The young children of North Carolina are desperately waiting for the Governor to notice them. Her neglect will not just be devastating for the more than 742,232 children five and under and their families. It puts every North Carolinian at risk.
The same rationale that applies to protecting K-12 education, applies to protecting early childhood education. There is so much science on this, it’s hard to figure out where to begin to show how critical these early years are. Today’s children are our future leaders, parents and workers. Our state’s prosperity depends on their healthy development and growth. The key to ensuring that healthy development and growth is early childhood experiences.
Yet these experiences are being threatened. All around the state, children and families rely on Smart Start to ensure that their early childhood programs are of high quality and safe, that they have programs available to them to support parenting (particularly important in times of stress), that they have access to needed health care, and more. Unfortunately, all of these children and families will see these services cut back again.
Yes, we know cuts are necessary. But so are priorities. We at Smart Start accepted our $15,965,000 (7.62%) recurring cut this year because we know we must all do our part. But the Governor has potentially added another 5% cut on top of that. IF this additional 5% nonrecurring reduction is applied to Smart Start it will result in a total annual reduction of $25,647,892 (12.2%).
In her announcement of the cut, the Governor said:
“Special exceptions may be made for constitutionally mandated or entitlement programs as well as urgent situations related to direct classroom instruction, economic development opportunities, law enforcement, health care and public safety.”
Clearly early childhood education is related to success in school, is part of economic development, and is essential for the economic recovery for North Carolina. She has made special exceptions for other programs that she deems important and she should make an exception for Smart Start as well.
Please call, email, and fax the Governor immediately and let her know that Smart Start should be exempt from this additional cut. This is the Governor who claimed to be the “mother of Smart Start”. We need to help her remember that Smart Start is essential to NC’s recovery.
The Governor’s number is 919-733-4240, her office email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and her fax is 919-733-2120.
Thanks for making these calls and speaking up on behalf of children.