Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Major budget cuts occurring in at least 41 states and the District of Columbia – caused by revenue shortfalls during the continuing recession – are affecting families with children, according to a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Twenty-seven states have made cuts in their public health programs, while 25 states have made budget adjustments in aid for K-12 schools and early education programs. The report found that the budget cuts are allowing room for further damage to the economy, as they are taking away critical services from the nation’s youth.
Among the cuts identified: Children from low-income families may not be eligible for health insurance or will have reduced access to health care services in those states that have made cuts in their public health programs. Arizona has cut funding for community health centers and vaccines, and suspended funding for its children’s rehabilitative services program, affecting more than 4,000 children with various health conditions. In California, funding for HIV/AIDS services has been cut almost entirely, while funding for domestic violence shelters and child and adolescent health programs has been eliminated.
K-12 education has also been hit hard: In Florida, at least $140 in aid per student has been cut in local school districts. In Maryland, programs that have been cut include the school breakfast pilot program, gifted and talented summer centers and math and science programs.
The report concludes that the blows from the state cuts have been softened only somewhat by the enactment in February of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which, the report says, is providing about $140 billion over 2½ years to help states pay for education, health care, public safety, and other services. Free, 12 pages. (202) 408-1080, http://www.cbpp.org/files/3-13-08sfp.pdf.