High 5 partners speak out against Mayor's proposed cuts

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, Mayor Fenty issued a budget to close the $188 million gap for FY 2011. The plan calls for extensive cuts to programs serving vulnerable children and families. High 5 partners were in force at the Council's budget hearing on Tuesday, including DC Hunger Solutions, the Southeast Children's Fund, The Arc of DC, Wider Opportunities for Women, Empower DC and the Healthy Families/Thriving Communities Collaborative Council. 

On the chopping block:

- $5 million necessary to implement the recently passed Healthy Schools Act, which was hailed as a model for the nation in addressing the twin problems of childhood obesity and hunger. 

- $2.7 million in subsidies to child care centers serving low-income families. 

- $1.3 million in funding from Child and Family Services to Community Collaboratives in low-income areas that provide services and outreach to at-risk families. The Mayor has proposed that the collaboratives only serve families in which child abuse and neglect have already been substantiated, which removes their preventative function.

The Council will consider these cuts and others before voting on the plan on Tuesday, Dec. 7. There's still time to call or email your Council member and urge him or her not to support these cuts, which hurt vulnerable children and families. The full list of proposed cuts is here.