More than 57,000 children this fall will be cut from Head Start, the program for pre-school age children from low-income families, because of the ongoing "sequestration" budget cuts, the Obama administration announced Monday.
Head Start and Early Head Start saw a 5.27 percent reduction in its $8 billion budget after Congress this March enacted the sequester -- $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts to federal spending over 10 years.
Administered by the Health and Human Services Department, Head Start awards grants to public and private institutions on a competitive basis to provide pre-school services in their communities. The program serves more than one million children every year in every U.S. state and territory.
So far, the impact of sequestration is not as drastic as anticipated -- the Obama administration originally estimated it would mean having to cut 70,000 students from the program.
Nevertheless, 51,299 fewer children will be enrolled in Head Start, while 5,966 fewer children will be enrolled in Early Head Start. The Office of Head Start reported the data after collecting reduction plans from individual Head Start grantees. California will see the largest number of students affected, with 5,611 children cut, while Texas will have to cut 4,410.
The office also reported that there will be 1,342,015 fewer days of service nationwide, and at least 18,000 staff members will be affected, either through pay cuts or job losses.
When Congress returns from its five-week summer recess, sequestration will be just one of the many pressing budget issues it will have to address. So far, it doesn't appear that lawmakers have a plan for repealing or replacing the sequester, which slashed $85 billion from the budget this year.
KKTV firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKTV 11 News.
If you believe that any of the comments on our site are inappropriate or offensive, please tell us by clicking “Report Abuse” and answering the questions that follow. We will review any reported comments promptly.powered by Disqus
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.