With election season heating up, now is the perfect time to see where our candidates and elected officials stand on making children and families a priority in their upcoming terms.
Below are suggested issues to raise with your local candidates and elected officials. We hope you will use these questions to keep our children at the forefront of conversations on moving our islands forward.
Suggested Questions for Candidates- based on most recent data from USVI KIDS COUNT Data Book
- Since 1990, the Virgin Islands’ rates of arrests for juvenile violent crimes and teen deaths have been 2 to 3 times higher than in the rest of the US. In 2010, the rate of juvenile violent crime arrests was 270% higher than the national rate. What are your proposed solutions to more effectively reduce crime and increase safety in our communities?
- A rising share of VI children are living in single-female headed households: 40%, compared to 20% in the US. In 2010, 75% of all impoverished families with children were headed by single females. What approach would you take in supporting single-parent families with children?
- Nearly 7% of all VI teens ages 15-17 are not enrolled in school. Educational attainment is crucial for lifetime economic success. How would you address the issue of school engagement and educational attainment among our teens?
- About half of all VI children entering kindergarten lack adequate school readiness for language and comprehension. Being adequately prepared for kindergarten lays a foundation for learning throughout the rest of one’s life. How would you demonstrate a commitment to early childhood education?
- Children without health insurance have more severe and more frequent unmet health needs and miss more days of school. In the VI, nearly 1/3 of all children lack health insurance. What solutions do you recommend for ensuring that more VI children have adequate health insurance protection?
- Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a strong early indicator of whether a child will graduate from high school on time and go on to higher educational attainment and success. Only Half of VI 3rd graders are reading at expected grade level. How would you make reading a priority and support childhood literacy?