Introduced Version Senate Resolution 34 History

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sr34 intr

(By Senators Bowman, Boley, Foster, Deem, Hall, White, K. Facemyer, Wells, Laird, Caruth, Williams, Sypolt, Snyder, Jenkins, Stollings, Plymale, McCabe and Green)

Requesting the United States Congress enact the Education Begins at Home Act.

Whereas, West Virginia faces serious challenges regarding the well-being of our children, including one of the nation's highest rates of child abuse and neglect; and
Whereas, In-Home Family Education programs help address these challenges by providing voluntary parenting education and support to vulnerable families with very young children through home visits and helping parents understand their role as their child's first and most important teacher; and
Whereas, In-Home Family Education programs provide information and support in such areas as prenatal care, child health, early learning and literacy, and child development and behavior; and
Whereas, Research indicates that a comprehensive statewide system of In-Home Family Education in West Virginia could save $250 million per year by reducing the number of low birth weight babies, increasing immunization rates and reducing child maltreatment; and
Whereas, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that "Up to forty percent of all child maltreatment could be prevented if home visiting was widely available" and the National Conference of State Legislatures has concluded that nationally "the predominant and most thoroughly researched child abuse prevention strategy is early childhood home visitation"; and
Whereas, On June 18, 2008, the Education and Labor Committee of the U. S. House of Representatives recommended passage of the bipartisan Education Begins at Home Act that would authorize $400 million over three years in grants from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services to states for voluntary early childhood home visiting programs; and
Whereas, The Education Begins at Home Act, with bipartisan support, is being sponsored by Senator Kit Bond (R-MO), Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and 32 members of the U. S. Senate, as well as 67 members of the U. S. House of Representatives; and
Whereas, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden also cosponsored the Education Begins at Home Act as U. S. Senators and have pledged to expand home visiting services to assist approximately 570,000 first-time mothers each year; and
Whereas, In-Home Family Education programs are currently serving families in only 22 West Virginia counties and many more families could benefit greatly from these services; and
Whereas, Statewide expansion of these effective programs will be enhanced and expedited with the support of federal funding through passage of the Education Begins at Home Act; and
Whereas, Expansion of these programs has been endorsed by leading state and national organizations, including, but not limited to, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Imagine West Virginia, Prevent Child Abuse America, TEAM for West Virginia Children, Voices for America's Children and the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate:
That the Senate hereby requests the United States Congress to enact the Education Begins at Home Act; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to members of West Virginia's congressional delegation, the Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives, the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the U. S. House of Representatives, the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of the U. S. Senate and President Barack Obama.
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