Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Ducey, Republicans Leave $56 Million For Child Care Sitting On the Table

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 9:49 AM

  • Courtesy of Bigstock

Doug Ducey and his Republican legislative cronies had $56 million in federal money waiting to be spent to help cover the cost of child care and early childhood education for low income families. They refused to spend it.

The state didn't have to put up a penny. All it had to do was add a $56 million line item to its budget, and more low income children would have access to child care services. Ducey and the Republican legislative leaders knew the money was there, they were urged to put it in the budget by child care advocates and by Democrats in the legislature. They just decided not to do it.

When a story in the Sunday Star brought the unspent $56 million to my attention, I contacted Michelle Crow, Southern Arizona Director of the Children's Action Alliance, for more details. Next I talked to Democratic Rep. Randy Friese, who represents LD-9, my legislative district, to find out why the money didn't make it into the budget. The more I learned, the worse things got.

In March the federal government included $5.2 billion in its budget to increase the quality of child care and early childhood education across the country. Arizona's cut of the funds is $56 million, which is supposed to be added to the $125 million Arizona already receives to subsidize child care and early childhood education for children from low income families.

Right now, there's not enough money to subsidize child care for all the children who need it. As bad or worse, the amount the state allocates per child doesn't cover the child care provider's costs. The state Department of Economic Security's "Reimbursement Rates for Child Care" schedule is based on what the services should cost. The problem is, the reimbursement rates haven't changed since 2000. The state is still using an 18 year old rate schedule created at a time when the minimum wage was $5.15 an hour. Today it's $10.50.

It's actually worse than that. The DES reimbursement is only 75 percent of going rate in 2000. It's no surprise Arizona has among the lowest reimbursement rates in the country.

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Claytoon of the Day: A Star is Scorned

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 8:52 AM

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Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Wednesday, August 15

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 1:00 AM

  • University of Arizona School of Art
  • Untitled (Corridor)
Untitled (Corridor). This week is your last chance to see this art installation at the UA Museum of Art, and the perfect chance to go to the closing reception. Untitled (Corridor) is an installation of cement bricks made from sand and debris from specific coordinates in Tucson—coordinates that have witnessed the deaths of migrant bodies. This hard-hitting exhibit takes displaced materials and makes them not into units of construction, but into meditations on the cause of migrant death and disappearance. Artist Karlito Miller Espinosa was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, and is an MFA candidate at UA. His work has been exhibited in several countries, including the Tucson Museum of Art’s 2018 Arizona Biennial exhibit. Visible 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day through Wednesday, Aug. 15. Closing reception is 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 15. University of Arizona School of Art, 1031 N. Olive Road. Free. Details here.

Primavera Cooks! at Tavolino Ristorante Italiano. Head over to Tavolino Ristorante Italiano for a wine-paired gourmet dinner with Primavera Cooks! Dine on the restaurant’s classic Italian fare at the nonprofit fundraising dinner, part of the 17th season of Primavera Cooks! 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15. 2890 E. Skyline Drive. Make reservations through Primavera at 520-308-3104. $125 per person. Details here.

YWCA STAT Ballot Party. When was the last time heading to the polls made you feel like you were at a party? Maybe don’t answer that. The point is, voting is such an important and cool right, and we should definitely exercise it. So bring your ballot! Bring a friend! And dress up as your favorite patriot, revolutionary, rebel or politico for the chance to win a prize, if you want! This nonpartisan evening features music and nosh, with some special speakers (again, it’s nonpartisan, so don’t worry. And in fact, make sure you’re not trying to do any campaigning while you’re there). The Pima County Recorder’s Office will be on hand to collect your ballots for the 2018 primary. Voters, start your engines! 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15. The Dusty Monk Pub, 201 N. Court Ave. Free. Details here.

Events compiled by Emily Dieckman, B.S. Eliot, Ava Garcia and Jeff Gardner.

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Carnival of Illusion: Magic, Mystery & Oooh La La!

This top-rated illusion show is "Revitalizing Magic" by blending an international travel theme with all the charms… More

@ Scottish Rite Grand Parlour Saturdays, 7:30-9 p.m. Continues through April 27 160 South Scott Ave

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