Tennessee's state budget could cut all funding to The Paris Special School District Family Enrichment Center. Director Donna Vaughn says half of its funding comes from the state and if the budget passes, the center would likely have to close this summer.
“We do not have the excess funds in our budget to absorb it at this time. So we really don’t want to look down that road, but it doesn’t look good for us if that happens.”
The Paris center served over 1,400 people last year with kindergarten-preparedness programs as well as parenting classes.Vaughn says funding these programs should be a legislative priority.
“It’s sort of pay now or pay later. Because if children are not prepared when they start and they get behind, those children are going to drop out of school, crime is going to be a part of their life, and they are just going to have major problems as they go on in life.”
Family resource centers across the state may face the same plight as the state looks to cut that portion of budget by $3-million. Lawmakers will vote on the state budget later during the legislative session.