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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Birth to 3 Connections: Worth the Expense

PP and I agree here: cutting the Birth to 3 Connections program is a bad idea. If helping 1000 kids a year receive intervention services for developmental delays or disabilities isn't worth cracking open some more of the reserves until the economy recovers, then I don't know what is. Helping kids overcome such difficulties when they are this young is certainly less expensive than waiting until they reach the school system and have to struggle to catch up with classmates. It certainly beats leaving them at their disadvantage and incurring the later costs of lower productivity and higher social remediation costs.

Note that the Governor has spared Tourism and Economic Development from any cuts, saying "We want to try to continue with programs that actually build our economy... and help us get through hard times." Hmmm... I would think the same rationale would justify sparing Birth to 3.

Reverend Joseph Lowery said something Tuesday about breaking away from exploitation of the least among us and favoritism toward the elite among us. Instead of yanking a useful service from a thousand toddlers and their parents, I suspect we could find a similar thousand or so at the top of South Dakota's power structure (high state officials, administrators, corporations getting by with paying no income tax) who could each cough up another $2000 to provide the $2 million in savings Governor Rounds seeks in cutting Birth to 3.


  1. Cory - good to see you at the debate tourney today - am just checking to let you know how the posting is - per our conversation - it does require you to hit the annonymous button and then put your name in the message - it you don't want to post annonymously - but you can't have everything

  2. The Governor's budget is so flawed in many ways. One key flub you mentioned is the Department of Tourism budget. Here's a clue. If we're in the midst of a recession/depression and the big storm is coming, folks simply won't be traveling on vacation regardless of how much advertising and promotion our state does. A certain number will travel, but trying to force the market with millions in advertising won't prop the numbers up. On the other hand, experts say, "In good times you should advertise, in bad times you must advertise." Maybe Rounds knows what he's doing, but history has proven not.


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