Statement By Marian Wright Edelman, Founder And President of the Children's Defense Fund

Apr 10, 2001, 01:00 ET from Children's Defense Fund

    WASHINGTON, April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- During his campaign, President Bush
 repeatedly promised to Leave No Child Behind(R) which is CDF's trademarked
 mission statement.  He and members of his cabinet continue to use these words
 or close variations of them in their speeches, in their written materials and
 on their web sites.  He set the standard by using CDF's trademark.
 Unfortunately, today's budget falls short.  It would:
 
     * Shift $200 million from child care for young children to child care for
       older children when both programs are underfunded -- a shell game that
       fails to meet pressing parental needs for quality affordable child care
       from younger and older children.
 
     * Cut $20 million from the Early Learning Trust Fund which helps children
       get ready for school while increasing military spending by $14 billion.
 
     * Cut support for training programs for pediatricians and other hospital
       staff who reach out to families and help them receive needed health
       coverage at a time when 10.8 million children lack health coverage.
 
     * Leave thousands of low income young children without the opportunity to
       participate in Head Start-the President's budget abandons the plan to
       ensure that one million young children receive Head Start by FY 2002.
 
     We must not let the words Leave No Child Behind(R) become a fig leaf for
 unjust political and policy choices that, in fact, will leave millions of
 children and the poor behind. Never has the time been riper to transform
 America's shameful child neglect and poverty into a bounty of hope and
 opportunity for the world to see and emulate. Now is the time for President
 Bush to lead us into building a nation where families have the support they
 need to make it at work and at home; where every child enters school ready to
 learn and leaves on the path to a productive future; where no child has to
 grow up in poverty.  Instead, the President has proposed:
 
     * A $1.6 trillion tax plan that would provide 45% percent of its benefits
       to the richest 1% (those with incomes of $373,000 or more) and less than
       1% to the poorest. Three million Black families (52.8%) with children
       and 3 million Hispanic families (52.9%) would be left behind completely.
 
     * His overall tax plan would double the child credit from $500 to $1000.
       We support that change, but the President proposes to lift the ceiling
       of those eligible from $110,000 to $200,000 yet do nothing for the 16
       million children living in families who do not pay federal income tax
       but who do pay payroll and other taxes.  If he made the child tax credit
       fully refundable, two million children could be lifted out of poverty
       and families with incomes of $25,000 and below who really need help in
       raising their children would benefit.
 
     The litmus test of caring for children is what is done not just what is
 said. Children are not fed or housed by words. The Children's Defense Fund
 will report regularly on whether the Bush Administration and Congressional
 actions leave more or fewer children behind.
 
 

SOURCE Children's Defense Fund
    WASHINGTON, April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- During his campaign, President Bush
 repeatedly promised to Leave No Child Behind(R) which is CDF's trademarked
 mission statement.  He and members of his cabinet continue to use these words
 or close variations of them in their speeches, in their written materials and
 on their web sites.  He set the standard by using CDF's trademark.
 Unfortunately, today's budget falls short.  It would:
 
     * Shift $200 million from child care for young children to child care for
       older children when both programs are underfunded -- a shell game that
       fails to meet pressing parental needs for quality affordable child care
       from younger and older children.
 
     * Cut $20 million from the Early Learning Trust Fund which helps children
       get ready for school while increasing military spending by $14 billion.
 
     * Cut support for training programs for pediatricians and other hospital
       staff who reach out to families and help them receive needed health
       coverage at a time when 10.8 million children lack health coverage.
 
     * Leave thousands of low income young children without the opportunity to
       participate in Head Start-the President's budget abandons the plan to
       ensure that one million young children receive Head Start by FY 2002.
 
     We must not let the words Leave No Child Behind(R) become a fig leaf for
 unjust political and policy choices that, in fact, will leave millions of
 children and the poor behind. Never has the time been riper to transform
 America's shameful child neglect and poverty into a bounty of hope and
 opportunity for the world to see and emulate. Now is the time for President
 Bush to lead us into building a nation where families have the support they
 need to make it at work and at home; where every child enters school ready to
 learn and leaves on the path to a productive future; where no child has to
 grow up in poverty.  Instead, the President has proposed:
 
     * A $1.6 trillion tax plan that would provide 45% percent of its benefits
       to the richest 1% (those with incomes of $373,000 or more) and less than
       1% to the poorest. Three million Black families (52.8%) with children
       and 3 million Hispanic families (52.9%) would be left behind completely.
 
     * His overall tax plan would double the child credit from $500 to $1000.
       We support that change, but the President proposes to lift the ceiling
       of those eligible from $110,000 to $200,000 yet do nothing for the 16
       million children living in families who do not pay federal income tax
       but who do pay payroll and other taxes.  If he made the child tax credit
       fully refundable, two million children could be lifted out of poverty
       and families with incomes of $25,000 and below who really need help in
       raising their children would benefit.
 
     The litmus test of caring for children is what is done not just what is
 said. Children are not fed or housed by words. The Children's Defense Fund
 will report regularly on whether the Bush Administration and Congressional
 actions leave more or fewer children behind.
 
 SOURCE  Children's Defense Fund