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Bootstraps for poor families

THE BALTIMORE EVENING SUN

THE NUMBER of Hispanic children living in poverty is up sharply. And poverty among Hispanic families differs in significant ways from that of non-Hispanic whites and blacks. A Children's Defense Fund study says a poor Hispanic family is likely to be younger and headed by a working man with the mother at home. The wage earner's pay is less likely to propel the family above the poverty line, and the head of the household is less likely to have a high school diploma.

The Children's Defense Fund sees the poverty study as ammunition for more direct aid to children through tax credits or other public benefits. More money no doubt would help, but it does not address long-term needs.

Drawing young adults back to school for diplomas and better job skills is a mission that must be broadened. More direct economic aid for families is a must for poor children, but so are self-sufficient parents.

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