The Tucson Weekly ran a post on their blog citing a New York Times article excerpt about a working mother in Tucson who lost her state subsidized day care benefit because she missed a deadline and is now on a waiting list for resumption of that benefit.
The Weekly author, Jim Nintzel, used this to take a shot at Republican lawmakers in Arizona who are trying to balance a budget in the face of a historic revenue shortfall brought about by rapid spending growth compounded a severe recession. Nintzel’s closing comment:
But remember: Republican lawmakers are pro-life and pro-family. Just don’t ask them to fund any programs that actually help low-income families get a toehold on improving their lives. That would be helping out the people that state Sen. Frank Antenori likes to refer to as the “tax-eaters.” Compassionate conservatism is sooo yesterday.
The Times article clearly said they ARE funding it, they just have a waiting list for new applicants, which this person became when she missed the deadline.
“Don’t expect help in Arizona” the Weekly’s blog entry states. That’s an incomplete list to say the least. More like “don’t expect the whole story from us” it should say.
Nintzel neglected to quote from the article he cited that, along with Arizona “at least nine other states have cut access to subsidized child care programs or the amounts they pay.” Here’s the rest of what he didn’t bother to tell you:
As part of last year’s package of spending measures aimed at stimulating the economy, the Obama administration added $2 billion for subsidized child care programs for 2009 and 2010, on top of the expected $5 billion a year. The administration has proposed a $1.6 billion increase for 2011. But even as this extra money has limited cuts and enabled some states to expand programs, officials acknowledge that it has not kept pace with the need.
“To say that we are in a difficult environment in terms of state budgets would be the understatement of the century,” said Sharon Parrott, an adviser to Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, which administers federal grants to states for child care. “It’s just not possible for the federal government to fill the entire hole, but the Recovery Act has provided critical help.”
…Michigan, Massachusetts and North Carolina, have cut access to subsidized child care programs or the amounts they pay.
New Hampshire, Nevada and New Mexico resorted to waiting lists. Ohio reduced its income eligibility from twice the poverty line to 150 percent — $33,075 annually for a family of four.
“The social safety net was always in patches, and now it’s more frayed,” said Helen Blank, director of leadership and public policy at the National Women’s Law Center. “For a single mom, it’s a lottery in many states whether she gets child care or not.”
This year, California altered its welfare reform program, cutting $215 million from child care financing given to counties and allowing families with young children to draw aid without looking for work.
Last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed scrapping California’s entire welfare-to-work program, including child care and cash assistance, as the state grapples with a $19 billion budget shortfall — an action that would eliminate aid for roughly a million children.
It’s a really big problem impacting a lot of people around the country. Kind of a stretch to pin it on one state, let alone one political party, let alone one state senator.
The article cited that Ms. Smith wants to return to college and finish her degree so she can find a better paying job. Gila Courier lists some resources for Ms. Smith and anyone else who might find them useful:
“The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid wants to send a clear message to families who may be struggling through this economic downturn that there are many resources available to help you pay for college. Our goal is to make The University of Arizona (UA) affordable to families from all income levels.”
So we encourage people in this situation to keep looking, keep trying, don’t give up, and don’t let the media tell you that other people are trying to hold you back from success.