May/June 2010 Issue • Volume 38 • Issue 5

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Science Policy

Report documents the demographic trends of Hispanic children


Over the past 20 years, the number of Latino children under age 18 living in the United States has doubled, making them one of the fastest-growing segments of the national population. America’s Future: Latino Child Well-Being in Numbers and Trends, a data book produced by the National Council of La Raza and the Population Reference Bureau, is the first publication to offer a comprehensive overview of the state of Latino children. It integrates a range of key factors and outcomes in the areas of demography, citizenship, family structure, poverty, health, education, and juvenile justice. The report gives an overview of current national and state-level trends for Latino children under age 18 relative to non-Hispanic white and black children, documenting both regional variations and changing trends since 2000. A web version of the data book, which provides raw and regularly updated data for each of the state-level indicators, can also serve as a research and advocacy tool for those seeking to delve further into the information presented in this report. Data can be accessed and downloaded at For more information, visit

PreK-3rd grade: Fixing the broken education pipeline

Two-thirds of all American children are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade. Research shows that high-quality early learning from pre-kindergarten through the early grades of elementary school (PreK-3rd) is the foundation for all future learning.

A new report from the New America Foundation, A Next Social Contract for the Primary Years of Education, addresses these concerns by recommending policy frameworks to create PreK-3rd approaches that fix our fragmented educational pipeline. This report provides a first-time analysis of the nation’s current spending on pre-kindergartners and kindergartners by examining 2008 federal expenditures from more than 100 federal programs on children ages 3 through 5. Findings show that six programs accounted for approximately two-thirds of all federal expenditures on this age group in 2008: Head Start, Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and three tax programs (the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit, and the dependent exemption). For more information, visit

U.S. Census Bureau is in the second phase of its head count

As of April 16, the mail-in phase of the once-a-decade count of the nation’s inhabitants ended and the U.S. Census Bureau entered its second phase, which means sending workers door to door to collect information. About 48 million people did not return their forms, the bureau said. Nationally, 72 percent of the nation mailed back the survey. This is equal to the rate seen in 2000. Given the difficulties facing the 2010 count from the vacant housing caused by the recession, the impact of immigrant fears, political sniping as well as the general decline in response rates to surveys, the return-rate participation is within the expected range. The Bureau has a lot of follow-up research to conduct.

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