2,015 Bay State Kids Will Lose Access To Head Start

Sequester is real. - promoted by david

Massachusetts Fair Share volunteers pose with our large bus covered with 2015 figures — each which represent a child who will lose access to Head Start in Massachusetts

Massachusetts families this week are beginning to send their kids back to school, but for an estimated 2,015 pre-school students, there is no back to school.

That’s because federal budget cuts have curtailed the number of Head Start slots as part of the sequester. Meanwhile, other cuts in education are taking place all across the state, from teacher aides to programs that serve disadvantaged youth and more — totaling $47 million in cuts.

I believe that every child deserves a fair shot in life and that starts with a quality education.

Head Start, for example, helps disadvantaged kids prepare for kindergarten. It has a great track record of boosting kids performance, and actually saves us money in the long run because the students perform better, require less special education and other additional services, and earn more when they enter the work force.

Yesterday, I stood with Kim Auger, Everett Teacher and Union President, and member of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Teachers Association; and Pam Kuechler, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Head Start Association. We called for an end to these cuts, and thanked Sen. Warren for her support, and Massachusetts Fair Share delivered more than 5,000 petition signatures in support of our Kids, Not Cuts platform.

So, 2,105 is a lot of kids, but it could get a whole lot worse. The Ryan Budget would cut federal education dollars by 43%.

To me, as an organizer, this presents an opportunity. We know that something like 90% of people are against cuts to education, and yet we’re seeing serious cuts and Congress is proposing even more. We can and should be using this as a chance to contrast two different sets of values.

There is something about taking kids out of school that wakes people up a bit. And let’s face it, we could use people a little more awake.


6 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Head Start has given a boost to many people

    who went on to be productive citizens, building the economy.
    You can see their stories here.

    If we let the conservatives cut 2,000 kids out of Head Start, America is slowing down its future prosperity.

    • I wonder what the MA-5 candidates think

      about cutting 2,000 kids out of Head Start?

    • What role does the Walton Family Foundation (Wal-Mart) have to do with this?

      Isn’t this what Massachusetts has a rainy day emergency fund for? I wonder what the MA-5 candidates are going to do about it too, and I wonder what Boston’s 12 mayoral candidates are going to bring to the discussion. Now that John Connolly has refused that $500,000 from Stand for Children perhaps they would be willing to donate it to Mass Head Start where it would do some good “for the children” STAND purports to care so much about. Why do I feel that the Walton Family Foundation (Wal-Mart) has strategized and this is part of their long-term agenda to secure an uneducated, low paid, no benefit, service sector, “lawful” workforce.

  2. The Walmartization of Public Education

    I think jshore might be onto something. Why doesn’t STAND donate the $500,000 to keep Head Start in place for as many Boston students as possible? It is a very reasonable thing to do for an education reform group.

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Mon 24 Nov 12:36 PM