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Journal Issue: When School Is Out Volume 9 Number 2 Fall 1999

America's Schoolchildren: Past, Present, and Future
Elise Cappella Mary B. Larner


To provide a context for the articles in this journal issue, which focus on programs for children in elementary and middle school, this article depicts the cohort of children who were between 5 and 14 years old in the 1990s and compares them with their counterparts earlier in the century. It reports their numbers, overall and by racial and ethnic heritage; the makeup, employment, and economic status of their parents; and the time they spend in school. The article examines changes in these demographics and characteristics of school-age children with an eye to the effect that these trends may have on public attitudes toward children and youths, and on support for government funding to keep young people safe and to promote their development.