Children First’s Report Series on COVID’s Impact on Children – READ THE COUNTY REPORTS HERE

Take Action Tuesday

Take Action Tuesday makes contacting your legislators and flexing your constituent power effortless. Each week, we ask you to send a message to your lawmakers about legislation that impacts kids – sometimes good, sometimes bad. You will literally have the power to influence your elected leaders at your fingertips.  If you are not already on our mailing list, click here to sign up!

 

November 1, 2022

Investments in child care are crucial to both the economy and our children. Luckily today, we have a real opportunity to boost this critical resource in the must-pass end-of-year federal spending bill being negotiated right NOW! Contact your U.S. senator and congressperson to urge them to make early learning a priority in this bill!

Parents with young children struggle to find and afford high-quality child care that meets their needs; the COVID pandemic has only exacerbated these challenges. The American Rescue Plan was a lifeline for the child care sector, but continued investments in federal child care and early learning programs are critical to help the industry long-term. These important investments support children’s healthy development, learning, and school readiness, while also supporting parents’ ability to work.

Join us in demanding Congress make the following investments on the federal level:

  • an additional $6.17 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) for a total of $12.3 billion so states can invest in their child care infrastructure for longer-term recovery needs,
  • an additional $4.4 billion for Head Start for a total of $15.4 billion, with $1 billion for expansion of Head Start, $596 million for cost-of-living adjustment to retain child care workers, $2.5 billion for workforce compensation realignment, $262 million for local improvement priorities, and $10 million to help develop the most effective and appropriate staff for American Indian/Alaska Native programs,
  • $435.7 million for early intervention services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and $105 million for preschool special education services, and
  • an additional $210 million for the Preschool Development Grants Birth through Five for a total of $500 million to increase the quality and efficiency of existing early learning programs and systems across the country.

Thank you for taking action today on this critical investment for families and the economy!

October 18, 2022

Pennsylvania’s kids need your help now! It’s simple. With just six scheduled session days left, we’re in the 9 inning (sorry, we can’t get the Phillies off our mind) of this legislative year and it’s up to the PA House to close this thing out with a huge win for kids before it’s too late. Every year the promise of thousands of young children in Pennsylvania is diminished due to lead paint poisoning. PA children are poisoned at a rate 2.3 times higher than children poisoned in Flint, Michigan at the peak of the city’s water crisis. Approximately 8,000 PA children are poisoned every year, yet these are only the children we know about as only 20% of children are even tested.  What’s worse is this is an entirely preventable fate. The time is now to fulfill countless political promises to finally end lead paint poisoning in PA. Thankfully, due to Pennsylvanians like you fighting for our kids, the PA General Assembly is on the brink of passing a bipartisan bill, SB522, to address this crisis.

We just need House leadership to put SB522, which passed the Senate unanimously, up for a vote. SB522 creates the “Childhood Blood Lead Test Act.” The bill requires healthcare providers to make “reasonable efforts” to ensure a patient under their care receives a blood lead test by 24 months of age; or the age of 24 through 72 months of age if they were never tested in accordance with recommendations from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

For pregnant women, a healthcare provider must: Evaluate risk factors for lead exposure; and perform blood lead testing if a single risk factor is identified in accordance with recommendations from the CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. We are asking you to urge your state representatives to push House leadership to put SB522 up for a vote next week when the House returns to Harrisburg before it’s too late.

October 11, 2022

Here we go again… The Pennsylvania legislature is attacking teacher and student free speech six ways to Sunday with the introduction of yet another piece of legislation looking to stifle them. Although the exact text of the “Back to Basics in Education” bill is unknown, in a campaign appearance over the weekend, Senator Doug Mastriano vowed that “on day one, the sexualization of our kids, pole dancing, and all this other crap that’s going on will be forbidden in our schools,” Business Insider reported. We’re not sure what schools Senator Mastriano has been to that have any of these things happening, but we have no idea what he’s talking about. Public schools in Pennsylvania are focused on educating our kids to best prepare them for the future. It’s simply divisive rhetoric and Pennsylvania’s students deserve better. Please click here to contact your state senator TODAY and tell them not to sign onto the “back to the stone age” bill. If you want to join in the fight to find reasonable solutions to educate our students, reach out to us to find out how you can help.

September 13, 2022

Harrisburg is voting on a bill to load up our schools with guns. Considering firearms are the leading cause of death for children and youth in America, it’s outrageous! The PA General Assembly has another extremely dangerous bill, SB1288, that permits any school staff person to carry a gun to school. We just heard that this bill may move next week when the PA Senate returns to Harrisburg. At a time when school shootings haunt our nation, including young lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL and Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX one thing is very clear, outfitting school personnel with firearms simply isn’t a solution to ensure the safety of our students. The proposed legislation would actually allow ANY SCHOOL PERSONNEL to be armed in cafeterias, hallways and classrooms with as little as 15 hours of firearms training. Not to mention, there are no provisions for the safe storage of weapons in schools. Students deserve to be safe in their classrooms – this legislation will actually put more students in danger. Click here to contact your state senator TODAY to let them know the last thing we need in schools is guns and ask them to vote against this dangerous bill.

August 30, 2022

As we wind down the final weeks of summer, we wanted to get you up-to-date on what you may have missed while hopefully getting a chance to enjoy some downtime over the past month or so. The PA General Assembly may not be in session, but some lawmakers sure are gearing up for pushing some damaging legislation that could negatively impact our kids.

  • If you think OUR taxpayer money shouldn’t be taken away from OUR local schools that WE pay property taxes to support and given to private schools through a “voucher” system, take action today by telling your state legislators.
  • If you think denying our kids what makes America great by limiting free speech and punishing teachers for teaching American history is unacceptable, tell your state representative to fight any attempt to pass HB1532 or any similar backward-thinking bill that pops up.
  • Also, because Pennsylvanians like you fought for our kids, PA made historic investments in school funding this past year. To keep the momentum going, join us by thanking each of your state legislators and urging them to continue to close the school funding gap that is still shortchanging our kids by BILLIONS (with a B) and stop placing that burden on property taxpayers like us.

August 23, 2022

I’m writing to bring your attention to a dangerous bill, HB 1532, dubbed the “Erasing Our History” bill. It includes provisions that would severely restrict the free flow of ideas in our public schools and promote a sanitized version of American history. The bill basically bars teachers from teaching American History. The passage of this bill would deny our kids what makes America great by limiting what teachers and their students are free to explore, discuss and learn. Thankfully, your state representative in Harrisburg has NOT co-sponsored HB 1532. To ensure this bill is not passed, take action today by telling your state representative that supporting HB 1532 or any attempt to limit free speech in our schools is unacceptable.

August 16, 2022

Some state lawmakers think it’s a good idea to take OUR money away from OUR local schools that WE pay property taxes to support and give it to private schools. That’s a school “voucher.” Guess what? Your state representative voted for this idea. Take action today by telling them that if they want to represent your community, then they should start by supporting your local public schools and stop voting to take much needed resources, such as computers, teachers, etc., away from your community.

August 9, 2022

Last month, the PA General Assembly and Governor Wolf passed a state budget with overwhelming bipartisan support (yes that can still happen) that saw historic increases in school funding because Pennsylvanians, LIKE YOU, used your voice to push lawmakers to invest more in our kids. Both your state senator and state representative voted in favor of a nearly $1 billion increase for our schools. 点击这里 to find out how much your school district will be getting. 点击这里 to keep the momentum going by joining us in thanking each of your state legislators. We also ask you to urge them to continue to close the school funding gap that is still shortchanging our kids by BILLIONS (with a B) and stop placing that burden on property taxpayers like us.