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The New Strategy for Raising Money for Kids: Just Ask Voters

Amid Donald Trump’s largely unexpected victory on Election Day, it was easy to miss an emerging trend in local elections: In about a dozen communities around the country, voters approved tax hikes for children’s services and measures that will keep policymakers from dipping into those funds for other purposes.

Some places have had a dedicated children’s fund, which legally can’t be spent on anything else, since the 1990s. But the funds are becoming increasingly common.

“It’s definitely a budding movement,” said Elizabeth Gaines, a senior fellow at the Forum for Youth Investment, a research and advocacy group in Washington, D.C.

The measures passed in November will help fund a wide range of programs, from youth homelessness prevention to preschool to foster care. They passed in cities and counties on the East and West Coasts (Baltimore, Oakland, Calif.; San Francisco) and in several Midwestern localities, such as Cincinnati and Jackson County, Mo.