From: Krisztina Pratt
To: David Lifferth,
Subject: Carson Smith Scholarship expansion
Date: Wed Feb 11 03:59:16 MST 2015
Dear Representative Lifferth:

It has come to our attention that the  Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee is finalizing its recommendations, and among the matters on the agenda is the expansion of the Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship.  

Our son, Christopher, who is now 9 years old, has benefited greatly from the Carson Smith Scholarship over the last few years.  Previous to his time at the Pingree Center, he also benefited from an early intervention program offered by the State until he was five years old.  We understand the expansion of the Carson Smith fund would make similar services available to over a hundred children--and families--in need of these services.  

The suggested expansion is $975,000. We are not certain how much money this is from the perspective of a legislator, but we do know that the value of each dollar is multiplied as a child grows with an expanded range of social and physical function. Likewise, the cost of managing a growing disabled child without well applied know-how in the early years becomes increasingly costly in every respect year by year.  

We personally see the benefits of both early intervention and ongoing support during childhood as provided by the Carson Smith funds.  The expansion of those funds at the scale suggested appears to be a measured and responsible amount, and very likely short of the actual need.  We see any expansion of the Carson Smith funds as an investment in our future with a high return on that investment.

We support the expansion of the Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship, and we encourage you to do so as well.

Best Regards,
Steven & Krisztina Pratt
450 East 100 South #1
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Senate District 2
House District 24

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