State Budget Brings Some Good News for Kids; Preschool Expansion Still Needed
The governor’s budget plan brought some good news for New Jersey children, including increases in funding for children’s health insurance and newborn screening. The governor also decided to expand Medicaid so more low-income people have coverage. He did not, however, restore the cut to tax credits for the working poor.
While the budget provides a small increase for preschool funding, it does not pay for the preschool expansion mandated in the 2008 school funding law. ACNJ is calling on the governor and legislature to put a $10 million down payment on preschool expansion. ACNJ is considering hosting a webinar on the state budget and its impact on children. If you would be interested in participating, please e-mail Sheldon Presser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read ACNJ’s brief budget summary.
Find info on budget hearings.
Read our report on preschool expansion.
Mayor: Newark “losing its children’’
Saying Newark is in a state of “crisis” because it is “losing its children,” Mayor Cory Booker responded to ACNJ’s recent Newark Kids Count with a promise to create change that will get Newark children off to a strong start, prenatally and through their first three years.
To help support that effort, the Foundation for Newark’s Future promised a $250,000 seed grant to jump-start action and challenged other foundations to match those funds. Both spoke at the recent release of Newark Kids Count.
View the video.
NJ Leads on Juvenile Detention Drop
New Jersey led the nation with a drastic decline in the rate at which youth are locked up, plummeting 53 percent over a 13-year period, while still maintaining public safety, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Nationally, the detention rate declined 37 percent from 1997 to 2010, according to the KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot. New Jersey saw the fifth highest drop in juvenile detention nationally.
Read the report.
How should we fix public education?
Union City is a poster child for effective education reform, says David L. Kirp, author of the upcoming book, Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for American Schools. The book documents Union City’s striking achievement in improving student performance and outcomes.
Kirp is a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley. The free event is set for March 25 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, funded by the Foundation of Children Development.
2013 Kids Count Regional Forums Planned
ACNJ will again host regional forums across the state to help county leaders and stakeholders use data to drive change for children. Save the date for your county. More info to come.
Atlantic, Burlington & Camden Counties, June 27
Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester & Salem Counties, May 30
Bergen, Hudson & Passaic Counties, June 4
Hunterdon, Somerset, Sussex & Warren Counties, June 12
Essex, Morris & Union Counties, June 18
Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth & Ocean Counties, July 31