Proposed budget cuts could cost children nearly a quarter billion dollars

Cheri Sherley, Children's Learning Institute
Cheri Sherley, Children's Learning Institute

Elise Preston
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TX - Nearly 249 million dollars could be slashed from early education programs in Texas.

If the proposed House budget cut passes this spring, three major early education grants would be completely wiped out.  Those cuts would take the Texas Ready Project out of state child care programs.  That project has been in place since 2003.  It provides programs with curriculum, materials and staff development.

The budget cut would also include nearly 750 thousand dollars from area school district's preschools. Those districts include: Dimmit, Perryton and Hereford.  The third part on the chopping block would take money from programs designed to teach early childhood educators.

Area education administrators say taking money away from early education is a huge mistake.

"I know from personal experience what early childhood can do in the classroom and the return is great. "If you cut dollars to early childhood, you are essentially stopping the process before it ever starts." said Cheri Sherley with the Children's Learning Institute

Educators tell us, children who develop in these programs start kindergarten nearly 22 percent ahead of kids who don't.

State Senator Kel Seliger of Amarillo says, the proposed senate version of the budget will make cuts to early education. However, that money will be funneled back into programs at the discretion of the education commissioner.