Letter to the Editor: Increase funding for support professionals

I am a lifelong Delawarean and have worked at Easterseals for almost 10 years. I am writing to request that everyone ask your senators and representatives to increase funding for direct support professionals by giving $14 million this year.

The McNesby Act, passed unanimously last year, was a promise that funding will be fully given over time. The funding gap is $42 million annually! An additional $4 million is not enough funding to make meaningful progress to full funding! The time to act is now. Our loved ones with disabilities require and deserve the care provided by direct support professionals. Please consider if they were caring for your parent or child. Care of individuals in an institution would be much more expensive to the taxpayer.

The day programs were started many years ago at the request of the state to help reduce costs of institutionalizing those that required that level of care. At that time, the state promised to fund nonprofits so they can adequately care for these people. As expenses increased, the state funding has not kept pace with the expense for this very personal level of care. We are holding up our end of the bargain, we ask the state to hold up their part.

Missy Baker
New Castle

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