By Frances Deviney
Election Day pretty much feels like a day dedicated to adults. Only adults can register to vote. Only long-time adults tend to run for public office. And, frankly, adults are typically the only ones who become emotionally invested in what happens on Election Day.
But if there was ever a day that should be dedicated to kids, even over Christmas, Hanukkah, or Halloween, (I know, shocking!), it’s Election Day. In Texas, we spend 43 percent of our state budget on kids (and another 12 percent on higher education). In many local areas, the public school system is the largest employer. Last session, our Legislature cut $5.3 billion from public education as well as what we pay providers who see Medicaid patients. We also reduced or eliminated funding for child abuse, neglect, and delinquency prevention, newborn health screenings, and early childhood intervention, to name a few.
The Texas child population grew by nearly 1 million kids in the last decade, accounting for half the child population growth in the United States. Clearly, Texas’ kids will be the driving force behind the direction America takes in the next 50 years.
If elections, and the decisions made by those who win the elections, aren’t about kids, then I don’t know who they are about. So today on Election Day, keep kids in mind—because every Texas kid counts.