Friday, December 30, 2005

NHSA: Congress Cuts 24,000 Head Start Child Slots in Order to Underwrite Tax Cuts for Wealthy --

This is a few days old but it is hard to break away from my family at this time of year, and I really do not want to talk ad nauseum about those wretched gifted students that are being misservered by NCLB. This one is about the kids that really arte getting the shaft by our congress and this administration.

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- National Head Start Association (NHSA)
President and CEO Sarah Greene issued the following statement today:

"We are appalled to see that Congress has chosen to sacrifice what is
likely to be the equivalent of 24,000 Head Start classroom slots for America's
poorest children in order to pay for tax cuts for this nation's wealthiest
individuals.
The combination of the 1 percent cut for all programs under the Defense
appropriations bill and the flat funding for Head Start for FY 2006 in the
Labor-HHS Appropriations conference report represents an unprecedented
decision by Congress to move away from its long-term commitment to giving the
most at-risk children in the United States the opportunity through Head Start
to set out on the path to academic and lifetime success.
We don't see the logic in leaving these children out in the cold this
holiday season so that the wealthy can continue to receive additional tax
cuts. This is the equivalent of Congress putting a lump of coal in the
stockings of America's neediest children! Making matters even worse,
Congress is cutting nearly $5 billion in Medicaid services for low-income
children and families. With Medicaid services already dwindling at the state
level, America's lower-income parents will either pay more or be forced to
forego essential health services, including medications, dental care and
eyeglasses.
The one positive piece of news in all of this is that $90 million was
provided to Head Start programs in the Gulf Coast region to rebuild and to
serve evacuees. While this is a step in the right direction, it makes no
sense to tear down Head Start in most of the country at the same time that you
are rebuilding it in just one portion of the nation."

ABOUT NHSA
The National Head Start Association (http://www.nhsa.org) is a private
not-for-profit membership organization dedicated exclusively to meeting the
needs of Head Start children and their families. It represents more than
900,000 children, 200,000 staff and 2,700 Head Start programs in the United
States. You can read about Head Start success stories on the Web at
http://www.IGotaHeadStart.org.


SOURCE National Head Start Association, Alexandria, VA
Web Site: http://www.nhsa.org http://www.IGotaHeadStart.org

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