The reviews are coming in as more and more people wade through the details of the House budget proposal. Here’s another sobering take from the executive director of NC Child:
Tiny plates and the House budget
By Michelle Hughes, Executive Director of NC Child
One of the most simplistic reheated bits of diet advice ever sold in the grocery checkout line is to eat your regular food, but to use a small plate and a small fork.
You’ll think your plate is full!! If you go back for seconds you won’t overeat so much!
The latest state budget for children’s services seems to have a few similar beliefs baked in–the key one being that before long you’ll believe that the plate in front of you is a regular-sized plate. Even though plates on your right and left are normal, you will not notice the one in front of you is small. Substitute ”appropriation” for “plate” and you get the point.
Set the budget table with tiny plates for many children’s programs and there you have the post-recession and post-2013 tax cut reality. The legislature fundamentally re-set the state’s budget priorities with tax cuts in 2013 and funding has not reached pre-recession levels since, although the state has grown in population and investment needs.
For instance, North Carolina’s premiere early childhood education programs, Smart Start and NC Pre-K, saw their funding reduced by 20% during the recession and have never seen that funding restored. Now, despite a growing population of children, we’re able to provide fewer of them with the strong start they need. Read More