Why cut what works?

Fed up with budget cuts to essential services provided by social programs, Pennsylvanians are asking a simple question: Why cut what works

Nonprofits undergird society at its most basic level: health care, literacy, homelessness, parenting, education. Not only do most nonprofits operate on a shoestring, they are dependent on exceptionally fickle and unpredictable funding streams…private donations, grants and foundation support. 

Just like their corporate counterparts, reputable nonprofits like Parents as Teachers are accountable for results. Which brings us back to Pennsylvania’s “Why Cut What Works?” campaign.

Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way president and chief executive officer Keri Albright said that removing funding for early education and shifting into upper-grades of school is pointless because once children fall behind it is more difficult for them to catch up. Only 18 kids of 100 who start 9th grade will obtain an associates degree within three years after high school, or obtain a bachelor’s degree within six years of high school, she said. 

“It can be effectively argued that to take millions from early childhood programs and put it into high education is an investment on the wrong end,” she said. “If we remain committed to our investments in early education, the research has been done and the results are assured – more kids have a greater chance of earning those advanced degrees which increases income and broadens our tax base.  It’s a simple economic argument to make and all the research supports it.”  

More than 10,000 Pennsylvania children—and almost 350,000 children nationwide—received Parents as Teachers services last year, meaning thousands of children were healthy, safe and more ready for school. Why cut what works?