Children and the Election
With high numbers of kids in jail and dropping out of school local leaders say programs to improve children's futures are at risk of having their budgets cut.
It all coincides with the upcoming election... residents say it's important to elect officials who make the needs of children a top priority.
Because if budgets do get cut, local programs won't be able to help kids in need.
Shaquana told an audience of supporters that her life is much different now than it was before coming to a juvenile reform program. She says she was violent... acted out in school, was held back, and got involved with gangs.
A program called "PACE" helped her straighten out her life but programs like this are at risk for budget cuts...
"Pace helps kids, girls basically, not be into crime and if by cutting it or whatever, it would be a lot more girls getting arrested."
At today's "Truth Tour", speakers said Florida's children must be a priority for all policy makers.
As Mayor, Pegeen Hanrahan brings home 2-thousand dollars a month but It costs almost 14-hundred dollars a month just for child care. She says She can put herself in the shoes of many residents who depend on these programs.
"Were I a single mom, I would most likely have to take advantage of some of the programs we have to give children a healthy start."
Florida ranks 43rd in children in trouble with the law... and 36th in teen high school drop-out rates....statistics the truth tour is hoping to target. There are five areas... or "PROMISES"... to help children: health, safety, quality early learning, better after-school programs and delinquency prevention.
"our children are in crisis. And what we're facing with this economic downturn us going to be the elimination of services all across Florida. Gainesville and the North Central Florida region is going to get hit very, very hard."
The truth tour is created by children's campaign, a non-partisan organization. for more information, you can go to our website, wcjb.com and click on the links section.
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