"Access to Opportunity" began in 2014 as a series of initiatives aimed at breaking down barriers to success, reducing disparities, addressing disproportionate gaps in educational achievement and the criminal justice system.
Dane County’s drivers education partnership with the Madison Metropolitan School District and the local Cooperate Extension (CESA) has helped hundreds of young people earn a drivers’ license. This budget grows the program Dane County created to 120 Madison high school students.
County Executive Parisi’s 2020 budget also creates a new partnership with Operation Fresh Start ($52,000 county funds) to help high school grads previously unable to secure a license.
A new Parks Apprenticeship program will be created in the 2020 budget—modeled after a partnership the county developed between the Urban League, Latino Workforce Academy, the Dane County Departments of Public Works and Highway and Waste and Renewables. Through professional mentoring and apprenticeships, a number of individuals have secured commercial drivers’ licenses and acquired the skills to operate heavy equipment. $50,000 will be used to establish a similar effort for the Dane County Parks Department.
Currently, the federal government permits child support agencies to re-coup costs for Medicaid funded births. These dollars are collected after child support payments are made and counties retain a portion of the proceeds for the administration of this collection. With this budget, County Executive Parisi is ending the controversial practice known as “birth cost recovery collections” to give parents one less expense as they work to make ends meet.