I am concerned for our community and our state if the 7.8 percent cut to discretionary programs takes place in January 2013. Our state will lose 1,356 slots in our Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Our county will lose 22 of our 281 slots that we always keep fully enrolled. We already have 147 children on a waiting list for services and the cuts will only increase that number.
The fact is, the across-the-board cuts will not just affect the children in our Head Start program who lose their spot; the cuts will also hurt their families, the teachers and staff that lose children, and we will have more children entering kindergarten unprepared, which in turn, will cost us more in special education services and remedial costs.
Early education for children is extremely important. When our children succeed, our families and community succeed. Making cuts to Head Start is not a good resolution for saving money. Cuts to Head Start will only cost us more each time a child enters kindergarten unprepared.
The 7.8 percent cut to discretionary programs should not take place. I do not believe it will improve budgets and it will not help people in our community. I support a strong community that values early learning and the direct positive affects it has on children and families.