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Children Left Out, Again

New York State has drafted a proposal that will be submitted to the US Department of Health and Human Services, requesting flexibility in how it uses Medicaid funds. Known as a “Medicaid waiver,” the proposal includes a request for $13.52 billion to be used over five years. The intent is to design innovative ways of using Medicaid funds that will promote health equity and address health disparities. Despite the fact this waiver is focused on equity, the investments in the current proposal are not aligned with the needs of the poorest and most diverse population of New Yorkers who rely on Medicaid: children.

Barriers to Care – Improving Access to NYS’s Child Care Assistance Program

Affordable, safe, high quality, and nurturing child care is essential for the immediate and future success of New York State. Our goal as a state should be to increase the number of families receiving this critical support, and we should fund services that help us achieve that goal. Readily available child care helps parents remain in the workforce, contributes to economic growth and expands the labor force for employers. It also ensures that children get off to the best possible start to life.

Recommendations for use of American Rescue Plan Funds

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a $1.9 billion stimulus plan designed to accelerate our nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It contains a number of measures to provide direct relief to families, e.g. $1,400 stimulus checks to households, extended unemployment benefits and emergency housing assistance, and $5 billion for federal food aid. The pandemic recovery is addressed with $160 billion for vaccine distribution, supplies, emergency response, testing and the public health workforce.

A significant portion of ARPA funds are directed to children and families through provisions that include changes to federal tax credits and increased resources for child care, PreK-12 education, and closing the digital divide.

2020 Policy Brief: Paying the Highest Price

The Rochester City School District (RCSD) is facing unprecedented mid-year reductions in education aid from New York State. These cuts surpass the losses faced by any other school district in Monroe County, and are among the highest of any school district in New York State. The state’s current approach to budget reductions disproportionately targets districts with the highest needs, undermines the purpose of New York State aid to local school districts, and bolsters institutional racism in our community.