Of budgets, birthdays and blogs

The 94th Missouri General Assembly adjourned on Friday without approving Governor Blunt’s proposed $2 million increase for DESE-funded Parents as Teachers programs in the state. Shortly after he submitted his budget to the General Assembly in January, the revised state revenue estimates set the stage for difficult negotiations on the FY09 budget. And while we certainly would have welcomed the increase (which was to be used to enhance screening services and reimbursements) at least the funding remained level.

But the state budget shortfall also impacted other programs throughout state government, including the DESE professional development fund that supports education-related programs. DESE cut the Parents as Teachers professional development grant by 22% for FY09 which will have an impact on the professional development training we offer throughout the state and the technical assistance the National Center provides to programs.

2009 will be an important year for Parents as Teachers in Missouri. Not only will we be celebrating our 25th anniversary, but we will also be forging important relationships with new stakeholders, including a newly elected Governor and many key legislators. We need your help throughout the year to get the word out to your legislators about the effectiveness of Parents as Teachers and the critically important work you do with Missouri families throughout the year. Can we count on you? Tell us here in the blog what you’re doing and how we can help each other.