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Children, Southwestern States, and the Federalism Problem
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September 24, 2012

By Thomas L. Gais, Rockefeller Institute of Government

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While the Southwest is a rich, diverse region and the emerging center of the U.S. child population, child well-being in many of these states is substantially lower than elsewhere in the country. These trends raise a difficult federalism problem. How can the nation ensure the well-being of its children when a rapidly growing share of them are living in a region where economic and fiscal conditions have deteriorated disproportionately in recent years, and where states provide comparatively little financial support for major programs aimed at children? Gais discusses how to promote children’s policies within challenging state environments, while also arguing that the Southwestern trends mean existing national programs for children are more important than ever.

This paper is part of the Big Ideas: Children in the Southwest series. The complete publication will be released in the fall, but individual papers are now available. Sign up online to ensure that you receive each Big Ideas paper as it is released.

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