For the past four decades, children have been the most vulnerable group in America. The percentage of children in poverty in 2010 — 22% — has remained roughly the same since 1959, when it was 27%. The rate of child poverty in the United States is nearly twice that of the average in industrial countries, and the U.S. ranks at the bottom of this group in spending on early childhood. With these grim figures as a backdrop, this commentary poses a series of policy questions for the 2012 presidential candidates to spur a dialogue about the vital issues of child poverty, health, development, and education.
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