Today, CEC attended the annual Children’s Budget Summit to highlight federal funding for children in mandatory and discretionary programs. The Summit is hosted by First Focus, with special guest Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) to provide an overview of their Children’s Budget book for 2012. Congresswoman DeLauro received recognition for her work as the ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, Health, Human Services and Education. She addressed the summit about the precarious position of children in our nation, and the challenges that they face in the current economic climate such as hunger, access to education and health issues. Her speech was followed by remarks from David Brooks, New York Times columnist and author. The summit ended with an overview by First Focus president Bruce Lesley, who gave a presentation highlighting some of the key findings published in the First Focus Children’s Budget book.
The Children’s Budget focuses on a wide range of programs and funding that serves children across the board in areas such as nutrition, education, family services, health care, housing and income support. The following are some of key statistics highlighted by the Children’s Budget.
- Spending on programs which provide services to children has decreased by 2.4% since 2011.
- Children account for 8% of the total money spent through federal programs, representing a 7.8% decrease since 2010.
- When surveyed, voters name K-12 education as the number one program they do not want cut, with 61% calling for no reduction and 27% opting for a minor reduction.
- Changes to the funding of IDEA since 2008 stand as follows:
- IDEA Part B 619 was reduced by 6.8%
- IDEA Part B Grants to States was reduced by 2%
- IDEA Part C for Infants and Families was reduced by 4.9%
Finally, the Children’s Budget showed the devastating effects of sequestration which will result in across the board cuts of 8% to programs providing vital services to children including education, early childhood services, child abuse prevention and response, housing and homelessness amongst children and safety.
CEC continues to advocate for a balanced budget and deficit reduction plan that does not cut special education programs to avoid the 8% automatic cuts that will occur on January 2, 2013 if Congress doesn’t act. . Read an explanation of sequestration here. Stay tuned to this blog for coming opportunities to advocate against sequestration.
For more information on funding for services and programs that pertain to students with disabilities and gifts and talents, please see CEC’s Federal Outlook 2013 budget book.