Child Care Center is necessary service

The more money and time student-parents are forced to shift from their educations, the less likely they are to graduate.

Last week the Student Services Fees subcommittees released their recommendations for student group funding. As expected, many student groups did not receive their full requests. Among the recommendations was to withhold funds from the Community Child Care Center. In choosing not to fund the center, the Student Services Fees subcommittees have made a grievous and short-sighted error. Funding for the center is in the best interest of the University and surrounding communities.

Indeed, the perception should not be that the center rewards student-parents for their poor decisions. Former President Ronald Reagan told stories of lazy “welfare queens” leaching millions of dollars from taxpayers. Those anecdotes were unsubstantiated in the 1980s and still are today. This is certainly not the case for student-parents who use the center. Their lives and their children’s lives are not easy.

Often they are single parents trying to balance parenthood, a job and an education. Sob stories aside, a balance should be struck. Former Gov. Jesse Ventura was right when he said it should not be the state’s job to make up for parents’ mistakes. But as long as student-parents attend the University, the problem exists and needs to be addressed.

Eliminating the center does not eliminate the problem of student-parents. The more money and time parents are forced to shift from their educations, the less likely they are to graduate. If the student-parent does not graduate, the investment of the parent and the University are wasted and the potential for the child’s increased quality of life is limited. The cycle of uneducated single parents forced to raise children on a meager income begins again. With a college degree, student-parents can break this cycle. They should get all the reasonable help they can.

In May, the center will be 30 years old. Final fees recommendations will be released March 22. Until then, public hearings will provide a forum for debate. If the center does not receive student fees funding, it could be forced to close, and $58,000 is a small amount to keep an important resource.