North Carolina has long made smart, critical investments in programs that protect children's basic health, safety and education. Times are tough this year, and difficult choices must be made, but we cannot balance the state's budget on the backs of our children.
North Carolina needs a balanced approach to the budget. The NC state legislature and Congress must protect key programs and services that keep our children healthy and safe, including health insurance, infant mortality prevention programs, community-based services for at-risk youth, and early education.
Health insurance means access to health care, which means well-child visits instead of costly emergency room visits. Prevention and intervention services for at-risk youth result in less crime and create productive citizens instead of criminals. High quality early education builds children's brains, which means higher graduation rates and lower dropout rates.
These days you hear a lot of politicians saying, "Governments need to budget like families do." We couldn't agree more. Families budget by putting the health, safety, and future of their children first. Funds used to protect our children are critical today and also an investment in our state's future. Tell the NC legislature and the US Congress to protect our investments by funding these critical services for all our children.