Congress is divided on how to fund the Head Start program in its upcoming appropriations bill. While the Senate is keen on investing more money for the program, the House is looking to cut around $750 million. In New York, these cuts would eliminate a little over 4,300 seats in the HeadStart program.
Larry Marx, CEO with The Children’s Agenda, said the implications of this funding cut and others like it are dire.
“What we will see is more children who aren’t ready for kindergarten, more health issues for children and families, more food insecurity,” he said. “We’ll be seeing more housing instability, and seeing a lot more mental health problems as a result of all of this.”
Proponents of the cuts feel this is a way to reduce what’s considered excessive government spending. After seeing the compromises made to pass the debt ceiling, Marx said negotiations cannot begin with a lower benchmark for funding HeadStart. These cuts could stagnate progress to improve the number of young children not in school in the state. The Annie E. Casey Foundation finds this remained at 42% over the last decade, well below the national average.
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