We’ve just learned that Governor Perdue will begin meeting with House and Senate leaders to discuss the budget. Her first meeting is tomorrow morning with Senate leaders.
At the same time, Governor Perdue’s office says that they are NOT hearing from early childhood supporters. It is imperative that as the Governor begins discussing the budget, she knows that her constituents value her support for early childhood education and call on her to stand firm on early childhood investments.
Contact Governor Bev Perdue ASAP!
Phone: (800) 662-7952 or (919) 733-2391
Fax: (919) 733-2120
NCPC Board Chair Dr. Olson Huff shared the letter below with Senators. These are the messages we need to reiterate time and again.
“Many lawmakers have pointed out that just how families must live within their means, so must government. But it is imperative that the analogy not stop there. When families are struggling, they prioritize. They always put their children’s needs first. If the budget demands sacrifice, then it must be the right kind of sacrifice.
Smart Start is a growth strategy for both the short- and long-term. In the immediate, early learning programs in North Carolina sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs, generate billions of dollars, allow employees to be productive, attract business to our state, and lay the groundwork for North Carolina’s economic future. The success of our early learning programs is not accidental; it has been intentionally nurtured through years of Smart Start leadership.
The research findings of the long-term benefit are equally definitive. The more you invest in Smart Start, the better the third grade reading and math scores and the lower the special education placement, according to research by Duke University. They also found that Smart Start raises the academic achievement of all children in a community, whether they were in child care or not.
The proposed House budget includes a 20% cut to both Smart Start and More at Four, placing a disproportionate share of the sacrifice on our state’s youngest children and their families. These children are at an age where the brain is literally being built and the foundation for all learning is established. These children and what we ultimately invest in them now, will determine whether North Carolina remains a strong state or a struggling one.
Without a priority for growing the next generation of productivity, North Carolina has a deficit strategy, not a growth strategy. Investing in developing healthy, smart and productive children is a fiscally responsible way to reduce deficits and create growth. As you fulfill your promise to protect jobs and education, I call on you to prioritize, as North Carolina families have done for generations, and put children first.”