The Civitas Institute has launched a campaign against Smart Start. Their first public attack is on child care subsidy. They’ve sent it to Members of the General Assembly and to the media. They make numerous false statements to blame Smart Start for families losing child care subsidy, rather than acknowledging that less money in the system means that fewer children are served. Civitas is doing their best to attempt to discredit Smart Start at all levels.
Our children are counting on us to ensure that that doesn’t happen. We’ve sent the email below to all members of the General Assembly. We must follow-up in force. Call your elected officials and tell them the truth about Smart Start. Remember, it is your support that has helped transformed this state and our early education system with enormous benefit to young children and their families.
Download the Letter to Members of the General Assembly
Dear Members of the General Assembly,
Earlier this week, the Civitas Institute published a press release making false statements about Smart Start. I can’t sit back and allow them to threaten the well-being of our state’s young children and their families. Nor, can I let the reputation of one of our state’s treasures, Smart Start, suffer at the hands of such politically motivated malice.
There is no scandal here. The fact is there is a significant budget crisis that required state and local decision makers to make difficult choices. Members of the General Assembly and the Governor have had to make very hard decisions during the economic downturn of the last few years. I know many struggled with those cuts, but their struggle does not lessen the impact of their actions. The bottom line is that the state cut funds that help working families afford child care. They did it during the last fiscal year. They did it again at the beginning of this fiscal year. And they did it again in the middle of this fiscal year. At the same time, more and more families are eligible for subsidy because they are now underemployed and earning far less than they did a few years ago.
Since November, the Civitas Institute has bombarded Smart Start and its local partnerships with numerous public records requests. They’ve demanded information quickly and have included questions that are outrageous, asking staff for opinions and to respond to far flung predictions. It’s unclear what they intend to do with all this information, but based on this recent episode, I have no faith that they will share it honestly or with integrity.
It seems that the Civitas Institute will go to any extreme to advance their agenda to eliminate Smart Start. For accurate information, please contact The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., or any Smart Start local partnership. We are confident that the work of Smart Start has produced meaningful results for the state of North Carolina and that we have consistently proven our trustworthiness.
Dr. Olson Huff
Board Chair, The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc.
Olson Huff, MD, FAAP
Chairman of the Board
Sixty Second Parent™
The Triumphant Child™