Head Start to suffer in federal budget cuts
Planned federal budget cuts could hurt low-income families who count on programs like Head Start to give their children a shot. Around 80,000 slots for children could disappear by next year, and 30,000 teachers and staff could be out of work.
Since 1965, Head Start has provided preschool for children of low-income families. We think of education as the great equalizer in America, allowing people to succeed despite disadvantage and adversity. If that’s so, then Head Start is a great equalizer of education, making sure that even the most needy children start school ready to learn. The Annie E. Casey Foundation has made the case for the importance of early learning, showing that raising achievement and closing gaps in performance by third grade is critical.
The cuts come as part of “sequestration,” a congressional plan for automatically trimming the budget that we detailed in our weekly newsletter. While many of the programs Voices cares most about, like Medicaid, food stamps, and other aid to the neediest, are protected from sequestration cuts, Head Start is in real danger. This only underscores why it’s important to take action against the cuts.