In two weeks, the State of Texas will cut funding to special agencies that give therapy to disabled children. Parents say it's therapy these children desperately need to live normal lives.
In September, we introduced you to Misty Alvarado. mother of three children, all who depend on Early Childhood Intervention services. Due to state budget cuts, Tyler's only ECI service closed, causing pain for parents whose children receive therapy. In two weeks more budget cuts are coming to East Texas.
Stephanie Rubin, CEO of Texans Care for Children was shocked with this decision.
"We oppose these therapy rate cuts and hope that the legislature will prioritize these kids," Rubin says. "We are grateful that the Speaker of the House says he will work to reverse these cuts next legislative session."
Steve Archer, Director of Behavioral Health for Community Healthcore, says his agency will be taking over ECI services in Tyler and Longview.
"The budget cuts, negatively impact organizations," Archer says.With each reduction, agencies are less likely to be in contract with the State of Texas to provide these services."
Sixty thousand Texas kids from newborns to three years old are affected. Changes to the child's services depend on the agency. In East Texas, Community Healthcore will provide services for more than 240 kids.
"Ou agency made a decision to invest in the lives of those kids even if it means a financial hit to our bottom line" Archer says.
"Community Healthcore will be providing new ECI services, that were previously served by the Andrews Center in December, this will give parents a sigh of relief.