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Children Now's Lempert on Gov. Schwarzenegger's Agenda for California's Children

Jan 07, 2007

Statement from Ted Lempert, president of Children Now, regarding Governor Schwarzenegger’s agenda for California’s children:

“The Governor’s agenda for children, as expressed in his proposed budget and healthcare reform plan, will improve the well-being of our kids and our society.

“We praise the Governor’s boldness of action in providing health insurance to all children. Given how poorly California’s children are doing today in terms of their health, education and general well-being, bold actions are needed, not baby steps. We are also pleased that the Governor included funding in the budget to implement streamlining children’s health programs as outlined in SB 437.

“Regarding education, the Governor’s budget meets the funding guarantee for education established by Prop. 98 and continues to direct dollars toward schools that are not meeting student achievement goals. However, we believe the Governor missed a big opportunity to reinforce his goal for student success by not building on the promise he made last year to expand state preschool programs and improve their quality in order to help children who need educational support the most. Quality preschool programs are key to reducing the student achievement gap.

“Lastly, we are concerned that some of the proposed CalWORKS cuts would punish kids and potentially create discontinuities in their access to health insurance, which would be at odds with the Governor’s health care goals.

“We look forward to working with the Governor and the legislature in the coming year to ensure that the final budget reflects the needs of children and supports their success in bold ways.”

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