Youth Policy News - July 2016

July edition of Youth Policy News 


Youth Policy NEWS
Highlights innovative youth-focused policy work at the local, state and federal levels.
New Toolkit for Generating Public Dollars for ECEECEToolkit
Stagnant state funding coupled with strong evidence of the benefits of pre-K programs has led an increasing number of cities across the country to look to alternatives for generating revenue for early education programs. The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation and North Carolina Budget and Tax Center have teamed up to create a
toolkit featuring local funding mechanisms, including property and sales taxes, social impact bonds, municipal and county bonds, among others; that can be used to generate revenue as a means to expand investment in early childhood programs.

The toolkit also highlights current federal and state funding streams used to pay for early education programs, while providing a helpful guide for citizens and advocacy groups on how local governments make budget decisions. More information about the Local Funding for Early Learning Community Toolkit can be found on the foundation's website
New Jobs for the Future Resource on Two-Generation ApproachesTwoGeneration
There is a growing recognition that traditional investments that focus only on adults or children are less effective than those that address families as a whole. By contrast, two-generation approaches consider the needs of both vulnerable children and parents, together, in the design and delivery of services and programs to support positive economic, educational, health, safety or other outcomes that address intergenerational poverty.
Jobs for the Future developed an overview of the research, best practices, and research available to practitioners and local communities interested in two-generation approaches. Though not an exhaustive resource, the guide highlights critical strategies and practices, spotlights example programs, and identifies additional resources to inform and support local action on this issue. 
Kansas Governor Targets Children's Fund to Cover Budget DeficitKansas
Longstanding funding for early education was threatened in the wake of proposed revenue cuts to balance the Kansas state budget this year. The Kansas Children's Initiative Fund (CIF) has been the "cornerstone of Kansas' early care and education system" since 1999. Even though the program has been successful and efficient since its inception, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback targeted the fund for a one-stop fix to the state's $300 million budget deficit which was caused by income tax cuts that cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

Child advocates around the state raised the concern that not only would the move open the door to dismantling one of the nation's most efficient and effective early childhood education systems, setting a precedent that such "protected" funds could be raided as often as needed to keep business income tax cuts in place, but that an already underfunded education system would continue to be underinvested in. Due to the outpouring of advocates and Kansas families, policymakers soundly rejected the Governor's efforts to dismantle the CIF during this fiscal year - it was a huge victory for Kansas kids. Unfortunately, the state's budget crisis persists, which means this issue will likely resurface next year.

The Kansas story suggests that even safeguarded programs are at risk in tight fiscal times. Children's advocates must be vigilant in protecting funding sources and work to include safeguards in legislation ahead of time to prevent situations like the one in Kansas. More details on the story found here
Fairfax County Pushes for Equity in Public DecisionsEquity
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors  adopted the  One Fairfax Resolution. "One Fairfax emphasizes the importance of making County-wide decisions through the lens of racial and social equity," explained Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova. The resolution directs the development of a racial and social equity policy to ensure all individuals in Fairfax have an opportunity to reach their highest level of personal achievement.
One Fairfax is designed to help county decision-makers identify and improve policy and institutional strategies not only to eliminate gaps, but to increase success for all. Such strategies will address disparities in such wide-ranging areas as juvenile justice, education, employment, self-sufficiency, health, and child welfare. Seen as a driver for the county's future economic success, the county-wide focus on equity is an integral component to improving educational, health, and life outcomes for all youth in Fairfax County. The resolution is intended as a joint effort between the Board of Supervisors and Fairfax County School Board, with the School Board slated to review the resolution later this month. More information about One Fairfax can be found here
APHSA Explains the Federal Budget Process in Four SlidesAPHSA
The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) has developed a downloadable primer on the federal budget process. Explaining the who, what, when and how of the federal budgeting process in four slides, APHSA summarizes key terms and committees, and outlines the appropriations process from budget request to passage. This resource can be found here.  
New Mexico an Exemplar in Early ChildhoodMexico
New Mexico's adoption of a legislating for results framework - using performance data to benchmark progress, develop more effective action plans, and strengthen connections to agency budgets - has shaped its current efforts to boost accountability within its social programs. Seeking to maximize state investments in early childhood learning, the state produced an early childhood accountability report that provided a system-wide look at key early childhood indicators across state agencies and outcomes. New Mexico's Early Childhood Accountability Report consolidates information regarding expenditures and outcomes, allowing the state to make data-informed decisions about the use and effectiveness of dollars for early childhood going forward.

New Mexico's accountability efforts in early childhood are replicated in other arenas: health and human services, workforce development, and education. The state is an exemplar for the kind of accountability and evidence work that legislatures can support to direct funding toward improving outcomes. Sample reports and more information about New Mexico's accountability framework and process can be found on the
New Poll: Americans Want More Support for Children and FamiliesPoll
The Children's Leadership Council has released a national public opinion poll that finds that 70 percent of Americans believe children would be better off if government did more for children and families, and 63 percent of Americans favor Congress increasing funding for programs and services to meet children's needs. 
Moreover, a majority of Americans say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who commits to making child well-being policies a priority if elected, especially in the areas of child abuse and family violence (75 percent); child poverty and hunger (71 percent); and child health (67 percent). 
The CLC has created several resources for advocates and community stakeholders to share with their networks and constituencies, including memos, a press release, a customizable blog post, shareable graphics, among other resources. The CLC hopes that these resources will be used to help raise awareness, especially among the media, elected officials and candidates. More on the story here


Publishing Date: 
July 29, 2016