THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
July 15, 1998
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
Today, my Administration released an important report card on our
nation's children, "America's Children: Key National Indicators of
Well-Being." Last year, I called for this yearly report to provide
the American people with a portrait of our children in critical areas such
as health, education, and economic security.
ON THE RELEASE OF
"AMERICA'S CHILDREN: KEY NATIONAL INDICATORS OF WELL-BEING"
In this second annual report, we find much to be grateful for --
infant mortality is at an all-time low; the number of children with
high blood lead levels, which can cause IQ or behavioral problems, has
declined dramatically; more toddlers are up-to-date on their
immunizations; more children are entering preschool, improving in
math, and moving on to graduate from college; teen pregnancy has decreased;
and a majority of parents are reporting that their children are in
very good or excellent health. These strides reflect strategic investments
in our nation's children, which have always been central to my agenda
to prepare America for the twenty-first Century.
The report released today also demonstrates that we must now
commit ourselves to making further progress for our children. Unfortunately,
substance abuse and cigarette smoking among children are at
unacceptable levels; reading scores are stagnant; and too many of our nation's
children live in poverty.
We have demonstrated that we can work on a bipartisan basis to
address the challenges our children face. That's why, as I said
yesterday, I am extremely disappointed that some in Congress have
taken actions that threaten to undermine the important progress we have made
by failing to provide critical investments for our young people. Our
children deserve progress, not partisanship. As we pause to consider
this report card on our children, I urge Members of Congress to work
together to build a stronger future for our nation's children.
Note: This report mentioned in this release is a result of a joint
NPR/Domestic Policy Council recommendation that we should have an annual
report on the well being of children similar to the report of economic
indicators on the well being of the economy.