President's Proposed Budget Cuts Would be Harmful to Kids in the U.S.
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (May 24, 2017) — Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) President Mark Shriver said that the president’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget would hurt kids across the nation by cutting investments in their health, education and well-being.
"Thanks in part to the voices of our activists, Head Start has been spared drastic cuts like the ones proposed to so many other programs, but it is now vital that Congress protect funding for all early learning programs," Shriver said. "Americans agree that investing in kids today helps create a better tomorrow and that’s why Congress must robustly fund Head Start, Child Care and Development Block Grants and 21st Century Community Learning Centers."
The decreases in funding for Head Start and Child Care and Development Block Grants (CCDBG) mean that these programs will continue to serve less than 41 percent and 15 percent of eligible children, respectively. It could also mean the loss of 217,000 child care slots for low-income children currently served by CCDBG. A significant increase in funding is needed to continue to serve the current number of children and meet the new safety regulations passed in a bipartisan manner by Congress in 2014. These funding levels mean that scores of children will continue to miss out on these life-changing programs.
Even worse, the president’s proposed budget eliminates funding for Preschool Development Grants and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program, putting children, especially in rural communities, at great risk. The after-school programs provided through CCLC funding ensure kids have a safe place to go at the end of the day, close the achievement gap and boost our economy by enabling parents to continue working after the school day ends, knowing their child is safe.
"I am well aware of our country’s fiscal situation, but budgets cannot be balanced on the backs of kids," said Shriver. "Now, more than 1.6 million children could be faced with no safe destination after the school bell rings. At a time when one in five children in this country is unsupervised after the school day ends, we should be investing much more in afterschool programs, not eliminating funding."
Additionally, the budget slashes funding for the poor, from Medicaid and food stamps to student loans and disability payments, significantly harming the children most in need of help.
"This fight is just beginning," Shriver said. "Ultimately, Congress will write the annual federal funding bills. Just a few weeks ago, Congress sent a strong message to the White House when it passed the fiscal year 2017 spending bill with increased funding to key education programs like Head Start and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. We will now work alongside our bipartisan congressional allies to ensure funding for these critical investments is maintained and expanded."
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