Saturday, April 11, 2009

States Slashing Social Programs for Vulnerable

Schools are going to be facing enormous pressures as poverty and suffering increases. As usual, those who are in the worst shape are facing the most dire circumstances. From the New York Times:
Battered by the recession and the deepest and most widespread budget deficits in several decades, a large majority of states are slicing into their social safety nets — often crippling preventive efforts that officials say would save money over time. . . .

[Federal stimulus] money will offset only 40 percent of the losses in state revenues, and programs for vulnerable groups have been cut in at least 34 states, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a private research group in Washington. . . .

Ohio and other states face large cutbacks in child welfare investigations, which may mean more injured children and more taken into foster care [some counties losing 75 percent of their investigators]. . . .

[In Arizona,] the child protection agency stopped investigating every report of potential abuse or neglect, and sharply reduced counseling of families deemed at risk of violence. Some toddlers with disabilities like autism and Down syndrome are not getting therapies that can bring lifelong benefits.

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