In this week’s news, Children’s Alliance speaks up for the 5,000 families and 10,000 children losing their income assistance, while working hard to preserve Working Connections Child Care and feed hungry children. In other news, the Everett Herald publishes an Op-Ed in support of a children’s benefit to unemployment checks, and a Seattle Post-Globe commentary highlights public health for kids as a valuable coverage option in Indian country.
State Assistance terminated for 5,000 families | The Spokesman-Review | 02-01-2011
Advocates for children and the poor say the cuts are unfair while the state’s jobless rate remains at around 9 percent, and that families affected did not receive enough notice. “Today is a sad day for the state of Washington,” said Jon Gould, deputy director of the Children’s Alliance. “The recession has already pushed 40,000 of Washington’s children into poverty. Now, one of the public structures that helps families survive hard times is being dismantled when it is needed most."
Read more on income assistance cuts:
Welfare Cuts | Kiro-7 Eyewitness News | 02-01-2011
Story starts from 31:36 and ends at 34:04.
Wash. Cuts Benefits To Welfare Families | Northwest Public Radio | 02-01-2011
Jerry Large | Efforts may save child care | The Seattle Times | 01-30-2011
The program grew out of efforts to get people off welfare and into the workforce. It was obvious that if parents were going to go out and look for jobs, get education or work more than part-time, they would need someone to watch their children. Not only that, having kids in high-quality day care is an opportunity to help them develop the learning and social skills they'd need to succeed in school and later in life. "Families have worked hard to get to where they are and they don't want to be dependent on state assistance," Jacobs said...I agree with Leslie Dozono, early learning policy director for the Children's Alliance. "We have never provided enough assistance to provide high-quality child care across the state." And now we are undermining a promising start.
We can't afford not to feed hungry children in our state| Tacoma News Tribune | 02-02-2011
Low grades caused by hunger lead to delinquency, drugs and dropping out. This affects all of us, now and in the future. But making sure that every child has access to healthy food can prevent that and give them the chance to be thriving members of our communities. That’s why groups such as Lawyers Helping Hungry Children, Children’s Alliance, and Share Our Strength, along with many others, are committed to ending childhood hunger by 2015. It’s an ambitious goal, but one we believe can be achieved.
Judge orders state to continue food benefits to legal immigrants | Seattle P-I | 02-01-2011
The plaintiff in the case is a low-income King County mother of three kids, whose household receives $306 in state food aid, on top of federal help. Although the woman lives in the country legally, she doesn't qualify for federal food aid, because she has lived here for less than five years. Columbia Legal said the elimination of food aid for legal immigrants - while providing similar benefits to U.S. citizens and some non-citizens - violated the "Equal Protection Clause" in the U.S. Constitution.
Budget cuts force state deeper into immigration issue | The Everett Herald / The Associated Press | 01-30-2011
All laborers contribute to sales tax, the main revenue source, but closing the deficit could mean cuts to programs that help immigrant families…“In the last decade or two, Washington has wisely recognized that immigrants are tax paying, working neighbors to all of us,” said Jon Gould, executive director of the Children’s Alliance, an advocacy group. “I’m very worried right now that we are at risk of losing those important public structures that allow our immigrant neighbors to be contributing members of the state.”
Pierce County, Federal Way see 8% boost in student homelessness | Tacoma News Tribune | 02-02-2011
“Every community has children experiencing homelessness,” said Marilee Hill-Anderson, the liaison for homeless students in the Sumner School District. “There’s no community that has not been impacted.” More than 21,000 Washington state students were classified as homeless by the federal government in the 2009-10 school year, according to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. That’s nearly 5 percent more than the previous year and 56 percent more than the 2005-06 school year.
Editorial: Preventive care can cut costly emergency room visits | The Olympian | 01-28-2011
Ironically, the 2011-2013 budget mentions investments aimed at avoiding unnecessary emergency room visits such as $2 million allocated for the Tacoma Hilltop Health Center. In the governor’s 2011 policy brief she cites examples of savings initiatives aimed at improving “quality while reducing waste and inappropriate care.” She mentions redirecting patients away from emergency rooms and toward community-based clinics. She also references a Patient Review and Coordination program which would monitor clients who overuse “high-cost services such as emergency rooms.” And yet, some of the cuts in this budget would, by design, compel patients to obtain emergency room care.
Better jobless benefits can help get folks back to work | The Everett Herald | 02-02-2011
Now how about if you just lost your job and you are juggling a toddler and a first grader? About one out of three unemployed workers — 12,000 in Snohomish County — are in this situation. They are the breadwinners for their families, which include kids. Right now, we are effectively saying to them, “Good luck when it comes to the grocery bill!” Unemployment insurance isn't much of a cushion. It's more of an underinflated air mattress that leaks.
Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance are protected from current budget threats | Seattle Post-Globe | 01-24-2011
If a person is eligible for Medicaid (or Children’s Health Insurance Program), then the money is there. It’s automatic. Indeed this is the one line item in the Indian Health system budget that could be significantly increased next year and the year after and beyond.
Two Year Anniversary of Children’s Health Insurance Law Sees Millions of Newly Insured Children, Families | Business Wire | 02-03-2011
“States’ continued progress toward enrolling all eligible children in coverage is a significant step in cushioning the recession’s impact on access to health insurance,” said Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid CHIP, and Survey & Certification within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). “As families lose employment or have their hours cut back they may lose the health coverage benefit that came with that job. If not for these two programs, millions more children would go without critical health care services.”
State tax breaks for businesses need scrutiny now | Crosscut | 02-02-2011
Businesses argue that changes would be a disaster. But should we continue business subsidies when we will be forced into brutal cuts in health and social services that will hurt needy individuals?
Bruce Lesley: Winning the future for our kids | The Huffington Post |01-27-2011
As the President spoke about deficit reduction, he urged Congress to make sure that "we're not doing it on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens." In fact, now is not the time to roll back the clock on investing in our nation's children. They may only be one-quarter of our population, but they are all of our future.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA): The Opportunity to Strengthen Early Ed |New America Foundation (Early Ed Watch blog) | 01-31-2011
If ESEA is reauthorized and early learning is left out, our country will miss a huge opportunity to have a significant and positive effect on the success of schools, teachers, families, and most importantly, students. We must start making changes that will give the class of 2030 – the children being born this year – a better chance to get the early learning experiences they need to succeed in school.