.real.property.taxes.paid.in.
With.a.bill.signed.by.the.governor,.              excess.of.4.percent.of.a.person’s.income..
sibling.visitation.petitions.will.now.be.         It.also.provides.that.a.home.owner.
under.the.jurisdiction.of.family.court;.          can.choose.to.benefit.from.either.this.
previously,.such.cases.were.solely.               refundable.tax.credit.or.the.low-income.
under.the.purview.of.circuit.courts..             tax.credit.for.property.tax.paid.on.the.
Another.enacted.bill.increases.the.               first.$20,000.of.taxable.assessed.value.
number.of.family.court.judges.by.10..             of.a.homestead—whichever.is.greater.
 .


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                      23
Wisconsin                                                                                                              WI


  VOICES’.member,.the.Wisconsin.Council.on.Children.and.Families,.deemed.the.outcome.of.Wisconsin’s.
  budget.process.in.2007.as.a.compromise.that.genuinely.prioritizes.the.well-being.of.the.state’s.children.
  and.families..Among.other.things,.the.budget.created.the.new.Department.of.Children.and.Families.in.
  order.to.improve.the.coordination.of.services.for.children..The.Department.is.Wisconsin’s.first.cabinet.
  agency.devoted.exclusively.to.helping.and.protecting.children.and.families,.and.will.unify.more.than.30.
  services.currently.divided.between.two.separate.agencies.




Supporting healthy                          Additionally,.the.final.budget.included.      H. A.$53.6.million.funding.increase.
Development                                 an.expanded.income.tax.deduction..               for.special.education;
                                            for.health.insurance.premiums,.on.a.
In.line.with.Governor.Jim.Doyle’s.                                                        H. A.$27.million.addition.to.the.
                                            phased-in.basis..Not.included.in.the.
(D).early.2007.commitment.to.create.                                                         Student.Achievement.Guarantee.in.
                                            final.budget.was.a.proposal.for.W-2.
a.program.that.provides.all.Wisconsin.                                                       Education.program..The.program.
                                            (Wisconsin’s.Temporary.Assistance.for.
families.with.the.opportunity.to.                                                            promotes.academic.achievement.
                                            Needy.Families.program).benefits.for.
purchase.health.coverage.for.their.                                                          in.475.schools.statewide.by.
                                            pregnant.women.in.at-risk.pregnancies.
children,.the.final.budget.included.                                                         providing.aid.equal.to.$2,000.for.
funding.for.the.BadgerCare.Plus.                                                             each.low-income.child.from.
program..The.program.will.make.             School readiness:                                kindergarten.to.grade.3.to.imple-
coverage.available.to.nearly.all.of.the.    Focus on Early Care                              ment.smaller.class.sizes.and.a.more.
state’s.uninsured.children.and,.            and Education                                    rigorous.curriculum,.increase.
beginning.in.2009,.will.provide.                                                             school.and.community.collabora-
                                            The.final.budget.included.a.$69.million.
coverage.for.childless.adults.with.                                                          tion,.and.improve.professional.
                                            increase.in.funding.for.the.Wisconsin.
incomes.below.200.percent.of.the.                                                            development.for.teachers;
                                            Shares.child.care.subsidy.program..
Federal.Poverty.Level..Funding.was.
                                            However,.the.budget.did.not.autho-            H. $21.million.in.new.aid.appro-
also.provided.for.outreach.activities.
                                            rize.waiting.lists,.nor.does.it.change.          priation.for.high-poverty.school.
to.make.families.aware.of.the.program..
                                            eligibility.levels..Likewise,.child.care.        districts;
Additionally,.while.the.program.
                                            provider.payment.rates.are.frozen.at.
contains.$6.million.to.fund.new.and.
                                            2006.levels..                                 H. $10.million.per.year.for.grants.to.
innovative.ways.of.providing.dental.
                                                                                             Milwaukee.Public.Schools.to.
care.to.low-income.families,.proposals.
                                            Money.was.also.included.to.help.school.          improve.pupil.academic.perfor-
from.the.Legislature.to.increase.
                                            districts.launch.pre-kindergarten.               mance;
dental.reimbursement.rates.were.
                                            programs.for.4-year-olds,.with.prefer-
ultimately.left.out..The.costs.of.                                                        H. A.new.$3.6.million.per.year.
                                            ence.given.to.community.approaches...
Medicaid.and.the.BadgerCare.Plus.                                                            appropriation.for.aid.to.small.
programs.will.be.offset.with.ear-                                                            rural.districts;.and
marked.revenues.from.a.$1.per.pack.         School Success:
increase.in.the.cigarette.tax;.the.         Focus on K-2                                 H. A.$17.million.increase.in.school.
governor.had.originally.proposed.a.                                                          library.aid.
                                            Regarding.elementary.and.secondary.
$1.25.per.pack.inncrease.in.his.state.
                                            education,.the.final.budget.includes:                             continued on next page
of.the.state.address.


24                         Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Wisconsin (continued)
To.encourage.more.schools.to.offer.               Economic Stability:
breakfast.programs,.the.final.budget.             An investment in the Future
included.$3.3.million.over.two.years.
                                                  With.the.final.budget,.a.state.income.
in.order.to.increase.school.breakfast.
                                                  tax.deduction.for.a.portion.of.child.
reimbursement.rates.
                                                  and.dependent.care.expenses.will.be.
                                                  phased.in.over.several.years,.starting.
Child Safety: Protections                         in.tax.year.2009..The.budget.also.
Against Abuse, Neglect,                           includes.a.$1.5.million.annual.increase.
Exploitation and Violence                         in.emergency.assistance.funding..
                                                  and.$125,000.for.the.implementation.
The.budget.includes.$23.million.in.
                                                  of.Wisconsin’s.transitional.jobs.pilot.
increased.funding.for.the.Youth.Aids.
                                                  program.
program.to.offset.the.increases.in.the.
daily.rates.charged.to.counties.for.
                                                  The.final.budget.did.not.include.
juveniles.in.secure.institutions..Youth.
                                                  provisions.requiring.additional.
Aids.was.created.to.fund.community-
                                                  verification.of.citizenship.in.applica-
based.juvenile.delinquency.programs,.
                                                  tions.for.public.benefits..The.Wis-
and.its.appropriations.fund.most.of.
                                                  consin.Council.on.Children.and.
the.cost.of.the.juvenile.justice.system..
                                                  Families.has.been.strongly.supportive.
                                                  of.efforts.to.reduce.the.number.of.
Regarding.youth.development.efforts,.
                                                  citizen.children.whose.applications.
the.budget.includes.an.$800,000.per.
                                                  for.public.benefits.are.denied.or.
year.increase.in.the.Youth.Appren-
                                                  delayed.because.their.parents.are.
ticeship.Program,.which.is.designed.
                                                  unable.to.document.their.eligibility.
for.high.school.students.who.want.
hands-on.learning.at.work.sites.in.
                                                  The.Wisconsin.Council.on.Children.
conjunction.with.classroom.instruction..
                                                  and.Families.supports.fair.and.smart.
Providing.extra.funding.to.this.program.
                                                  tax.policies.that.provide.funds.to.
was.acknowledged.by.the.governor.in.
                                                  maintain.quality.services,.including.
his.state.of.the.state.address..The.
                                                  increasing.the.Homestead.Exemption.
budget.also.includes.funding.for.the.
                                                  and.indexing.it.for.inflation..A.proposal.
new.$500,000.annual.appropriation.of.
                                                  to.do.the.latter.was.not.included.in.
the.Youth.Summer.Jobs.Program.in.
                                                  the.final.budget,.essentially.cutting.
Milwaukee,.which.places.city.youth.in.
                                                  funding.for.the.credit.by.$13.1.million.
positions.created.by.private.businesses.
                                                  because.of.erosion.caused.by.inflation..
partnering.with.the.city.as.well.as.in.
                                                  This.program.helps.to.soften.the.impact.
internships.in.city.government..
                                                  of.property.taxes.and.rent.on.families.
                                                  with.lower.incomes..H
Foster.care.payment.rates.increased.
by.5.percent.in.January.2008.and.will.
receive.an.additional.5.percent.increase.
in.January.2009.




F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow   25
Wyoming                                                                                                                   WY


  Throughout.the.2007.session,.VOICES’.member,.the.Wyoming.Children’s.Action.Alliance,.tracked.legislation.
  impacting.children.and.families.and.provided.an.ongoing.voice.for.their.needs..It.worked.to.advance.the.
  priorities.of.an.agenda.created.in.collaboration.with.other.advocates.in.the.state..Among.the.legislation.
  considered.by.Governor.Dave.Freudenthal.(D).and.the.Legislature.were.items.related.to.early.care.and.
  education.issues—a.priority.expressed.by.the.governor.in.his.state.of.the.state.address.




Supporting healthy                             signed.into.law.prohibits.the.mixing.         children.from.birth.through.age.5.
Development                                    or.pouring.of.alcoholic.drinks.by.            with.developmental.disabilities..Also.
                                               persons.under.the.age.of.21..                 enacted.was.legislation.that.directs.
The.Legislature.considered.several.
                                                                                             funding.to.the.improvement.of.the.
measures.relating.to.children’s.health.
                                               Additionally,.several.issues.relating.to.     child.care.services.infrastructure..
care..Two.measures.related.specifically.
                                               seat.belt.and.child.restraint.safety.         Included.are.facilities.and.business.
to.infants..Under.an.enacted.bill,.the.
                                               were.considered.by.the.Legislature.           management.services,.professional.
Department.of.Health.is.directed.to.
                                               but.were.not.ultimately.enacted..The.         development.grants.for.child.care.
develop.rules.for.assessing.reasonable.
                                               Wyoming.Children’s.Action.Alliance.           providers.and.more.reporting.
fees.for.metabolic.and.hearing.screen-
                                               formally.supported.one.that.sought.to.        requirements..Another.piece.of.
ings.for.newborns..Also.signed.into.
                                               eliminate.the.opportunity.to.have.a.          legislation.appropriated.funding..
law.was.a.bill.providing.increased.
                                               first.offense.for.improperly.restraining.     for.the.quality.child.care.program..
supports.for.breastfeeding..Its.provisions.
                                               a.child.waived.if.the.offender.provides.      This.program.will.provide.for:.
include.exempting.breastfeeding.from.
                                               proof.of.acquiring.a.child.safety.
the.indecent.exposure.statute;.excusing.
                                               restraint.system..                            H. An.increase.in.child.care.subsidy.
breastfeeding.mothers.from.jury.duty;.
                                                                                                payments.to.families.at.or.below.
creating.mother-friendly.workplaces;.
                                                                                                200.percent.of.the.Federal.Poverty.
and.allowing.incarcerated.women.               School readiness:
                                                                                                Level.(FPL).at.the.75th.percentile.
with.children.under.the.age.of.1.to.           Focus on Early Care                              of.the.2006.market.rate;
have.their.babies.live.with.them.at.the.       and Education
jail.or.correctional.institution..The.bill.
                                               Following.on.the.heels.of.the.gover-          H. An.additional.payment.of.$1.40.
also.provides.for.education.in.grades.
                                               nor’s.commitment.in.his.state.of.the.            per.hour.subsidy.payment.for.
9-12.on.the.benefits.of.breastfeeding..
                                               state.address.to.“create.an.environ-             families.at.or.below.200.percent.of.
                                               ment.in.which.child.care.can.be.                 the.FPL.for.infant.care.(children.
There.were.also.several.measures.
                                               successfully.delivered.to.the.broadest.          from.birth.through.age.12.months);
related.to.drug.and.alcohol.use.by.
                                               number.of.citizens.in.the.state,”.there.
minors.that.were.enacted.in.2007..In.
                                               was.much.activity.in.Wyoming’s.               H. An.additional.payment.of.$1.00.
an.effort.to.strengthen.rules.against.
                                               Legislature.regarding.early.care.and.            per.hour.subsidy.payment.for.
selling.tobacco.to.minors,.legislation.
                                               education.opportunities..                        families.at.or.below.200.percent.of.
was.signed.by.Governor.Freudenthal.
                                                                                                the.FPL.for.toddler.care.(children.
that.provides.further.definition.of.
                                               Legislation.was.enacted.that.increases.          from.12-.to.24-months-old);
restrictions.relating.to.tobacco.
                                               the.per-child.reimbursement.amount.
vending.machines..Another.bill.                                                                                  continued on next page
                                               for.preschool.providers.that.serve.


26                            Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
Wyoming (continued)
H. A.professional.development.                    Additionally,.the.governor.signed..               in.the.sex.offender.registry..The.bill.
   scholarship.program.for.child.care.            into.law.a.bill.establishing.incentive.           would.have.also.prohibited.offenders.
   providers.who.provide.care.to.                 reimbursement.payments.to.school.                 from.living.in.areas.near.schools.and.
   low-income.families;                           districts.employing.teachers.with.the.            day.care.centers.and.restricted.how.
                                                  capacity.to.teach.multiple.subject.               they.travel.in.these.areas..
H. A.family.strengthening.program;                areas.as.well.as.educators.holding.
                                                  national.board.certification..                    Under.legislation.passed.by.the.
H. Technical.assistance.to.child.care.                                                              Legislature.and.signed.into.law.by.the.
   providers;.and                                 Related.legislation.was.signed.into.              governor,.individuals.caught.driving.
                                                  law.that.provides.for.enforcement..               under.the.influence.with.a.child.
H. A.parent.education/public.                     of.speed.limits.in.safety.zones.in.the.           under.the.age.of.16.in.the.vehicle.will.
   awareness.program.                             vicinity.of.schools,.and.strengthens.             now.face.child.endangerment.charges.
                                                  the.penalties.for.passing.stopped.                and.possible.investigation.by.child.
Finally.another.piece.of.legislation.             school.buses.and.for.speeding.in.                 protective.services.
signed.into.law.by.the.governor.                  school.zones..
provides.for.the.inclusion.of.a.                                                                    Finally,.with.an.enacted.bill,.great-
component.for.mental.health.or.                                                                     grandparents.can.now.petition.to.
                                                  Child Safety: Protections
social-emotional.development.services.                                                              establish.child.visitation.rights.in.
                                                  Against Abuse, Neglect,                           specified.circumstances.
in.the.formula.for.developmental.
preschool.funding..
                                                  Exploitation and Violence
                                                  A.bill.establishing.crimes.for.sexual.
                                                                                                    Economic Stability:
                                                  abuse.of.minors.and.amending.
School Success:                                   penalties.for.certain.sexual.offenses.
                                                                                                    An investment in the Future
Focus on K-2                                     was.signed.into.law,.as.was.legislation.          The.Legislature.considered.several.
Legislation.aimed.at.further.positioning.         relating.to.sex.offender.registration..           measures.impacting.the.ability.of.
K-12.students.for.academic.success.               Among.its.provisions,.the.latter.bill.            families.to.provide.for.children’s.
was.largely.unsuccessful.in.the.2007.             reduces.the.number.of.days.for.an.                needs.and.make.investments.in.the.
session..Legislation.did.not.come.up.             individual.to.register.as.a.sex.offender.         future..In.his.2007.state.of.the.state.
for.a.vote.that.would.have.required.              and.provides.stiffer.penalties.for.               address,.Governor.Freudenthal.
compulsory.school.attendance.through.             failing.to.do.so;.it.also.expands.the.            expressed.his.desire.to.eliminate.the.
grade.12.or.age.18.and.mandated.                  scope.of.dissemination.of.the.central.            sales.tax.on.food..The.Legislature.
reports.from.school.boards.on.targeted.           registry.of.sex.offenders.and.eliminates.         passed.and.the.governor.ultimately.
efforts.to.address.the.needs.of.students.         the.requirement.of.a.hearing.to.judge.            signed.a.bill.to.do.so.
at.risk.of.dropping.out.of.school..               the.likelihood.of.re-offense..Also.
                                                  enacted.was.a.bill.that.makes.a.felony.           On.the.other.hand,.an.effort.to.
On.the.funding.side,.a.bill.related.to.           of.the.crime.of.harboring.a.sex.                  increase.the.minimum.wage.from.
school.finance.requiring.a.review.of.             offender.through.failing.to.report.               $5.15.to.$7.25.per.hour.and.adjust.
programs.focused.on.at-risk.youth—.               noncompliance.to.registration.                    the.minimum.wage.every.five.years.
specifically,.alternative.schools—.               requirements.or.helping.the.offender.             based.on.the.state’s.cost-of-living.
was.signed.by.the.governor..Among.                provide.false.information.or.elude.               index.failed.in.committee..Another.
other.key.provisions,.this.bill.continues.        authorities..An.effort.ultimately.failed.         effort.to.increase.the.state.minimum.
the.summer.school/extended-..                     that.would.have.required.child.sex.               wage.for.tipped.employees.from.
day.programs.during.the.2007-2008.                offenders.to.wear.global.positioning.
school.year.                                      devices.during.the.time.they.are.listed.                          continued on next page


F u l f i l l i n g t h e P ro m i se 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Better Tomorrow                       27
Wyoming (continued)
$2.13.to.$5.15.per.hour.likewise.was.
not.enacted.

Child.support.issues.were.also.
addressed.in.the.2007.session..Under.
a.bill.signed.by.the.governor,.the.
Department.of.Family.Services.is.now.
authorized.to.collect.the.federally.
mandated.fee.for.child.support.by.
deducting.the.fee.from.the.payments.
made.by.the.person.paying.support..
Another.enacted.piece.of.legislation.
serves.to.streamline.notice.to.employ-
ers.of.child.support.withholding.and.
provide.penalties.for.noncompliance.

In.his.state.of.the.state.address,.the.
governor.urged.the.Legislature.to.
address.the.need.for.workforce.
development.and.training..The.
Legislature.made.efforts.to.do.so..
by.establishing.a.loan.program.that.
will.assist.students.who.are.residents.
of.the.state.in.pursuing.a.career.in.
dentistry..Under.the.bill.signed.by.the.
governor,.loan.recipients.will.be.able.
to.attend.dental.school.outside.of.the.
state.but.will.be.required.to.practice.
dentistry.in.Wyoming.for.three.years.
following.graduation..H




28                         Fulfilling the Promise 2007: State Progress Toward Meeting Children’s Needs for a Bette r To m o r ro w
With 60 members in nearly every state, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands,
Voices for America’s Children is the only nationwide network of state and local child advocacy organizations.
Members of VOICES are independent, nonprofit, multi-issue organizations dedicated to the well-being of
children in their locations. By gathering data and conducting research, educating the public and the media,
working with elected officials, monitoring government programs, and offering creative solutions, VOICES’
members advocate for children across the country.


  Me MB e r Sh iP l i S T (B Y STAT e )
VoiCeS for                      Voices for illinois Children       Association for Children       Black Children’s institute
Alabama’s Children              Chicago, IL                        of New Jersey                  of Tennessee
Montgomery, AL                                                     Newark, NJ                     Nashville, TN
                                Kansas Action for Children
Arkansas Advocates              Topeka, KS                         New Mexico Voices              Tennessee Commission
for Children & Families                                            for Children                   on Children & Youth
Little Rock, AR                 Kentucky Youth Advocates           Albuquerque, NM                Nashville, TN
                                Jeffersontown, KY
Children’s Action Alliance                                         Children’s Advocacy Alliance   ChilDreN AT riSK
Phoenix, AZ                     Agenda for Children                Henderson, NV                  Houston, TX
                                New Orleans, LA
Children Now                                                       Citizens’ Committee            Texans Care for Children
Oakland, CA                     Massachusetts Citizens             for Children of New York       Austin, TX
                                for Children                       New York, NY
Children’s Advocacy institute   Boston, MA                                                        Voices for Children
San Diego, CA                                                      Schuyler Center for            of San Antonio
                                Advocates for                      Analysis & Advocacy            San Antonio, TX
Coleman Advocates               Children & Youth                   Albany, NY
for Children & Youth            Baltimore, MD                                                     Voices for utah Children
San Francisco, CA                                                  Westchester Children’s         Salt Lake City, UT
                                Maine Children’s Alliance          Association
Kids in Common                  Augusta, ME                        White Plains, NY               Voices for Virginia’s Children
San Jose, CA                                                                                      Richmond, VA
                                Michigan’s Children                Voices for ohio’s Children
Colorado Children’s             Lansing, MI                        Cleveland, OH                  Community Foundation
Campaign                                                                                          of the Virgin islands
Denver, CO                      Priority Children                  oklahoma institute             St. Thomas, VI
                                Flint, MI                          for Child Advocacy
Connecticut Voices                                                 Oklahoma City, OK              Voices for Vermont’s Children
for Children                    Citizens for Missouri’s Children                                  Montpelier, VT
New Haven, CT                   St. Louis, MO                      Children First for oregon
                                                                   Portland, OR                   Children’s Alliance
DC Action for Children          Partnership for Children                                          Seattle, WA
Washington, DC                  Kansas City, MO                    Pennsylvania Partnerships
                                                                   for Children                   Wisconsin Council
KiDS CouNT in Delaware          Mississippi Forum on               Harrisburg, PA                 on Children & Families
Newark, DE                      Children & Families                                               Madison, WI
                                Jackson, MS                        Public Citizens for
Children’s Campaign, inc.                                          Children & Youth               West Virginia
Tallahassee, FL                 Action for Children                Philadelphia, PA               KiDS CouNT Fund
                                North Carolina                                                    Charleston, WV
Voices for georgia’s Children   Raleigh, NC                        rhode island KiDS CouNT
Atlanta, GA                                                        Providence, RI                 Wyoming Children’s
                                North Dakota KiDS CouNT!                                          Action Alliance
good Beginnings Alliance        Fargo, ND                          Voices for South Carolina’s    Cheyenne, WY
Honolulu, HI                                                       Children
                                Voices for Children                Columbia, SC
Child & Family Policy Center    in Nebraska
Des Moines, IA                  Omaha, NE                          South Dakota KiDS CouNT
                                                                   Vermillion, SD
idaho Voices for                Children’s Alliance
Children Foundation, inc.       of New hampshire                   South Dakota Voices
Boise, ID                       Concord, NH                        for Children
                                                                   Sioux Falls, SD
VoiCeS For AMeriCA’S ChilDreN
    1000 Vermont Avenue, NW
            Suite 700
      Washington, DC 20005
      Phone: (202) 289-0777
       www.voices.org

				
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