SOURCE: National Center for Parents as Teachers

National Center for Parents as Teachers

February 03, 2010 16:07 ET

Parents as Teachers Receives Another Blow From Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon

National Center for Parents as Teachers Shocked by Today's Announcement of More Budget Cuts

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - February 3, 2010) - Nearly a week after denouncing Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's proposed $4.1 million cut to Parents as Teachers next fiscal year, the St. Louis-based nonprofit learned today that an additional $2 million has been slashed from this year's budget as part of Nixon's additional withholdings of state funds. In Missouri, the proven parent education program has taken a whopping 28 percent hit in the last 18 months.

"We are devastated by this news," said Sue Stepleton, CEO of Parents as Teachers National Center, the resource base and backbone of Parents as Teachers programs worldwide. "Just last year the governor emphasized in his State of the State address the importance of early childhood education, even citing Parents as Teachers. For him to back away from a program that's benefitted so many Missouri families is both surprising and disheartening. We will be appealing to the legislature to look at the drastic cuts and weigh them against the long-term investment in our state's children."

Here's an overview of cuts to Parents as Teachers in Missouri in the last 18 months:

--  $3.4 million enacted by the state legislature;
--  $4.1 million proposed by the governor for next fiscal year;
--  Additional $2 million effective this fiscal year, announced today
    as part of the governor's new reductions in the state budget.

"We are hopeful the state legislature will see the error in the governor's cuts and provide leadership in advocating for Missouri families," said Stepleton. "While these cuts may be discretionary to the governor's office, Missouri's children and families are not discretionary."

The full impact of the $2 million withholding is not yet known, but Stepleton said she expects the cuts to be deep.

More than 156,000 Missouri children, including the state's most vulnerable, are currently served by Parents as Teachers programs with access to personal visits, developmental screenings, referral services and other parent education services that help prepare Missouri children for school and encourage parents in their role as their child's first and best teacher.

About the National Center for Parents as Teachers

Based in St. Louis, the National Center for Parents as Teachers (www.parentsasteachers.org/site/pp.asp?c=ekIRLcMZJxE&b=272091) is the resource base and backbone of the largest parent education program in the nation. The nonprofit National Center oversees more than 3,000 Parents as Teachers programs nationwide as well as in Australia, Belize, Canada, China, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. For more information about Parents as Teachers, visit www.parentsasteachers.org.

Editor's Note: Stepleton, as well as Missouri Parents as Teachers leaders, are available to speak to today's announcement of more budget cuts by Gov. Nixon, and the services provided by Parents as Teachers. Please call Pat Simpson at (314) 432-4330, ext. 283 to coordinate.

Contact Information

  • FOR MORE INFORMATION:
    Pat Simpson
    Parents as Teachers
    (314) 432-4330, ext. 283
    Email Contact