Care program survives

Costa Mesa program for children receives fiscal shot in arm. Teachers say tardy budget highlights need for Prop. 25.

October 14, 2010|By Tom Ragan,
  • Genesis Bedroza, 5, listens during a press conference for Childs-pace Foundation, a state-subsidized child care program, on Thursday.
Genesis Bedroza, 5, listens during a press conference… (Scott Smeltzer,…)

COSTA MESA — Now that the California budget has been passed, a local child-care program can depend on $286,000 that will help pay for teacher salaries and the rent at three Orange County locations.

Childs-pace, carried out daily at the Costa Mesa Downtown Recreational Center, between 6:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., is among those that are going to stay open.

The program serves dozens of Westside children before and after school. Since late spring, everybody at the center has been on pins and needles trying to figure out when the money was going to come in from the state.

While some of those very children played soccer on Thursday, oblivious to how close they came from being booted from the field, Childs-pace held a news conference, with supporters calling attention to how critical it is to have a state budget passed on time.

Among those present was Kimberly Claytor, president of the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers, who used the opportunity to call for support for Proposition 25, the "On Time State Budget Act."


"Do you want children wandering the streets?" she asked. "If this program were to be eliminated and not receive the funding it needs and deserves, well, that's what we'd pretty much get: We'd have children with nowhere to go while their parents were out working."

The intent of the proposition is to change the law so the state Legislature would merely need a simple majority to pass the state budget — as opposed to the current two-thirds vote.

Claytor said the current law leads to "back-room" and "sweetheart" deals among politicians and special interest groups.

But opponents of Proposition 25 have long warned that since its inception on the ballot that the measure is "a hoax" that would make it easier for a simple majority to push through spending plans.

"It's a blank check for the Legislature to overspend and over-borrow with no accountability," according to a website opposed to the measure.

"There is nothing in Prop. 25 that guarantees that more spending and higher taxes will go to schools or other worthwhile programs," another site states. "It leaves it all up to the same Sacramento politicians who got us into this budget mess in the first place."

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