Thursday, May 14, 2009

Obama's Budget for Education

Not withstanding the nation's financial difficulties, last week President Obama released his detailed request for the 2010 federal budget. The President's proposals, if adopted by Congress, generally provide real progress in children's policy, especially when combined with the significant funding for children in the economic recovery bill. These include education and early childhood initiatives from preschool through college, as well as measures to reduce health disparities and increase job training.

With 13.7 million people unemployed and 5.7 million jobs lost since the start of the recession, expansion of services for vulnerable people is essential. The Coalition on Human Needs has released a detailed analysis on what this would mean for many children's programs. Some of those who will receive more help include:

Babies, Toddlers, and Young Children

Head Start and Early Head Start grow by $122 million in the President's plan, from a combined $7.113 billion in FY 2009 to $7.235 billion in FY 2010. The growth is in addition to the $2.1 billion in temporary economic recovery funding. Together, these proposals support doubling the number of children in Early Head Start to 115,000.

Children at Risk of Abuse/NeglectThe President proposes a new initiative for innovative approaches to foster care, funded at $20 million in appropriations for Child Welfare Research, Training, and Demonstration projects, which will rise from $7 million to $27 million. This project is intended to reduce long-term foster care placements.

The Hungry
The Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program (WIC) is up $917 million over FY 2009 (a 13 percent increase), which is now estimated as enough to support a 9.8 million person caseload.

LCEA members should CLICK HERE for more about what the President's budget means for children and families.