Lives at stake

April 19, 2009 

We, meaning the people of North Carolina, will be responsible for depriving countless underprivileged children of better lives if the House concurs with the Senate regarding budget cuts for More at Four and Smart Start.

These programs are invaluable and have served our communities well in recent years, providing young children and their families statewide with countless opportunities to learn new things and achieve new heights. I am infuriated and appalled by individuals making veiled inferences that misconstrue drop-out rates, demonstrate an ethnic bias or distort the truth in some other manner.

Children under age 5 are at a critical stage of development, and those qualifying for these programs should not be denied early access to services. Unbridled greed and puerile self-indulgence helped deliver us to this current economic turmoil, and in order to emerge from these times truly victorious, we must reform our selfish ways.

Yes, budget cuts are necessary, but not those suggested for More at Four and Smart Start. Knowledge is priceless; education is one of the last areas from which we should withhold funds.

Heather Hankins


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