The House budget was debated and passed earlier this month. Because of all of your hard work the House budget passed with $1 Million in Youth-At-Risk funding for the YMCAs, this is more than we have ever received for direct funding to our Ys.
Also in the House budget is $15 Million in the Early Education and After School Rate Reserve. This is the highest amount it has been funded at since 2004. Our message that the early education field is in a staffing crisis is working. Please continue to let your legislators know the difficulties your Y is having hiring early education and after school teachers. A significant increase in the Early Education and After School Rate Reserve will give our early education teachers a much needed salary increase.
Unfortunately, despite everyone's best efforts, the HomeWorks program amendment to supply enrichment services to homeless and motel sheltered youth as well as the Out-of-School Time Substance Abuse amendment to continue our efforts were not included in the House budget.
Our current efforts are with the Senate budget. We are hoping to increase our Youth-At-Risk line item to $1.3 Million and the Rate Reserve to $20 Million. We will also be advocating for the inclusion of the HomeWorks and the Out-of-School Time Substance Abuse funding. We will need your help in writing and calling your Senators!
After this there will be a Conference Committee to reconcile the House and Senate budgets into one. We will need your help during this process as well for our Youth-At-Risk line item, Rate Reserve, and hopefully HomeWorks and Out-of-School Time Substance Abuse funding.
Thank you for all your great advocacy work!