Tuesday, February 24, 2009

budget cuts

Our state, along with the rest of the country
is in a budget crisis.
Hard choices are having to be made-
on how our state spends our money--
Those elected officials throw around the word million and billion as if it is something we can all relate to-- I have seen about a quarter of a million dollars. It really is not that big of a pile of cash--but to wrap my brain around billions is hard....

Last night i went to an open forum regarding the state budget and cuts that are being made. It was a chance for the public to speak out and give some input/solutions to this problem. It gave a face to some of the children who were going to be affected by these cuts. And while i was touched by what many had to say, and their stories i was still left wondering

"What is the solution?"

I have 5 children (Say it isn't so) and many of the cuts that are proposed will have a large impact on their lives. They are talking about DEEP budget cuts to education. They are talking about doing away with the AIMS scholarship--I did not have the heart to mention that to my son as he went off to take the AIMS test today. Just yesterday he told me " I hope i can exceed now so i won't have to take it again" (If you carry a certain GPA and exceed on these tests you had been promised tuition to any state school) My oldest is thinking of going to college to become a therapist for kids with special needs--something that the state is talking about cutting funding for--And then there is my little man--who has benefited from Early Intervention and therapists for years to get him where he is now. They want to do away with these programs--or cut the pay to them so dramatically that the therapists cannot afford to provide the services. It will deeply impact those in our society that are the most fragile--many that don't have a voice--and the cost in the long run will be more expensive.

I know that money does not grow on trees.
I know that you can not pull it out of thin air.
I also know that i really don't want my taxes raised--
so where does the solution lie?

Part of the problems with spending bills are the strings that are often attached to them--those in power are left wondering--"if the good that will pass is enough to offset the bad that is attached to it." Politics suck--pure and simple--there is not a perfect answer--just a lot of people with a lot of needs--that need money to continue on. Our family is luckier than most--I have had wonderful therapists that have worked with little man, as well as our family to help him progress. The same can not be said for all children whose services will be cut--many of those unheard voices have no one to advocate for them....and if we do not take the time and money to help them now i really feel we will be spending more in the end--and some of the costs that they are not taking into account is the quality of life or even life itself that potentially could be lost if changes are not made.

Let's trim the fat where there really is some....

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