Archive for the ‘head start’ Category

This week the fight over federal spending intensified on Capitol Hill when two bills — the House Republican version with large cuts to Head Start and other programs, and a Democratic version with far fewer cuts — both failed in the Senate.

The Republican bill would cut the program’s budget by $2 billion — nearly a quarter of President Obama’s 2011 budget request of $8.2 billion. Currently, the level is $7.2 billion.

According to a New York Times article, “Head Start was chosen for large cuts in the House spending bill because members of the Appropriations Committee concluded that the program was getting too much money given what they felt was its effectiveness, and that too much of its financing had gone to administrative costs rather than new enrollment. In addition, a Government Accountability Office report last year found eight instances of fraud, in which families with too high an income were enrolled in the program. Further, they cited research questioning the program’s effectiveness.” Read more in The New York Times.

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families is proposing a new rule that would require Head Start programs to compete for their funding if they fall short of quality benchmarks, according to Education Week. They would be judged by a classroom assessment tool developed by the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. Under the new rule, 25 percent of the Head Start centers would be competing for funds.

The public can comment on the new rule until December 21.

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