Take Action to Protect Funding
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 30, 2012 | Chicago, IL
Take Action to Protect Funding
for Preschool & Child Care
There's still time to protect early care and education in the state budget!
The state legislature is scheduled to adjourn tomorrow night, Thursday, May 31. During the next two days, your elected officials will be voting on a budget framework that will determine funding for Illinois' birth-to-five early childhood programs next year. The spending proposals developed in each chamber suggest that the House and the Senate have developed divergent approaches to funding early childhood programs.
Early Childhood Funding in the Proposed ISBE Budgets
The Senate has passed a budget that level-funds resources for the Illinois State Board of Education in Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13), which funds the Early Childhood Block Grant and bilingual education. The House is considering a proposal that would spend roughly $300 million less on education than the Senate. As a result, its budget would cut funding for preschool by $25 million dollars.
In a fiscal environment where priorities must be made with the limited resources that are available, the Forum believes that our state leaders must do everything possible to maintain its investment in our children's education. Call your state representative and ask him/her to oppose Senate Bill 2413 and to support the Senate's approach to education funding.
Early Childhood Funding in the Proposed DHS budgets
The House and Senate have also developed separate and distinct budgets for the Department of Human Services, which administers the following programs: the Child Care Assistance Program, Early Intervention, Healthy Families, and Parents Too Soon. While each chamber's budget proposes to maintain funding for home-visiting programs and to cut Early Intervention by 4%, the House's spending package offers slightly more funding for child care than the Senate budget.
While neither budget contains sufficient resources to support these important programs, the House's DHS budget proposal is the least damaging of two weak options as far as early care and education is concerned. Please call your state senator and ask him/her to continue searching for opportunities to mitigate cuts to child care.
THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE.
PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE LEGISALTORS RIGHT NOW!
- To figure out who your state legislators are, click here. Then insert your address and hit search.
- To access the Springfield office number of your state representative, click here. Then click on his/her name.
- To access the Springfield office number of your state senator, click here. Then click on his/her name.
Key Talking Points
Message for State Representatives:
- I oppose the House's budget proposal for education, which would cut preschool funding by $25 million dollars.
- Preschool funding is important to me because... (insert brief personal statement).
- I want Representative X to vote no on Senate Bill 2413 when its called for a vote on the House floor.
- Instead, I want Representative X to support the Senate's approach to education funding, which would maintain funding for the state's preschool program.
Message for State Senators:
- I'm very concerned about the Senate's DHS budget proposal because it contains unacceptable cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program.
- Child care is important to me because...(insert brief personal statement)
- I want Senator X to work with his/her colleagues in each chamber during budget negotiations to protect child care from cuts that would increase parent co-payments and reduce income eligibility for the program.
Information presented above originates from communication material utilized by the Latino Policy Forum and was adapted to share with Erie's audience.