Day Home Student Steals the Show at a Citizen Budget Forum

As you know California’s education and child care funding is always under pressure. And this year, things are worse than ever. Keeping up with ever-changing budgets and various ballot initiatives is a big challenge. One of the most important things any of us can do is make sure our elected officials understand how vital funding is to children.

Bernice and Freddy Araujo

Earlier this month, one of Saint Vincent’s Day Home’s families traveled to Sacramento to testify at a citizen’s budget forum set up by the Women’s Foundation of California. At the hearing, held at the Board of Equalization, June 11, Judy Patrick, CEO of the Women’s Foundation, explained how dire the situation is for California’s most vulnerable families: those led by a single mother.

Did you know that in 2011-12, the state cut funding for preschool and other childcare programs by 15% and lowered the income eligibility (making it even harder for families to access the programs). And this year, it’s likely that the state will make further drastic cuts.

The forum brought together legislators and citizens to discuss the facts and understand what the continued cuts mean to real people. Among the audience was one of Saint Vincent’s Day Home students and her grandfather, Bernice and Freddy Araujo.

We wanted to thank Bernice and Mr. Araujo for taking the time to make the trip to this important hearing adding their experience to the discussion. We’re especially  proud of Bernice – who asked to speak so she could thank her teachers who helped her learn to read and write. See Mr. Araujo’s testimony at 1:31:13 on the video below and Bernice’s comments at the very end of the video at the 1:38:38 time stamp.

Of course, we encourage everyone to stay up to date with the changing budget and let your elected representatives know that child care, early childhood education and the rest of the services, such as the ones offered here at the Day Home, are vital to our children, families, and California’s future.

photo: Women’s Foundation of California

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