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State Budget Highlights, Hearings
Governor Christie’s proposal state budget includes slight increases in education and preschool aid, as well as more money for health insurance. It also anticipates a substantial increase in federal funding for school breakfast – the result of more districts serving breakfast during the first few minutes of the school day, rather than before school when students have not yet arrived. That funding is expected to increase to $92 million – a 93 percent jump since state Fiscal Year 2011.
There are still no plans to fund preschool expansion or restore tax credit cuts to the working poor.
Advocates Support Extension of Federal Health Insurance Funding
The First Focus Campaign for Children, a national bipartisan children’s advocacy organization, expressed strong support for legislation that would extend funding for the bipartisan federal-state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These funds help support NJFamilyCare, the state’s popular health insurance program. The bill would extend federal CHIP funding for four years. Unless Congress acts first, CHIP funding will end on October 1, 2015.
Report: Supports Lift Kids Out of Poverty
Food stamps, school breakfast, tax credits and other anti-poverty supports make a critical difference in the lives of nearly 250,000 New Jersey children who would otherwise grow up in poverty, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Free Training on Infant Mental Health
Keeping Babies & Children in Mind is a training series of workshops in infant and early childhood mental health that is being offered at no cost to professionals who work with infants, toddlers, young children and their families (pregnancy through age eight). This project is funded through a Superstorm Sandy social service block grant through the NJ Department of Children and Families.
Be Part of the Preschool Expansion Movement
The new campaign, Pre-K Our Way, is holding free forums throughout New Jersey to give you a chance to be part of bringing quality preschool to our children. Join with neighbors, colleagues, parents, grandparents, teachers, principals, superintendents, board of education members, early childhood education advocates, business people, elected officials and others as we move toward making quality preschool available to all children in your community. Attend an event and help determine how our children can be prepared for school, ready for success.
Newark Kids Count Release Set for March 10