NAEYC Alert: April 14, 2011
Call your U.S. House Representative Today to vote NO on the FY 2012 budget proposal
The final FY 2011 bill is passing this week and we have some positive news on early childhood (see below). But we need you to immediately turn our attention to tomorrow's vote in the U.S. House of Representatives that sets a dangerous course now and for the future funding of programs that help low and moderate income families.
The Fiscal Year 2012 budget resolution (sometimes referred to as the Ryan budget for Chairman Ryan) would make two-thirds of the cuts from programs that help low and moderate income families with early and later education, health and nutrition. This will mean dramatic cuts to Head Start, child care, among many other education, nutrition and health programs that help children and families thrive, and in turn, help our nation be economically strong. Fiscal responsibility is important, but better choices can be made that this proposal. It is critical that you, your colleagues and others in your networks call your Representatives today and tomorrow to vote NO on the Fiscal Year 2012 budget resolution.
How to Call
Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121 and ask to be directed to your Representative's office. To get the direct office number, put in your zip code at our Take Action Now page.
I live in your district, and I strongly urge you to vote NO on the House Budget Committee's proposal for Fiscal Year 2012 and beyond. It will create even greater deficits for our children by threatening their health, nutrition, and education. The cuts to Head Start, child care, child nutrition and health would put our nation's potential and prosperity at great risk now and in the future. Again, vote NO on this fiscal year 2012 budget proposal.
Update on How Remainder of FY 2011 was resolved:
Congress avoided a federal shutdown and came out with an agreement that showed support for early childhood education. The bill does require a 0.2 percent across-the-board cut that will be applied proportionately to all non-security discretionary programs. For early childhood:
Head Start receives a $340 million increase for Head Start and Early Head Start. This will allow the additional children funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to continue to receive services.
Child Care & Development Block Grant receives a $100 million increase which allows some of the children served by ARRA to be maintained. The $100 million includes a proportional increase over baseline (pre-ARRA) funding levels in the quality set-aside (from $271 million to $284 million) and the infant/toddler set-aside (from $99.5 million to $104 million).
Race to the Top receives $700 million and a yet-to-be-determined portion of those funds will go to a competitive state grant similar to the Early Learning Challenge Fund. This section of the bill says that these competitive grants funds to states will be administered jointly by the federal Departments of Health and Human Services and Education; set a goal that states will increase the number and percentage of low-income children (infants, toddlers and preschoolers) who are enrolled in high quality early learning programs; creating an integrated system of high quality early learning programs and services; and that assessments must conform to the recommendations of the National Research Council's reports on early childhood that have addressed appropriate uses of child assessments as well as cautions.