Kids still Losing Ground in Federal Budget, Education's Impact on Social Mobility & more!

News, tools & views to spark positive impact in the lives of children & youth

July 2, 2015                                                                                             Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter    Find us on Google+   View our videos on YouTube 
Still Losing Ground: A Debrief on
the 2015 Children's Budget 
First Focus Children's Budget 2015


Things are looking up financially for the federal government, but you wouldn't know it if you're a kid. Since 2010, the share of federal discretionary spending dedicated to children has dropped by more than 7 percent in just 4 years - a significant amount. 

This is a serious problem! 


The Children's Budget 2015 (First Focus) spotlights a disheartening trend: The share of discretionary federal dollars devoted to children and youth continues to dip and America's young people are still getting squeezed, despite the economic recovery. 
Patrick Boyle, communications director for the Forum for Youth Investment and a veteran journalist on youth issues, gives a more in-depth look at the implications of this data and shares ways to use the report for advocacy.


Tweet the Story! 

The Children's Budget from @First_Focus finds youth still losing ground when it comes to gov spending. #InvestInKids

For Your Calendar
July 6-10:
July 20-21:
National Juvenile Justice Network 10th Anniversary Forum. Register
July 23-24:
Coalition for Juvenile Justice:  2015 Youth Summit., 'The Time is Now: Creating Change with Young Emerging Leaders' Register
PolicyLink's Equity Summit. Los Angeles, CA. Click here for more info. 

opportunity youth
Youth Disconnection: Race & Readiness in America's Cities

More than 5 million young people are disconnected from the workforce, school, or other public systems and supports, with huge gaps being influenced by place and race. A new report by the non-partisan initiative Measure of America, Zeroing in on Place and Race: Youth Disconnection in America's Cities finds that nearly one in seven young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 fall into the category of "disconnected youth." But a closer look at race, and socio-economic status shows a clearer picture of our young adults and the challenges they face.

Learn how race and place can affect youth readiness in America's cities.
readiness traps
Audio: A Thought Leader Roundtable on Readiness and Schools

How can schools better help young people navigate the traps and gaps that impede their readiness to meet life's challenges? Leaders across education, government, and business sectors are talking about the need to increase the skills and habits that young people need to succeed in school, work and life. Three leading thinkers in the youth field - Stephanie Krauss, Bryan Joffe, and Karen Pittman - got together to tackle this topic.


Learn more about readiness traps and listen to the recording of the Thought Leader Roundtable.




D.C. Briefing: How Policymakers are Aligning Efforts Across Government
Results for America and the Forum for Youth Investment are hosting The Collective Impact for Children and Youth Policy Summit: How Policymakers are Aligning Efforts Across Government on July 16 in Washington, D.C. This event will examine state and local collective impact efforts for children and discuss how federal policies like Performance Partnership Pilots, Promise Zones, and other place-based initiatives can support and encourage these efforts. 


July 16 at 8:45 a.m. ET, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. Space is limited. Please RSVP to Sara Matthew by July 10 to reserve your seat.

Grant Alert: GradNation State Activation Initiative

While the recently released Building a Grad Nation report shows that the country reached a record high graduation rate of 81.4 percent in 2013, progress on the state level has been uneven, with statewide graduation rates ranging from 69.2 to 89.7 percent. The research also finds that nearly all states graduate significantly lower percentages of students from low-income families, students of color, and students with disabilities. America's Promise Alliance is working on a three-year initiative that will focus on increasing graduation rates. Think your organization is capable of leading statewide efforts to boost graduation rates and create new models for the nation? Apply for this grant!


No Raise the Age in NY -- Now What?
After months of incredible advocacy efforts from organizations and supporters, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders were not able to pass Raise the Age legislation, but instead announced a broad package of agreements on important issues including criminal justice reform. Sadly, New York is still one of only two states in the country that has failed to recognize what research and science have confirmed: adolescents are children, and prosecuting and placing them in the adult criminal justice system doesn't work for them and doesn't work for public safety.   

Free College is Not Enough: The Unavoidable Limits of the Kalamazoo Promise

The assumption that education is the key to improving economic and community development for students in poverty may not be the case after all. While Kalamazoo Promise, a Michigan initiative that provides reduced or free college education to poor students, has seen overall improvements in enrollment and graduation rates, kids enrolled in the program continue to be stagnant when it comes to increasing social mobility.

Report: Maltreatment of Youth in U.S. Juvenile Corrections Facilities

In detention facilities with 100 or more youth, sexual victimization rates are up to 3 times higher than they are in facilities with a capacity cap of just 25 youth. Annie E. Casey's report Maltreatment of Youth in U.S. Juvenile Corrections Facilities introduces new evidence on the widespread maltreatment of youth in state-funded juvenile corrections facilities. It tells of high rates of sexual victimization, the heavy-handed use of disciplinary isolation and a growing roster of states where confined youth have been subject to widespread abuse. 


About this Update

The SparkUpdate links policy and practice to improve the lives of children, families and youth. We bring you stories to inspire, research and policy developments to inform, and tools and opportunities to take action.  About SparkAction


Thanks for being part of the SparkAction community!  Please share your stories and resources with us.

Caitlin Johnson and Thaddeus Ferber
SparkAction and the Forum for Youth Investment |


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