March 7, 2003

In this Issue:

1. Fred Rogers (1928-2003)

Source: - February 27, 2003

Secretary of Education Rod Paige today issued the following statement on the death of Fred Rogers:

"It's a sad day in our American neighborhood. Fred Rogers was an American icon who taught all of us, as parents, important lessons about nurturing and loving our children. He was a compassionate role model who loved America's children unconditionally. He was their best advocate, always listening, always on their side.

"'There's only one person in the whole world like you,' he'd tell his young audience. And in the warmth of his acceptance, they learned and they grew.

"Fred Rogers was a true believer that no child should be left behind. His legacy of kindness and caring will live on -- not only in the lives he's touched through his music, his books and his many years on television, but also in the lives of future generations who will stop for a visit in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

"There was only one person in the whole world like Mister Rogers. My heart goes out to his wife, his sons and his grandsons, and all in his family who mourn the loss of America's favorite neighbor and friend."

To read the full press release go to
To learn more about the life and achievements of Mr. Rogers, please go to

2. Fiscal Year 2002-2004 State Tables for the U.S. Department of Education

Source: - March 6, 2003

State tables (last updated 03/05/03) are available showing allocations of FY 2002 and FY 2003 enacted appropriations and the FY 2004 President's Budget Request under formula-allocated and selected student aid programs... Includes estimated amounts by state for FY 2003 and 2004 for the following programs, among others:

  • Special_Education Grants_to_States
  • Special_Education Preschool_Grants
  • Grants_for_Infants_and_Families
  • Reading_First_State_Grants
  • Even_Start
  • ESEA_Title_I_Grants_to_Local_Educational_Agencies
  • 1

To view these tables go to:

3. Improving Part C of Early Intervention: Using What We Know About Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities to Reauthorize Part C of IDEA

Source: - February 28, 2003

New policy brief from ZERO TO THREE: Improving Part C of Early Intervention: Using What We Know About Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities to Reauthorize Part C of IDEA. The reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act provides an opportunity to close the gap between what we know and what we do for infants and toddlers with or at risk of disabilities. ZERO TO THREE offers recommendations to bring early intervention policy in line with current research findings -

4. Mothers' Leaving Work Had No Effect on Preschoolers: Slight Improvement Seen for Young Adolescents

Source: NIH News - March 6, 2003

Mothers' transition from welfare to employment did not seem to have any negative effects on preschoolers or young adolescents, according to a study by researchers at Northwestern University, Johns Hopkins University, and Boston College.

In addition, young adolescents showed slightly reduced levels of anxiety when their mothers entered the work force, and slighty increased anxiety levels when their mothers left the work force.

The Science study is the first analysis of an extensive effort to collect information on how the transition from welfare to work affects women, their children, and the surrounding community. As part of this larger effort, the researchers expect to track the children's development through early adulthood...>

The study appears in the March 7 "Science". For more information go to:

5. Higher SIDS Risk Found In Infants Placed In Unaccustomed Sleeping Position

Source: NIH News - February 28, 2003

Infants accustomed to sleeping on their backs who are then placed to sleep on their stomachs or sides are at an increased risk for SIDS -- greater than the increased SIDS risk of infants always placed on their stomachs or sides. The study, conducted by Kaiser Permanente in Northern and Southern California and supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders (NIDCD), appears in the current issue of the "American Journal of Epidemiology".

The study also shows that infants sleeping on their sides are at an increased risk of SIDS. The researchers think that a large part of the risk may be due to the instability of the side sleeping position and the tendency for infants sleeping in this position to turn onto their stomachs.

For more information go to:

6. State Efforts to Increase Folic Acid Consumption and Reduce Neural Tube Defects

Source: MCH Alert - March 7, 2003

State Efforts to Increase Folic Acid Consumption and Reduce Neural Tube Defects provides an overview of the costs and impact of neural tube defects, the barriers associated with increasing folic acid consumption, and the folic acid programs in three states and one territory—Montana, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and South Carolina. This access brief, produced by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers, presents innovative ways in which states are effectively using public and private resources and strengthening collaborative partnerships to increase folic acid consumption rates. The brief is intended for use by public health agencies in their efforts to raise awareness about folic acid consumption and to promote healthy birth outcomes. It is available at

[Originally published in MCHAlert © 2003 National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health and Georgetown University. Reprinted with permission.]

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7. America's Children and the Environment

Source: Child Trends DataBank - March 6, 2003

America's Children and the Environment: Measures of Contaminants, Body Burdens, and Illnesses is the EPA's second report on trends in environmental health factors that affect the health and well-being of children. The report uses quantitative data to show trends in levels of environmental contaminants that children are exposed to in air, water, food, and soil, concentrations of contaminants in the blood of women and children, and childhood illnesses for which environmental contaminants play a role. The report also covers emerging issues in children's environmental health. To view the Report go to:

8. Disadvantaged Students: Fiscal Oversight of Title I Could Be Improved

Source: Today's GAO Reports - March 03, 2003

The General Accounting Office (GAO) recently released the following report: Disadvantaged Students: Fiscal Oversight of Title I Could Be Improved. GAO-03-377, February 28.
To access the full report go to:
To access highlights of the report go to: