Morning Must Reads: Cutting Support for Pre-K and Higher Ed & Trouble in Altoona

Topping the headlines this morning: state budget cuts mean fewer providers of high-quality pre-kindergarten in York County.

The YWCA York plans to close two of its early learning centers located in East Manchester and York townships for financial reasons, according to Deb Stock, CEO...

The YWCA York sent a representative to Harrisburg on Tuesday to advocate for state funding, said [Stock].

The proposed state budget cuts Keystone Stars, aimed at improving child-care quality, and Child Care Works, a program that helps low-income families afford child care, by $24.1 million, according to the YWCA York. The proposed budget would also cut Pre-K Counts and state-funded Head Start programs by 5 percent.

The result, according to the YWCA, is children who qualify for a state child care subsidy don't have access to quality programs. Programs struggle from a lack of support, subsidy clients who can't afford increasing co-pays and potential clients who are on a waiting list for subsidies, the organization says...

The YWCA early learning center located at the York County School of Technology served as a training center for students seeking to enter early childhood professions, said Deb Stock, CEO of the YWCA. It's a shame to see that go, because it had been considered an investment in the profession, she said.

"There's a huge need for quality training," she said.

The good people at Demos have a new report on the impact of reductions of state support for higher education.

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development is recommending the City of Altoona enter the distressed municipalities program.

Lack of funds has led to the workforce dropping from 255 in 2009 to 229, said Finance Director Omar Strohm.

The police department has shrunk from 74 to 68 officers, with three unavailable last year, because they were in training, said Chief Janice Freehling.

That contributed to an 11 percent increase in serious crime, she said.

It also contributed, oddly, to a 4 percent decrease in less serious crimes — because there were fewer officers to ferret out those crimes, she said.

The department has become "highly reactive," she said.

The Public Works Department has shrunk 20 percent to 56 workers over the last decade, said Director Dave Diedrich.

That means that it takes 36 hours instead of 24 to clear the streets after a major snowstorm, he said.

Comments

0 comments posted

Post new comment

Comment Policy:

Thank you for joining the conversation. Comments are limited to 1,500 characters and are subject to approval and moderation. We reserve the right to remove comments that:

  • are injurious, defamatory, profane, off-topic or inappropriate;
  • contain personal attacks or racist, sexist, homophobic, or other slurs;
  • solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites or to sell products or services;
  • may infringe the copyright or intellectual property rights of others or other applicable laws or regulations; or
  • are otherwise inconsistent with the goals of this blog.

Posted comments do not necessarily represent the views of the Keystone Research Center or Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center and do not constitute official endorsement by either organization. Please note that comments will be approved during the Keystone Research Center's business hours.

If you have questions, please contact Lilienthal@pennbpc.org.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <img>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture.
Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.