NC Senate Budget Would Dissolve Smart Start

A leader of the statewide nonprofit that administers North Carolina's Smart Start program says the current Senate budget proposal would effectively kill the nationally-recognized early childhood initiative.

The Senate plan released Tuesday would cut funding for Smart Start by 20 percent, or $38 million, just like the House proposal. But the Senate measure also would dissolve the North Carolina Partnership for Children and shift funding administration for 77 local partnerships statewide to the Division of Child Development.

Partnership chairman Dr. Olson Huff said the proposal would destroy years of academic progress for children.

Budget subcommittee co-chairman Sen. Stan Bingham of Denton said the changes would free up administrative costs and help more children, but an amendment to the provision is possible.

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  • by US-First Location: Greenville on May 25, 2011 at 02:03 PM
    Mr. Big business himself, the Donald, raising money for needy cancer kids and needy deaf kids through evil business. Idol raising millions for charity's helping the needy. 1000s more organizations doing the same. Whats the catch. We all get to chose to participate or not. True economic democracy. The creation of never ending social programs funded with tax dollars and administered in a government that grows and grows is absolutely the most inefficient way to get help to the needy. The word is economic socialism. It is unsustainable because it never ends while the administration bloats. How many governmental social/entitlement programs do you know that achieved stated goals and ended? Many will show some proof progress and use that to legitimize continued support but they never end. Some have learned to create open-ended goals so there is no end. It is time to end most of them and allow only referendums to decide what programs get funded and which don't in the same election cycle as the congress.
  • by US-First Location: Greenville on May 25, 2011 at 10:22 AM
    The country and state have become social program night-mirrors. It is unsustainable and it is about time Representatives started looking at them with clear fiscal vision and not through the lenses of emotion. We the people have to be allowed to choose what social services we want to pay into just as often as we choose our elected officials. All the social programs should renew or perish (in an organized shutdown) as referendums. It is foolish to see social programs running for 10s and 20s of years or longer introduced by Representatives some of them long gone who were representing marginal percentages of the states or country to begin with. These programs should be elected as frequently as are the Representatives themselves to truly be funded at the will of the people. Outside of that we pick and chose the charities and causes we want to support individually without ill intent toward others.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on May 25, 2011 at 08:52 AM
    Yeah...when you want steak....sometimes, you get just bread instead...thats the case when you cannot afford something. All these sound good on paper until you have to pay for it. That has been the problem with the state budget for years. Of course some will say I am not being fair to kids and parents. Well, if you wanted to do something about it, you should not support illegals in the state. They do cost us money to be here and many don't pay taxes. We give them free school and medical....its costing the state a lot of money.
  • by Back Location: Gvlle on May 25, 2011 at 08:24 AM
    Mandatory sterilization for ANY woman on welfare that continues to have children. The same goes for ANY man that is on welfare and continues to impregnate women. Its a simple thing callled BEING RESPONSIBLE.
  • by Anonymous on May 25, 2011 at 04:29 AM
    Great! It's just another taxpayer funded babysitting service.
  • by Anonymous on May 25, 2011 at 02:54 AM
    Money should be availiable help children with disabilities that have been diagnosed, but healthy children should be prepared for kindergarten by their parents.
  • by Fact Bringer Location: Greenville on May 24, 2011 at 11:51 PM
    Finally, the assumption that the correctional system is logically connected with cutting "smart start" is an apt comment. First, because the commenter is in some way assuming those involved in smart start (birth to 6 year olds) would be better served as adults in the criminal justice system. That sums up a number of perceived attitudes in this regard and should be addressed societally. Say this in public, PLEASE. So that someone can ask you how you're connecting this.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 25, 2011 at 04:31 AM in reply to Fact Bringer
      Everyboby can stop posting now. Fact Bringer has already told you how you should think.
  • by Fact Bringer Location: Greenville on May 24, 2011 at 10:03 PM
    Second problem with the comments on this story: the assumption that parents with less economic resources are somehow less qualified as parents. Generalizations about the cost of shoes and other urban trends may follow, but give us a solution, not a complaint. If you propose cutting a solution, propose a new solution.
  • by Fact Bringer Location: Greenville on May 24, 2011 at 09:59 PM
    If I can sum up the comments I've read here: "If your children require services, please don't have them." Ok. I think a child is as worthwhile as a wall street banker. Besides, I think it's delusional to solve a problem by somehow declaring that the problem should already have been solved beforehand.
    • reply
      by Earl on May 25, 2011 at 03:22 AM in reply to Fact Bringer
      Can you give an example of the NC legislature giving money to Wall Street bankers? I'm not against kids' programs, but these cuts are proposed by the NC Senate, not Congress. Do any schools teach civics anymore?
  • by Michelle Location: Washington on May 24, 2011 at 09:36 PM
    As a full-time working mother of four children, one of which has special needs, I am offended at the comments that have been made regarding the proposed cut to these programs. Programs that are actually making a difference and well worth the money spent! These programs are helping children become kindergarten ready so that they have a chance to pass on to the 1st grade; you don't know why these children need more help: maybe they were born premature or were sickly for most of their early years, but for whatever reason, they were tested and found to need extra help. People should count their blessings for their children who are kindergarten ready and do not require extra help and stop begrudging the children that do need a little more help. These children did not ask to be here and to require "special" attention, but none-the-less they are here and they do need the extra help! Those who are "bashing" SmartStart and More-At-Four obviously have no idea what these programs do for children and yes, the parents of those children. Parents that may not be able to give them the knowledge that they need to enter into Kindergarten. And for the comments made about "lazy parents taking advantage of the system to get free child care," preschool is offered at other places, such as churches, etc., and yes, they may cost a fee, but nothing is free in this life. I may have a child who has qualified for these programs, but believe me, I have paid my fair share too! And children are not able to get into these programs just because their parents do not have jobs. They are tested and are found lacking the "basics" that a child needs before entering into Kindergarten. Please let us all be mindful of what we say and the consequences before we speak. You never know when you might find yourself needed the help of these programs.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 25, 2011 at 10:07 AM in reply to Michelle
      Ummm ok. You convinced me. Now pay for it! Your kids needs special help, pay for your kid! What kind of car(s) do you drive? What kind of cell phones do you own? Internet plan? Cable TV? Gym Membership? Vacations? As you hop on your high horse please do tell where you have prioritized the cost of educating your own children and the health of your children over your own wants first. It’s easy to assume these programs will just be around with little work on your part. If you want to share the cost how about starting a needy kids organization and have folks with needy kids pay into a shared pot? Start a needy kid’s insurance plan and get lots of enrollees to reduce premiums. Just stop making it everyone else's problem without first asking whether they want to help. Some will and some won't but that’s OK isn't it? Why hate me and my view if I have other charities and causes I choose to support. That is all this is! About choice and you deciding this should be my choice because your kids need it.
      • reply
        by Michelle on May 25, 2011 at 07:33 PM in reply to
        Wow, such a mouth-full from someone who hides behind the name of Anonymous!!! For your information, MY SPECIAL NEEDS child did not utilize the Smartstart or the More-At-Four program. And furthermore, I PAY FOR MY CHILD'S DAYCARE. want to talk about being on a high horse, why don't you jump down off your podium and come back to the real world and realize that everyone has opinions and I was just stating MINE!! And not everyone with special needs children qualify for these programs, as you must not either to be so hostile! Before you spout off at the mouth at someone you don't know anything about, you should really take a long look in the mirror and hope that you never need help from anyone/anywhere.
        • reply
          by US-First on May 26, 2011 at 07:22 AM in reply to Michelle
          As if Michelle is any better indication of your identity than Anonymous was of mine. I happened to hit the send button quickly not realizing that I forgot to add a name. Although only an idiot would leave positive identification on a public opinion forum. Feel free to leave everyone on this forum your full name, address, phone number and even social security number. I am sure that will make your rants more acceptable than Anonymous rants , at least in your mind. By the way, needing help is much different than expecting or thinking one is entitled to help. I do hope someone(s) finds a way to help me when needed but I won't be expecting the government to make a program for me.
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