Yesterday, Governor Beverly Perdue released her proposed FY 2010-2011 budget. In it, the Governor recognized Smart Start as a vital part of the education continuum. Smart Start received the same 4% cut as K-12 and higher education. In addition, she protected child care subsidy, for families who are struggling.
Stephanie Fanjul, President of The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., released the following statement.
Early childhood investments are a win-win. They are essential for our children and families to succeed. And, our economy cannot recover without them nor could it prosper in the future. By holding the line on cuts to young children, Governor Perdue’s budget reflects the fact that for communities to thrive, children must thrive.
Because the Governor knows that education begins at birth, she wisely held cuts to the whole education system—early childhood, K-12, and higher education—to 4 percent. And North Carolina’s business community and working parents will be relieved to hear that she did not cut funds that help low-income families afford child care.
Her strong stand is in line with what more than 800 parents, business leaders, elected officials, health care providers, early childhood professionals and others from across the state said when they came together this year to speak to the importance of investing in our youngest citizens. All agreed that ensuring access to high quality early childhood care and education programs needed to be a top priority for the state.
As another wise North Carolina Governor—Jim Hunt—once said, ‘We cannot build a world-class workforce if our children don’t come to school ready to learn.’
Thank you, Governor Perdue, for investing in our future and recognizing that the education process begins at birth.
Now it is up to the General Assembly to hold the line on investments in young children.