In support of families and local providers of services to families and individuals with special needs, we are posting this letter to the editor from David H. Crosson, CEO Indian Creek Foundation.
Join us on May 12th at 10am on the steps of the Doylestown Courthouse as The Arc Alliance and other providers and families rally to bring visability to this issue!
Letter to the Editor
Recently Governor Corbett released his budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2012. The budget he is proposing reduces funding in seven areas of human services by 20 percent each. While we understand the need to manage a tight budget, the Governor’s proposal places a disproportionate share of the cuts on those who are the most vulnerable among us.
One of the budget lines reduced are services to people with developmental disabilities. As a provider of these services, Indian Creek Foundation knows firsthand what these cuts will mean for the people in our programs. Last year our funding was rolled back to 2010 levels and then cut by an additional six percent. This required us to reduce our staff by 18 positions in an effort to stay within such limited funding. Reductions in our staffing affect our clients directly, and these most recent cuts mean that the people we serve have 18 fewer caring staff to support them. Given the serious reductions in recent years, the additional 20 percent cut to funding in the proposed budget will be very difficult for Indian Creek Foundation and other agencies to absorb. Agencies may be forced to stop providing some of the services currently offered, and children and adults with developmental disabilities will be left without the services they need to live a productive and enriching life.
It must be noted that the total budget proposed by the Governor is essentially equal in total spending to last year’s budget, yet this year’s proposal asks human services to take a 20 percent cut. The fact that total spending remains almost unchanged from last year means that the proposed budget is not just the difficult reality of tight times, but rather an unfair and harmful attack on necessary services for some of the most vulnerable members of our communities across the state.
We cannot forget that cuts to human services have a human cost. Budgets are more than numbers; they reflect our priorities and shape our communities. We must examine the Governor’s proposals and ask ourselves: Do these cuts reflect what we want our state to stand for? Are we a society that cares and provides for our most vulnerable citizens? In the end, the budgets and policies we adopt are our answers to these questions. We urge you to write your legislators and ask them to restore these crucial services to current year funding levels.
David H. Crosson, CEO
Indian Creek Foundation