Passion runs high when it comes to two things: our kids and our money. And right now parents in Missouri are full throttle on both accounts thanks to a media blitz about the state’s budget for Parents as Teachers, the parent education program offered to residents through every school district.
The fact is, Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) budget for Parents as Teachers this fiscal year has been reduced twice by Governor Nixon, but it is still $24 million! In fact, DESE reports that even after the Governor’s most recent $4.9 million withhold, they still have funds remaining. There are families who need, want and are waiting for these services and Parents as Teachers programs who are continuing to provide them.
Yes, the Governor’s proposed FY 2011 budget of $13 million is a significant reduction, but will still provide for significant work Parents as Teachers programs are already doing with the more than 66,000 high needs Missouri families.
Will these families find Parents as Teachers support next year? Of course they will! Even while they’re working to conserve budgets this year by discontinuing personal visits and support groups a few weeks earlier than usual, many programs have already notified families of their intended start-up dates in August.
It’s important to know that Missouri is but one of 50 states where Parents as Teachers thrives and where new Parents as Teachers programs are continually coming into being. In fact, over the past three years the number of new Parents as Teachers programs nationwide has steadily increased.