The Southwest is home to more than one-fourth of America’s children. This unique set of publications brings some of America’s most innovative thinkers together to examine the distinct needs of children in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah, and offer game-changing ideas to meet those needs.

Big Ideas Cover

Download individual Big Ideas papers:

The Children of the Southwest: Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics Impacting the Future of the Southwest and the United States — Steve H. Murdock, Hobby Center for the Study of Texas and the Department of Sociology, Rice University; Michael Cline, Hobby Center for the Study of Texas, Rice University; and Mary Zey, Department of Applied Demography and Organizational Studies, University of Texas at San Antonio

Using a Birth to Third Grade Framework to Promote Grade-Level Reading: Promising Practices in Improving Academic Achievement among California’s English Language Learners — Jessica Mindnich, Ph.D., Derya Arac, Elizabeth Cavagnaro, Melina Sanchez, Giannina Perez, Marguerite Ries, Samantha Tran, Brad Strong, and Louella Ilog, of Children Now

Back on Track through College in the Rio Grande Valley: From Dropout Recovery to Postsecondary Success — Lili Allen, Jobs for the Future

Commissioning Youth: Addressing Housing and Child Welfare in the Colonias Region — Moises Loza and Stefani Cox, Housing Assistance Council

Children, Southwestern States, and the Federalism Problem — Thomas L. Gais, Rockefeller Institute of Government

Big Idea: Stop Taxing the Poor — Rourke L. O’Brien, doctoral candidate, Princeton University, and Katherine S. Newman, Johns Hopkins University

A Dream of Youthful Hopes: Securing the American Dream for the Children of Immigrants — Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff

Families on the Front Lines: How Immigration Advocates Can Build a Bridge Between the Immigration & Child Welfare Systems — Lindsay Marshall, Executive Director, The Florence Project

A True Texas Miracle: Achieving Juvenile Justice Reform in a Tough Economic Climate — Deborah Fowler, Texas Appleseed Deputy Director

Protecting the Future of Tribal Communities: Ensuring Compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act — Thalia González, J.D., Assistant Professor, Occidental College

Children’s Oral Health in New Mexico: Lessons from the Southwest — Joanne M. Ray, D.O., F.A.A.P.

Community Health Workers, Promotores, and Parent Mentors: Innovative, Community-Based Approaches to Improving the Health and Healthcare of Children — Glenn Flores, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Public Health, and Clinical Sciences, University of Texas – Dallas

Prospects for Continued Progress on Children’s Health Insurance in the Seven Southwestern States: The Perceptions of State-based Advocates — Eugene Lewit and Pilar Mendoza, of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, with Karen Crompton of Voices for Utah Children, Anne Dunkelberg of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, Kelly Hardy of Children Now, Matt Jewett of the Children’s Action Alliance, and Bill Jordan of New Mexico Voices for Children