Deaconess Announces Policy Priorities

 

OUR HOPE: LEADERS INVEST IN CHILD WELL-BEING

Experts suggest simply that children exhibit well-being if:

  • They have what they need to be successful as adults.  

  • They are able to enjoy being kids.

  • They are growing and developing as kids their age should

This definition recognizes that each child has a right to well-being, and that it is the responsibility of the child’s community to create those circumstances that best allow each child to flourish.

 

POLICY PRIORITIES FOR DEACONESS AND OUR PARTNERS

An array of our grantees have expressed concerns regarding policies with implications for children, including:

Maternal, Child & Family Health Coalition * Beyond Housing * Metrpolitan Congregations United
Family Resource Center * Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis * Missouri Children's Leadership Council
The Ferguson Commission

In response, Deaconess supports the following as policy priorities in this legislative session:

  • Support for need-based financial aid (i.e., Access Missouri) & access/affordability for undocumented/DACA Missouri students
  • Passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015
  • Return $1M in support to Parents as Teachers without negative impact on other children/youth programs - Total proposed funding is now $17.462M, which is insufficient to cover the approximately 2,500 families currently on the waiting list.
  • Passage of HB11’s $3.6M for a 3% provider rate increase for child care providers in the Child Care Development Block Grant program and the amendment adding $4.4M to fund an increase in eligibility level from 123%FPL to 130% for clients of licensed and licensed-exempt providers.
  • School Transfer Bill Priorities
    • Prioritize accredited schools in same district when transferring students from unaccredited schools

    • Adopt the Voluntary Inter-District Choice Corporation (VICC) calculation of $7,200 as the maximum rate

    • No denial of student transfer based on criteria that does not exclude him/her from attending a school in their resident district (exception: safe schools violation)

    • Districts accepting students and funds held accountable for student outcomes.
    • Consideration of Revised TANF Bill SB24 - Fiscal note on the House version of the bill documents over 12,000 children are in families that will lose benefits on January 1, 2016
  • Passage of Child Abuse Victims HB734 - Prohibits visual or aural recordings or photographs of a minor who is alleged to be a victim of child abuse to be shared with any person who is not required by law to have the recordings or photographs
  • Passage of Anti-Bullying Bill HB 458