|Federal cuts shut Head Start sites|
|Written by DAVID DUPONT/Sentinel staff writer|
|Thursday, 13 June 2013 15:31|
Two Head Start centers, including one in Bradner, will close because of the continued restrictions on government funding, known as sequestration.
WSOS Community Action Commission announced Wednesday that its board has voted to close centers in Bradner and Bellevue. Those centers serve 51 pre-schoolers and four in its Early Head Start program for toddlers, 3 and under.
Those children will be eligible for in-home services. Joyce Huntley, the WSOS spokeswoman, said that those services involve someone working with the child in the home at least once a week with the child’s parent or guardian present.
“We work really hard to do the best we can in terms of service,” Huntley said.
The change will also mean the elimination of two positions and the laying off of 15 more employees, she said. Several other employees will have hours increased.
Also the Pemberville center will only operate in the mornings. Any children who cannot be accommodated in the morning session will received home-based visits.
Also the Rossford and Perrysburg centers will merge and be offered in the Lutheran Church of the Master in Perrysburg. Since each offered a half-day session, the merger will not result in any reductions in the program.
The agency is being hit with a 5.27-percent funding cut to its $6 million budget for the program on top of other earlier cuts caused by sequestration.
Huntley said there’s no relief in sight for the program. “All we’ve been told is this is what your budget’s going to be.”
Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, in a statement released by his office called the sequestration “bad policy,” and said it “was a mistake of the White House to propose it during the deficit negotiations.”
He said: “During this year’s appropriations process, we have an opportunity to find a long-term solution to address these arbitrary cuts to important programs such as Head Start, while reining in the out-of-control federal spending, and balancing the budget, without putting Americans at risk of harm during a fragile economy.”
The sequester was included the Budget Control Act of 2011, which Latta voted for, as a way of forcing further federal deficit reduction. When the deficit reduction targets were not met, the funding was “sequestered.”
According to a statement from Latta’s office, he voted for the Budget Control act because of warnings from the financial sector that failing to raise the debt ceiling and developing a credible plan to address the deficit would mean a significant downgrade in the nation’s credit rating.
In April when the sequestration would have forced the furloughing of air controllers, Congress on a bipartisan vote allowed the FAA more flexibility in dealing with the cuts.
In his statement Latta said he has sought to replace the sequester with “smarter, more responsible cuts.”
Congress is currently working on reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Bill, which includes funding for early childhood education, the statement from Latta’s office noted.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 13 June 2013 15:32|
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