Family Economic Success
Goal: All families shall have the ablity to support and care for their chidlren.
Thousands of working parents –in the cities, suburbs and rural areas – struggle to provide for their children, often having to choose between paying the rent and feeding their children. That hurts kids.
ACNJ promotes family economic success through budget advocacy on the state and federal levels.
Each year, ACNJ examines the Governor’s spending plan to identify the proposed budget’s potential impact on New Jersey’s children and families. We produce a budget brief that highlights key funding areas. We hold a forum on the budget to educate and inform community activists, service providers and stakeholders of key proposed changes.
And, throughout the budget process, we alert our network of thousands of supporters to proposed changes, encouraging them to urge state leaders to invest in successful programs for children and families.
ACNJ also monitors and advocates for federal funding proposals and decisions, again keeping our network informed of budget developments at the federal level.
Earned Income Tax Credits
Tax credits to low-income, working families are a vital economic support for these families and a boon to
ACNJ has long advocated for expansion of these tax credits to assist more low-income working families. In 2000, the Association for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) was a prime supporter for the creation of a state EITC.
Since then, ACNJ has continued to advocate for expansion of EITC both in terms of the number of people who are eligible and the level of benefits they receive.
In 2008, the state EITC was expanded to match the federal criteria for eligibility, which is based on income and household composition. Subsequently, the amount of money people receive was increased from 20 percent of the federal amount to 25 percent in FY 2010. For tax year 2008, the average New Jersey EITC refund was $655, an increase of 14 percent over the average 2007 refund of $573.
The EITC supports welfare reform by rewarding work and increasing take-home pay for parents making the transition from welfare to work. New evaluations show that welfare reform programs that include employment based fiscal incentives like a state EITC raise parental employment levels, lift family incomes and improve school achievement for elementary school and preschool children.
Research also shows that many EITC recipients use their refunds to make investments that enhance their economic security and promote economic opportunity in their neighborhoods, making them safer and better places to work and live.
To spread the word about this benefit download flyer available at www.njeitc.org.
Expanding School Breakfast in New Jersey
Many families struggle to afford one of the basic needs --food. Yet the state is nearly last in the nation for its low participation in this national school breakfast child nutrition program that can help improve learning and academic achievement for children.
Since 2011, after the release of the first report on school breakfast participation in New Jersey, ACNJ has partnered with the many dedicated organizations that are working on this issue across New Jersey to create the Food for Thought NJ School Breakfast Campaign.
ACNJ’s role in this campaign is to help lead this coalition and to provide information, advocacy tools, data and communications to support the expansion of school breakfast across New Jersey. In addition, ACNJ is working with its many partners in school districts across the state to help them serve school breakfast in ways that increase student participation.
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