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Where Did You Get That Idea?

by Eric Karolak
July/August 2012
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/where-did-you-get-that-idea/5020686/

When it comes to public policy, so often ideas seem to come out of the blue or to not reflect the reality you know from your program or your community. That’s why it’s so important to develop a relationship with policymakers at the local, state, and national levels. If an idea comes up, they’ll be more likely to seek your input. And if there’s a policy or a funding priority you don’t think makes sense, you’ll have a pre-existing connection to help you get it fixed.

A number of ideas, some good, some misguided or ill-informed, illustrate how important it is that policymakers tap the expertise of teachers, directors, and other program implementers just like you.

An 8,000% Fee Hike

Take what happened in Arizona in 2009. The state budget made child care licensing ‘self-funded,’ eliminating all state funds for licensing, as one of many cuts to health and human services programs. This occurred quickly, with little information about what the new fees would be, and virtually no opportunity for public input. Months later, the state revealed a fee structure that raised fees between 280% and more than 8,000%!

Self-funded licensing may sound like smart government and may make sense for a trucking company, but ...

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