Sequester Continues to Affect Head Starts

Sequester Continues to Affect Head Starts

Local head starts are accepting fewer students because of budget cuts.

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The federal sequester is putting on a strain on local head starts.

Head start leaders have had to turn away so many parents who have tried to enroll their youngsters into the program.

The cut equals to a loss of about $10,000 a week.

Teachers and staff are not getting raises either, which is problem since leaders don't want to lose them to rival early childhood education programs. 

Leaders said despite the grim outlook, the morale is high.

"We have concern about being able to supply the classroom with all the learning materials that the kids need.  Utilities are higher.  We have good health insurance and benefits for our head start staff, and we have to squeeze every nickel and penny that we can," said Dr. Charles Feild, executive director of the head starts in Pulaski County.

Leaders don't expect the funding problem to go away anytime soon.  Government officials said funding will remain at the current level in the next budget year.

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