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Early Childhood Legislative Update: April 27, 2017

PROPOSED BUDGET CUTS TO CHILDREN’S EDUCATION AND HEALTH

On Monday, April 17, the co-chairs of the state budget writing committee (Ways and Means) released a proposed budget that puts kids at risk. While the target reductions list thankfully and appropriately maintains funding for EI/ECSE, Oregon Head Start Pre-Kindergarten, and Relief Nurseries, the proposed cuts destabilize the healthy development of young children who face significant barriers to opportunity.

Reductions include:

  • 20 percent cut to Early Learning Hubs and Kindergarten Partnership Fund, $5.3 million.
  • 10 percent cut to Healthy Families Oregon of $2.5 million, a reduction of 250 children served.
  • 10 percent cut to Preschool Promise of $3.6 million.
  • $20 million cut to Employment Related Day Care, a reduction of 1000 families served.

CALL OR EMAIL YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY!

To find your representative’s contact information and for a sample script to call or email your representatives, click here.

 READ THE PROPOSED REDUCTION LISTS AND RESPONSE FROM EARLY CHILDHOOD ADVOCATES

Ways and Means Co-Chairs’ 2017-2019 Target Reduction Lists

Read the memo early childhood advocates wrote to the Ways and Means Co-Chairs to express their concerns about the proposed reductions to early childhood programs

Early Childhood Legislative Update: April 6, 2017

It is a couple of months into the 2017-2019 session and legislators are starting to face deadlines for moving bills out of their first committees. If a bill has not been scheduled for a “work session” (or vote) by April 7, it cannot move forward. April 18 is the last day a committee can hold the vote on a bill from their chamber (House or Senate). (These deadlines are for policy bills only – not budget bills.) With these deadlines approaching, the hearings and votes on proposed legislation in the coming weeks take on more importance.

Negotiations on revenue and cost saving measures to help balance the state budget continue in private while we wait to understand what program budgets will look like for 2017-19.

Priority Opportunities for Action

  • April 10 is the Early Intervention Alliance lobby day to advocate for Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education funding. All are welcome!
  • Culturally Specific Early Learning Services (HB 3069). Once amended, this legislation will establish an Early Childhood Equity Innovation Fund as a mechanism to fund culturally specific early learning services. The bill is scheduled for a hearing on April 18 at 1 PM in the House Early Childhood Committee. Advocates are hoping for a big turnout to encourage the committee to move this bill to Ways and Means, where it can be considered for funding. Please join!

Other Hearings & Votes Scheduled

  • Early Childhood Professional Development (SB 182). This legislation sets up the statute for the investment in the early learning workforce proposed in the Governor’s budget. It is expected to be voted on with a minor amendment on Tuesday, April 4 at 3 PM in the Senate Education Committee.
  • Early Learning Hubs convene Preschool providers (HB 3106). Once amended (-3 amendment), this legislation will require Early Learning Hubs to convene state-funded preschool providers annually to coordinate outreach and enrollment efforts. It also creates greater flexibility for Oregon Head Start Pre-Kindergarten providers to use their state funds for either full or half-day programs, depending on community need. This bill is scheduled for a public hearing and possible vote on Thursday, March 30 at 1 PM in the House Early Childhood Committee.
  • Early Learning Hub Reporting Bill (HB 2956). This legislation would change the requirements for the Early Learning Division to report to the legislature about Early Learning Hubs. It is scheduled for a vote on Thursday, April 6 at 1 PM in House Early Childhood Committee. Amendments are being drafted to the legislation.

Recent Key Developments

  • Early childhood advocates filled the room on March 15 to advocate for funding for early childhood services. There were representations from Early Learning Hubs, EI/ECSE, Head Start, Preschool Promise, culturally-specific services, and many other entities. The room was packed and some attendees were in an overflow room. It was a great showing! Thank you to all who attended and testified!

Early Childhood Legislative Update: March 9, 2017

Marina and boyEarly Childhood Legislative Priorities

Opportunity gaps can be detected as early as nine months of age. This is one of many reasons Children’s Institute and early childhood advocates focus their work on the critical early years – to prevent gaps before they start.

This is your regular update about the progress of early childhood policy and budget decisions in Salem.

Upcoming Opportunities for Action

  • Learn more. The Early Childhood and Family Supports Committee of the Oregon Legislature is holding an informational hearing on Preschool Promise implementation on Thursday, March 9th, 1 PM. Attend in person or watch on-line from the committee website.
  • Washington County Budget Hearing. Local legislators are holding a community meeting on Thursday, March 9th, 7-8:30 PM at Beaverton High School to hear from more community members about their priorities for the state budget. This is a great opportunity for local advocates to speak on early childhood.
  • Advocate! House Bill 2013 makes amendments to the BA, salary, and evaluation requirements in the Preschool Promise statute. A public hearing is scheduled on this legislation for Tuesday, March 14th, 1-3 PM in the House Early Childhood and Family Supports Committee. These are consensus amendments to the law that have been worked on by the Speaker and a team of stakeholders. Feel free to join us, watch on line, or submit written comment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Testify! The Ways & Means Education Subcommittee, responsible for writing the education budget from early childhood through higher education, is holding a public hearing on the early childhood budget. We need voices from across Oregon to speak up in support of key funding in the Early Learning Division (see attached). The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 15th, 8:30-10:00 AM State Capitol, Hearing Room F (get there early to sign up, or let us know and we can sign you up!)
  • Save the Date! House Bill 3066 will be amended to create an Early Childhood Equity Fund. The House Early Childhood and Family Supports committee is scheduled to hear testimony on this concept on March 21st, 1-3 PM. Latino Network is taking the lead on crafting this concept and advocating for a $5 million investment.

Recent Key Developments

  • Governor Brown has added former legislator Peter Buckley to her staff as the Senior Advisor for Transformation and Budget Stability to work on revenue and spending reforms to address budget shortfalls predicted for the next 6 years.
  • The Ways and Means Education Subcommittee heard a presentation on the Early Learning Division budget on March 1st, 2nd, and 6th. You can watch tapes of the hearings on their webpage.
  • The Early Childhood and Family Supports Committee held hearings on the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative and Early Learning Hubs (February 28), and Hub metrics and monitoring (March 2). You can watch tapes of the hearing on their webpage.
  • On March 1st, Coalition of Communities of Color held a lobby day on their agenda, which includes a some early learning priorities (culturally-specific early learning services and Preschool Promise changes).

2017 Legislative Priorities

A coalition of early childhood advocates recommends investments in these programs and system enhancements to improve long-term outcomes for Oregon’s most vulnerable young children.

In 2015, the Oregon Legislature made significant progress in early childhood with the passage of Preschool Promise and funding for voluntary home visiting. We cannot risk losing ground. Early childhood services and programs serve the children and families who need support most and lay the groundwork for 3rd grade readiness. When kids are prepared to read proficiently by the end of third grade, they are more likely to graduate from high school.

Increase access and quality of early childhood services

Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education
Services enhance the development of children birth to five with diagnosed developmental delays and/or disabilities

Service Need:
70 percent of children in Early Intervention do not receive the recommended service level
Investment Need: $60 million ensures all 22,000 children receive recommended service levels

Home Visiting
Improves family self-sufficiency, school readiness, health outcomes, and family stability

Service Need: 
Only 15 percent of eligible children are enrolled/served in voluntary home visiting programs
Investment Need: $30 million to serve about an additional 1,500 children each year

High-Quality Preschool
Oregon Head Start Pre-Kindergarten and Preschool Promise programs increase school readiness, enhance children’s socio-emotional development, and help meet some families’ childcare needs

Service Need: 
Head Start reaches only 55 percent of eligible children at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty threshold. 30,000 low-income 3- and 4-year-olds (200 percent of federal poverty threshold) lack access to preschool
Investment Need: $30 million to serve an additional 1,300 children each year in Oregon Head Start Pre-Kindergarten and Preschool Promise classrooms

Relief Nurseries
Trauma-informed care keeps children (birth to 5) safe from abuse and neglect, out of foster care, and maintains family stability

Service Need: 
Relief Nurseries can serve less than 10 percent of the identified need despite raising
Investment Need: $14 million in private funds $10 million would add 34 new classrooms serving 379 children, add 13 new outreach workers, and 3,970 hours of respite services

Employment Related Daycare
Allows parents to work, increasing family and economic well-being. Provides stability to childcare providers and improves child outcomes

Service Need: 
Only 15 percent of eligible families receive assistance
Investment Need: Significant investment would expand needed programs for both children and parents

Culturally Specific Early Learning
Demonstrates intimate knowledge of lived experience of communities of color to eliminate structural barriers to learning to improve child outcomes

Service Need: 
Current services are pieced together with local and private funding
Investment Need: $5 million

Kindergarten Partnership and Innovation Fund
Engages families early as partners in child development and school readiness.

Service Need: 
Increases alignment between early childhood education, Oregon Head Start Pre-Kindergarten, and K-12 system Increased alignment between early learning and K-12 system would help children maintain academic gains made in preschool through early elementary school years
Investment Need: Maintain current funding level

Strengthen the early childhood system to better serve children and families

Early Childhood Workforce

System Need:
Children do best when their teachers and caregivers have the education, training, and professional learning they need
Investment Need: $15 million

Oregon Head Start Pre-Kindergarten Teacher Salaries

System Need: 
Higher salaries retain experienced teachers and improve child outcomes. Head Start teachers make roughly 50 percent less than kindergarten teachers, about $25,000/year
Investment Need: $15 million to increase wages and decrease turnover

Strengthen Home Visiting Coordination

System Need: 
Oregon could better serve families and more effectively track the on-going outcomes of these investments with small increases in state and local infrastructure and professional development
Investment Need: $6 million

Early Learning Hubs

System Need: 
Regional Hubs provide coordination between early childhood programs and fund services to best meet the needs of local communities
Investment Need: Maintain current level of funding

The need for early childhood investments by the numbers

  • Oregon has the 3rd worst graduation rate in the nation
  • Disparities in children can be detected as early as 9 months old and are well established by kindergarten
  • 14 percent of children entering kindergarten could not name a single letter
  • 37 percent of children entering kindergarten could not identify a single letter sound
  • 15 percent of eligible families receive Employment Related Day Care (ERDC)
  • Less than 20 percent of vulnerable families have access to voluntary home visiting services
  • 25 percent of low-income children have access to high-quality preschool
  • 75 percent of vulnerable children are not being served or not receiving adequate early childhood services

Young children with the greatest needs are more likely to be prepared for school when they have consistent high-quality early education experiences and access to proven support services. Long-term strategic investments, beginning with prenatal care, are necessary to reduce disparities and improve outcomes for children in school and life.

Supporters

Blue Mountain Early Learning Hub
Children First for Oregon
Clackamas Early Learning Hub
Early Learning Alliance
Early Learning Hub
Early Learning Hub of Central Oregon
Early Learning Washington County
Eastern Oregon Community Based Services
Fight Crime Invest in Kids
Latino Network
Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub
NW Early Learning Council
Ready Nation
United Way of the Columbia-Willamette
Yamhill Community Care Organization

Download our legislative priorities as a PDF file

 

2017 Early Childhood Legislative Update: February 21, 2017

State AdvocacyEarly Childhood Legislative Priorities

A coalition of early childhood advocates, including Children’s Institute, has identified early childhood programs and services that should be funded if the legislature can raise additional revenue. The priorities include investments in high-quality preschool (Oregon Head Start Pre-Kindergarten and Preschool Promise), early intervention services for children with diagnosed developmental delays and disabilities (EI/ECSE), voluntary home visiting services, and more. Read our 2017 Legislative Priorities fact sheet for a complete list of early childhood legislative priorities.


Upcoming Opportunities for Action

Speak up. The Joint Committee on Ways and Means, responsible for writing and passing the state budget, is holding meetings across the state to hear from Oregonians about their priorities for funding in the 2017-19 budget. Attend a hearing and sign up to speak. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like more information. Upcoming hearings:

  • Friday, February 24, 5:00 PM, Southern Oregon University, Stevenson Union - Rogue River Room, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland
  • Saturday, February 25, 1:00 PM, Lane Community College, Forum (Building 17), Rooms 308-309, 4000 E 30th Ave., Eugene
  • Friday, March 3, 6:00 PM, Port of Tillamook Bay, Officers Mess Hall, 6825 Officers Row, Tillamook

Learn more. The House Committee on Early Childhood and Family Supports is conducting informational hearings about all early childhood programs and services in Oregon. Click the above link to see agendas and meeting information, including video feeds for watching hearings live.

Advocate. The Oregon Alliance for Early Intervention is planning a lobby day for Monday, April 10th. Contact the organization if you would like to register for the event.

 

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