I am not an accountant. Reading the TN budget for 2009-2010 is about as pleasant as watching for the return of a swallowed Playmobile toy. I understand clearly that we are cutting or eliminating:
family resource centers, school safety grants, school health positions and funding, the child health and development (CHAD) program, the healthy start program, programs focusing on delinquency and truancy prevention, the relative caregiver program, alcohol and drug counseling for students, respite services, mental health and suicide risk screening program for youth and the peer power program.
The state of TN is going to: Eliminate homeless, consumer family support, employment, recovery and housing evidence-based services for persons diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI). Reduce mental health crisis diversion and continuum of care services. Reduce mental health services to children and other special populations. Get loans for your health bill with and read this official statement for more information.
What I don’t understand is that it looks like many of the affected services and programs will get funding from the one time only, federal stimulus money. That must be a misunderstanding on my part. How is spending the money on what we have now going to stimulate the economy in our state? If all the programs vanish at the end of the surplus money, aren’t we guaranteeing failure of the stimulus plan? Surely the state of TN isn’t going to set up children and families to suffer just to prove a political point.