Join us and take action on these important issues for North Carolina’s children.
The North Carolina State Senate recently approved canned tax and budget legislation (commonly known as TABOR) that has been a disaster for children and the economy in the one state where it’s been approved and has been soundly rejected by the 30 other states that have considered it since.
It’s not hard to see why. TABOR is a failed experiment in ideological lawmaking that would choke off economic growth in North Carolina. From early childhood through technical school and college, children’s education is the most important engine and predictor of economic prosperity, and TABOR’s one-size-fits-all provisions would throttle the dynamic educational systems North Carolina has built.
So what does TABOR do?
TABOR would amend the constitution to impose an arbitrary spending cap that will make it impossible to maintain the quality of our education and health care systems and our basic infrastructure. TABOR limits any annual increases in state spending to overall inflation plus population growth. Here’s why that formula doesn’t work:
1. The cost of education, infrastructure maintenance, and especially health care is increasing at a rate faster than overall inflation.
2. Changes in demographics demand flexibility. For instance, as baby boomers reach retirement age we are seeing a dramatic increase in the proportion of elderly North Carolinians who need more expensive state services.
3. It would lock in post-recession spending levels, which means that we couldn’t restore lost funding for pre-kindergarten, community colleges, and much more.
This bill is shopworn from being circulated for years with no serious buyers. Once policymakers and elected officials get a good look at it, they see that it denies them the flexibility to take advantage of big opportunities, to address large demographic forces affecting their individual states, and it hamstrings their chances to compete against other states. TABOR is nothing more than a self-imposed recession.
Child care subsidies provide low-income families with vouchers for high-quality child care, which enables parents to earn a living while their children receive an early education or participate in an after-school learning opportunity.
As state legislators negotiate their final budget proposal, we’re calling on them to include three key provisions included in the House budget that expand access to high-quality child care.
- Increase eligibility for children in grades K-3 from 133% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to 200% of FPL, which ensures that more children will have access to the high-quality education programs that improve reading skills by the third grade.
- Restore an earlier definition of ‘family income unit,’ so children living with grandparents and other relative caregivers can continue receiving child care subsidies.
- Allow co-pays to be pro-rated for partial day care, like after-school programs. This makes child care subsidies work for families with different needs.