Head Start Rallying the Troops to Save Proposed Funding Levels

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A year ago with the passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, things were looking up for Head Start and Early Head Start agencies amid an infusion of funding. But, as the economy remains sluggish and amid congressional attention being turned elsewhere, a red flag is being waved.

Last month, the National Head Start Association pointed out that Congress had yet to pass a budget resolution to appropriate President Obama’s FY 2011 budget request that would would make the $2.1 billion ARRA funding expansion for the federal program part of base grants instead of a one-time supplement in addition to the annual appropriation, which for FY 2011 would be about $8.2 billion, an increase of $989 million for Head Start and Early Head Start, to keep alive ARRA’s goal of increasing the number of preschool-age children and infants and toddlers who are eligible for the program.

But, legislators are looking for ways to trim the national deficit. NHSA said that it could lose its previous gains if Congress opts for a continuing resolution rather than an appropriations bill.

The latest news from NHSA was that if the Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies decides to pursue an appropriations bill for FY 2011 that is not a CR, the bill mark-up will occur in late July. NHSA members were being asked to write their representatives in the House and the Senate to get on board.