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Budget Proposal Doesn’t Prioritize Kids

State Must Do More to Support Children in Areas Critical to Development

 

January 8, 2016

OAKLAND, CA—Today the Administration released its state budget proposal, and once again California children aren’t getting enough support in areas critical to their education, health and well-being. The current proposal misses important opportunities to invest more in early childhood and education, and fails to fund effective early mental health and foster care programs.

Children Now President Ted Lempert said in a statement:

“The current budget proposal doesn’t do enough for California’s top priority – our kids.  It is inexcusable that California is failing to ensure that every child has the quality supports needed to meet their full potential, especially since that is the very thing that would stabilize the economy for years to come. The proposal fails to adequately invest in early education, implementation of our updated education standards and critical children’s health and child welfare programs, such as the Early Mental Health Initiative.

This year’s budget must dramatically increase support to high-quality early childhood programs, including ensuring that every low-income child has access to preschool. Additionally, California should continue to make significant investments in the Local Control Funding Formula, and make sure K-12 schools have the resources necessary to prioritize quality instruction, including Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards.”

Addressing childhood trauma and building kids’ resilience must also be a priority for the state. California leaders can start by funding proven early mental health programs, at under $1 million per year for 4 years, so schools can support their youngest students. Policymakers should also protect the rights and safety of kids in foster care by increasing funding for the attorneys representing them in court. An additional $22 million is needed to ensure these lawyers have manageable caseloads, and can provide the pro-active representation foster kids need.

These and other critical policy issues are addressed in Children Now’s 2016 California Children’s Report Card, released yesterday. Children Now calls on California’s leaders to support high-quality programs for kids, to ensure their well-being and our state’s future prosperity.

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