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The State Budget and Your Budget

by Eric Karolak
September/October 2008
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/the-state-budget-and-your-budget/5018396/

"Follow the money," the source known only as Deep Throat told Washington Post reporters on the trail of the Watergate conspiracy 35 years ago. In a way it might also be good advice for anyone on the trail of the complex funding challenge that early childhood education so often is these days.

Your state and the federal budget matter for child care and early education program funding. Decisions are being made that dictate how many children can be served, how many teachers will be trained, and how much you can offer your children and families. The broader economic picture in your community matters, too — you may see the impact of a sluggish economy on your individual program. Rising food and supply costs have to be covered; you may find that fewer children are enrolled as parents from all walks of life struggle to find new ways to make ends meet.

So, where do budgets come from?

Most state fiscal years begin in July, and not quite half of the states have biennial budgets that are negotiated every two years. Typically, Governors present a budget proposal to the legislature in January or February, but they develop those proposals the previous fall, with input from ...

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