By MARGIE MENZEL THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA Florida children may not be able to vote for governor, but they still have a lot at stake in the race. And as the campaign hurtles to a close, advocates say they’re frustrated that the future of the state’s youngest residents hasn’t played a larger role in the discussion. The first two debates between Republican Gov. Rick Scott and former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, now a Democrat, included discord over whose record was better on child protection. It’s still a hot-button issue for Floridians dismayed by a wave of child deaths due to maltreatment last year. The candidates’ claims on child protection are still in dispute. But by other measures, Florida’s record on children also raises questions. Florida ranks 38th of the 50 states for overall child well-being in the 2014 KidsCount Databook, published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. That includes individual rankings of 27th for education, 37th for health and 45th for economic well-being, with 25 percent of Florida children living below the poverty line. “Both camps need to step it up for kids,” Children’s Lobby spokesman Roy Miller said. “Florida traditionally has really struggled to provide prevention and early […]
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