Last month in Jefferson City, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon told education groups, including the Missouri School Boards’ Association, “I also think we need to have greater investment in early childhood education; Parents as Teachers, First Steps and many other programs of that nature, making sure that kids are ready to learn when they get to school that first time.”
Easy to say, harder to do.
The Chairman of the Missouri House Budget Committee has proposed that the Committee cut Parents as Teachers program funding by 10% for the upcoming fiscal year. If enacted, this would reduce the current $34.3 million budget for the state’s 524 Parents as Teachers programs by $3.4 million.
In addition, the Chairman has proposed that the professional development funds that support parent educators’ regional training and recertification be totally eliminated. All of this results in fewer families served, fewer home visits, fewer screenings and fewer overall services for Missouri children. What a strange way to “make sure kids are ready to learn when they get to school that first time!”
Governor Nixon, Mr. Chairman and Missouri legislators: restore funding for Parents as Teachers to the current level of $34.3 million so Parents as Teachers can work properly!
If you have a legislator on the Budget Committee below, let them know how you feel about this.
Allen Icet, chair
For specific contact information, refer to http://www.senate.mo.gov/llookup/leg_lookup.aspx.