FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Groundwork Ohio to Testify Today in Support of Commitment to Early Childhood Education and Development Through Ohio’s Budget
Testimony on ODE Budget and ODODD Budget Highlights Need for Investment in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic
COLUMBUS, OH -- Today, Groundwork Ohio -- the state’s leading advocacy organization focused on issues impacting the prenatal period to age five -- will testify on Ohio’s FY 2022-2023 budget in support of funding for early childhood education and development.
Groundwork Ohio’s testimony regarding the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) budget expresses continued support for preschool program funding and for ODE’s commitment to expanded access to quality early learning experiences. The prepared testimony of Lynanne Gutierrez, Groundwork Ohio’s Policy Director and Legal Counsel, states,
“In light of the toll of the once-in-a-lifetime COVID-19 pandemic has taken on our most vulnerable children, as you deliberate the ODE budget and related legislation, we ask that you thoughtfully consider how to recognize and expand the critical role Ohio’s early childhood system must play in meeting the needs of children alongside K-12 school districts.”
The testimony also puts in perspective the urgency for investment in early childhood education because of time lost and other negative impacts due to the pandemic. Over 80% of brain development happens in the first three years of a child’s life. As the testimony points out,
“Ohio’s most vulnerable infants and toddlers have now spent a third of these precious 1,000 days in this pandemic, enduring the stress, trauma and financial realities experienced by their families, caregivers and communities which deeply impacts their development.”
Groundwork Ohio will also testify on the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (ODODD) budget in support of the maintenance of funds for the Early Intervention program to provide services to parents of infants and toddlers with disabilities or developmental delays.
Please see the attached documents for Groundwork Ohio’s full testimony to the Finance Committee on Primary and Secondary Education regarding the ODE budget, and to the Finance Subcommittee on Health and Human Services regarding the ODODD budget.
Ohio Groundwork Ohio is a committed, nonpartisan public-policy research and advocacy organization formed in 2004 that champions high-quality early learning and healthy development strategies from the prenatal period to age five, that lay a strong foundation for Ohio kids, families and communities. Learn more about Groundwork Ohio at groundworkohio.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.