Governor Tomblin slashes funding for successful
the Children early education and literacy programs
in four West Virginia counties.
Wendy Christian 475.999.3059 (O), 203.465.8010 (M)
Charleston, W. Va. (March
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s move this week to
slash programs that help struggling children succeed in school is extremely
short-sighted, Save the Children said today.Just this February, PBS aired Nicholas Kristof’s documentary A Path Appears, which made the national
case for increased investment in early education by highlighting the success of
Save the Children’s programs in rural West Virginia.Now, these same programs are at risk.
“These cuts are devastatingly short-sighted.
The governor is cutting programs we know help struggling children succeed in
school,” said Anna Hardway, state director of Save the Children’s U.S.
Programs.“These children are the future
of our state. If we stop investing in them and deny them the chance to
reach their potential, we all lose. This will definitely impact the number of
children we can serve in West Virginia.”
The cuts came Tuesday, part of the Governor’s
almost $11 million in cuts to the state budget bill before he signed it.Save the Children lost $375,000 in funding
designated for early education and literacy programs in Cabell, Calhoun, Mason
and Roane Counties.
Hardway added, “At a time when Governor Tomblin
has publically stressed early childhood education, we are very disappointed
with his decision to cut children’s programs again.Studies have shown that investing $1 in early
education now returns $7 later through increased productivity and savings in
public assistance and criminal justice. Aren’t our children and the future of
our state worth that kind of investment?”
Save the Children’s early education programs in
West Virginia consistently show strong results. Despite poverty and multiple
risk factors they face, 88 percent of 3-year-olds in the program score at or
above the national average on pre-literacy tests.Save the Children’s elementary-school-based
literacy programs also help children make significant gains – equivalent to
what they’d learn in five additional months of schooling each year.
mountains of research showing that whether a child is reading at grade level by
3rd grade determines the whole course of their future. Our
literacy programs are designed to get kids on track so they are equipped to
succeed in school, graduate and go on to become productive members of society, ”
Hardway said.“Fewer kids in West
Virginia will have that chance now.”
Save the Children currently partners with eight
communities in five counties of West Virginia, serving 2,952 children through
early childhood education, literacy and health programs.
Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.