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How Our Current Budget Priorities are Shaping Our Children's Future

The Urban Institute and its panel of experts discussed the latest findings from the Kids’ Share project, which presented trends in public spending on children.

Federal spending on children is expected to fall as a share of both total federal spending and the overall economy. Absent changes to current law, federal spending on children will shrink in mandatory programs, discretionary programs, tax provisions, education, nutrition, housing, early education and care, social services, training, and every other category of program except health. The report chronicles a bleak outlook for federal expenditures for children.

Our panel of experts discussed what’s influencing these spending patterns, what must happen to change the trends, how to differentiate between short- and long-term trade-offs, and whether childhood investments can be boosted or even simply maintained given other budgetary pressures.


  • Miriam Calderon, senior partner, School Readiness Consulting
  • Ron Haskins, codirector, Center on Children and Families, Budgeting for National Priorities; and senior fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution 
  • Julia Isaacs, senior fellow, Urban Institute
  • Eugene Steuerle, Institute fellow, Urban Institute (Moderator)
  • Ruby Takanishi, senior research fellow, Early Education Initiative, Education Policy Program, The New America Foundation
Event Materials

The Urban Institute’s Kids’ Share project, supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and First Focus, seeks to inform a national conversation about how best to invest the country's resources by examining federal and state expenditures on children. This will be the eighth annual report from the project.

If you have any inquiries regarding this event, please contact Ivy Hunter [email protected].

Photo: A grocery store in a low-income neighborhood in Washington, DC. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Date & Time Thursday, September 18, 2014
2100 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
, DC , 20037
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  • Senior Fellow
  • Institute Fellow and Richard B. Fisher Chair