|Ten-Point Checklist for Lawmakers
New Year’s Day was a few weeks ago but it’s never too late for Pennsylvania’s elected leaders to resolve to deliver what children and teens need.
From newly inaugurated Governor Shapiro to mayors and town councils to local school board members, here are ten policy initiatives that will transform children’s lives for the better:
* Advance state, local, and school district policies that promote healthy social development, racial equity, and tolerance in our schools.
* Meet the mental health needs of children by adopting state policies that expand access to prevention and treatment resources in their schools.
* Fulfill the promise of early learning and pre-k for at least 18,000 additional children across the state and in Philadelphia with $430 million in new funds from the state and the City of Philadelphia.
* Improve the education of 1.7 million public school children with $2.3 billion in new funding to begin to repair the aftermath of chronic underfunding.
* Prepare at least 25,000 high school graduates for real world jobs by tripling access to career-related learning in Pennsylvania with $215 million in new CTE funds.
* Reduce the number of children poisoned by toxic lead paint with at least $55 million state dollars to make their homes free of lead paint hazards.
* Help every child stay healthy by permitting children without citizenship documents to access health insurance.
* Reform state rules that send children to detention centers and institutions, so our communities stay safe and our children avoid the trauma of being locked up and susceptible to abuse.
* Increase the share of Black and Hispanic high school graduates by promoting policies that boost their social and academic success.
* Make sure parents are paid for time missed at work when they take time off to care for their children at birth or when they are sick.
This is an ambitious policy agenda but, as our recent reports on the status of kids post-pandemic have shown, children and teens continue to suffer unprecedented challenges because of COVID. Add to that the vicious outrage – especially in Bucks County – over letting our children read books that introduce them to new ways of looking at the world and it’s tough to be a kid today.
Our Take Action Tuesday campaigns are easy tools for you to lobby your state and county officials. Check your inbox weekly to email your lawmakers and tell them to deliver what children and teens need.