On June 5, 2019, at 7pm, people will gather at locations across the state to remember and honor those who have suffered or died because they were uninsured. This is a life and death situation for too many of us, and further delays are not acceptable. Please find a vigil near you and support efforts to close the Medicaid coverage gap and expand Medicaid NOW!

The Senate released its budget last week. Our friends at NC Child say that overall the Senate proposal is worse for children than the House proposal. Taken directly from their 5/31/19 Legislative update, here's how child development and early education and education are looking:

Child Development and Early Education
Smart Start – The Senate budget for Smart Start is similar to the House proposal but slightly reduced.
table taken from NC Child Legislative Update 5/31/19
Subsidized  Child Care—As a result of a variety of federal and state funding  shifts, the overall allocation for child care subsidies is ~$4.2 million  recurring in both years, though state funding for the program is  replaced with federal funding as with NC Pre-K. This is ~$3.3 million  less than the House’s recommendation.

*This is an ongoing trend where instead of increasing funding, state money is taken out of the budget and replaced with federal funding.

According to NC DHHS, the legislature has supplanted $100M in  state funding for early education with federal funding over the past 5  years. This means that if we had held state spending steady during that  time period, we would have an additional $100 M invested in early  education.
NC  Pre-K—Allocates $1.7 million recurring in both years to increase the NC  Pre-K rates for child care centers by 2% in FY 2019-20, which is less  than the House’s recommended $1.7M in FY20 and $5.3M in FY21. Replaces  $4.1 million recurring in the first year and $6.1 million recurring in  the second year with federal TANF block grant funds, which is larger  than the House’s recommended replacement of $2.5 million in the first  year and $4.5 million in the second year, and continues a problematic  trend of replacing state funding with federal funding.
Child Development and Early Education items in the House budget not included in the Senate budget:
-Funding for Reach Out and Read
Education
Teacher  Pay—The Senate budget provides teacher raises up to 3.5% over two  years, which is approximately what the House approved for the first year  of the biennium.
Classroom  Supplies—$15 million recurring funding for classroom supplies. With  additional funding, teachers would receive approximately $300 per year  for supplies. This is similar to the House’s recommended $15 million in  non-recurring funding ($145 per teacher per year).

*This money really will not go far at all because supplies purchased by individual teachers is not as cost effective as the school purchasing supplies in bulk (consider things everyone needs like paper and ink).

School  Mental Health Support Personnel Grants—$10 million recurring and $8.2  million non-recurring for FY20 and $10 million recurring for FY21 to  public schools to add mental health support personnel as well as to  contract for other health support services. This is significantly less  than the House’s recommended $19M recurring for FY20 and $30M  non-recurring for FY21.
School  Safety Funding—$12.3 million non-recurring and $6 million recurring for  the first year and $6 million recurring for the second year to allow  districts to invest in safety equipment for schools, employ and/or train  resource officers, and contract for training to address trauma and  stress among students. Total funding for both years is slightly less  than the House’s $9M for FY20 and $18M for FY21.
Students  in Crisis Grants—$4.5 million non-recurring in the first year for  evidence-based student crisis support services. This is ~$2M less than  the House’s recommendation for the biennium.
School  Psychologists—The Senate budget provides funding to hire an additional  100 school psychologist positions. The House did not include this  additional funding.

Read more here as NC Policy Watch provides analysis on some the education-related budget items, with comparison to the House budget.

Watch a video of the NC Child weekly legislative update here.

Sign up here to receive weekly legislative updates from NC Child.

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