According to the report, the United States has the second highest share of children living under the relative poverty line, defined as 50 percent of each country’s median income, and the second largest “child poverty gap” (the distance between the poverty line and the median incomes of those below the line).
The United States ranked 25th out of 29 in the percentage of people 15 to 19 years old who were enrolled in schools and colleges and 23rd in the percentage of people in that cohort not participating in either education, employment or training.
When we consider the gravity of the challenges these young people face, both in terms of early educational opportunities and educational outcomes, we can’t help but confront our own moral and ethical responsibility to fulfill what Martin Luther King, Jr. called “a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”
We must work together to reverse these trends and actualize a better tomorrow . . . starting today.
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In fact, according to data released last month by the Children’s Defense Fund, each day in America:
2 mothers die in childbirth.
4 children are killed by abuse or neglect.
5 children or teens commit suicide.
7 children or teens are killed by firearms.
67 babies die before their first birthdays.
892 babies are born at low birth weight.
914 babies are born to teen mothers.
1,208 babies are born without health insurance.
1,825 children are confirmed as abused or neglected.
2,712 babies are born into poverty.
2,857 high school students drop out.
4,475 babies are born to unmarried mothers.