On Tuesday, February 16, at 6 p.m. the Appropriations Committee will hear testimony about the Governor’s budget proposals regarding education. This includes all line-items in the Office of Early Childhood budget. Click HERE for the Alliance summary of the Governor's proposal and the budget process.
Testimony from the early childhood community is very important! Sign up to testify in person takes place Tuesday from 9 - 10 a.m. and 10:15 - 1 p.m. Thirty copies of your testimony are due at the time of sign up. The Alliance will help you sign up, prepare your testimony, and answer questions about the budget and the process. Email Samantha at firstname.lastname@example.org to be signed up or answer questions. Click HERE to see the Appropriations Committee instructions for submitting testimony in person or electronically. The Alliance would like to ensure that there is testimony for all the major early childhood programs (Care4Kids, Child Development Centers, Children’s Trust Fund, Community Plans for Early Childhood, Early Literacy, Even Start, Head Start, School Readiness); so even if you don't need help signing up, please let us know if you are planning to testify and what program you are prepared to discuss.
We have developed some common talking points for early childhood advocates to use in their testimony. In addition to the common talking points, you should urge funding for your program specifically.
COMMON TALKING POINTS
Oppose the $12 million overall cut to the Office of Early Childhood ($4 million in direct cuts, $8 million in underfunding of Birth to Three ).
Oppose the block grant approach to the budget which is proposed by the Governor. Lumping all programs into one Office of Early Childhood budget erases transparency. Without guidelines for the agencies to set and publicize their budget decisions, programs would be left in the dark as to how to proceed to serve children.
Recommend the halting of new initiatives while this budget crisis continues so that we can focus on existing services.
Urge support for those programs that are directly serving children, as well as those that help fulfill the mandates and regulations required of these programs (things like NAEYC accreditation, workforce trainings, reporting): Care4Kids, Child Development Centers, Children’s Trust Fund, Community Plans for Early Childhood, Early Literacy, Even Start, Head Start, School Readiness.
FOR YOUR PROGRAM
State your program and the line-item that funds it.
Make a compelling case for supporting the line-item: Explain what would happen without funding, how the program saves the state money.
CT Early Childhood Alliance http://www.earlychildhoodalliance.com/