Senate Budget released with changes to ECEAP - Parent Ambassadors Testify at Ways and Means Hearing

The state Senate released their proposed budget on April 12, and it had quite a few surprises:

Basically they propose the following for ECEAP:

  • Increase ECEAP slots by 480 (+6.171 million)
  • Reduce ECEAP per-child rate (-4.952 million) – they say this is a 5% cut, so per-child would be $6329
  • Unify ECEAP rates (-478 thousand) – this would affect programs getting more than the current $6662/child
  • ECEAP Co-Pay (-741 thousand) – proposed $5/child/month
  • Big DEL administrative cut (-1.5 million)

We are very grateful to both the House and the Senate for their support of ECEAP in this year’s budget. We know that difficult decisions are being made, and we appreciate the vote of confidence in ECEAP and commitment to investment in children that both the House and the Senate budget proposals reflect.

As a result of this Senate proposal to expand ECEAP and offset costs in various ways, we contacted ECEAP directors by email to get their thoughts on the proposed changes.

There was consensus among directors around the two major issues – serious concerns about the impact of a cut in the rate per-child on ECEAP quality, and a prediction that administering a $5 co-pay would end up costing programs more than the state will receive.

This memo (pdf) to the House and Senate Leadership and the members of the Ways and Means committees is a compilation of the comments we received from ECEAP directors when we surveyed them about the proposal.

On April 13, our WSA Parent Ambassadors did a great job testifying, with lots of comments from the Senators. Click here for the video, then move the bar over to the time indicated below:

  • April Terry, ESD 113 HS/ECEAP is at 2:47:00
  • James McBride, Lower Columbia HS/ECEAP is at 2:52.00
  • Surina Warren-Nash, EOCF is at 2:54:00

Surina also did a great blog post on the League of Education Voters website - check it out!

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