Education Officials Worry About Child Care Cuts in Brown’s Budget
Proposals in Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) fiscal year 2012-2013 budget plan that would reduce funding and shift oversight for certain child care programs could negatively affect hundreds of low-income children in Pajaro Valley, according to education officials, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports.
Brown's budget calls for cutting more than $500 million from child care programs across the state by restricting eligibility and reducing payments to providers. The proposal could affect as many as 62,000 low-income children statewideÂ (Jones, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 4/4).
The budget plan also would cut $64 million from Healthy Families, California's Children's Health Insurance Program, by moving children out of the program (California Healthline, 2/28).
Possible Effects of Proposed Cuts
Brown's proposed cuts to child care programs could negatively affect Pajaro Valley Unified School District's preschool program, according to the district's child development director Kathy Lathrop.
The program provides subsidized child care for low-income parents and education for children. The preschool serves more than 550 children.
Under Brown's budget plan, the program would lose funding and oversight would shift from the state education department to county social service agencies.
Lathrop said Brown's proposed cuts would "devastate" the program. She estimated that, under Brown's proposal, funding for the program would decrease from $3.1 million to about $1.2 million by the 2013-2014 school year.
In addition, Lathrop said that no one knows how the shift in oversight to county social service agencies would affect the program, but she is concerned about the transition.
Tom Torlakson -- California's superintendent of public instruction -- called Brown's proposed cuts "misguided." He said, "The consensus is clear: invest in kids early, and reap the rewards of a better educated, more productive workforce and a healthier state, or pay the price later with more high school dropouts and more young people headed for trouble" (Jones, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 4/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.