WASHINGTON (AP) — Automatic federal spending cuts will reduce the number of low-income children in Head Start’s preschool programs by more than 57,000 during the next school year, the Office of Head Start said Monday.

More than a million children are served each year by the programs, which are a legacy of President Lyndon B. Johnson 1960s war on poverty. The programs help prepare children for elementary school and also provide them with meals and health care. Twenty-nine percent of the participating children are black, 37 percent are Latino and 41 percent are white.

The total reduction of 57,265 in the number of children who will be served by Head Start next year results from the automatic spending cuts that were put in place after Congress and the White House failed to reach agreement two years ago on a plan to cut the federal deficit. The Head Start Office said it surveyed each of its programs across the country to determine the total number of reductions.

California has the largest reduction, serving 5,611 fewer children, followed by Texas, 4,410; New York, 3,847; Pennsylvania, 2,812; and Ohio, 2,782.

In addition, Head Start officials said 18,000 staff member will see their pay cut or will lose their jobs. Head Start centers also will be reducing their hours and the number of days they are open.

President Barack Obama returned to Washington from vacation Monday, and Congress returns after Labor Day. A top item on both their agendas is the federal budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, along with negotiations to reduce the federal deficit.


Online: State-by-state breakdown of Head Start reductions.

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One thought on “Budget Cuts Mean Fewer Children at Head Start

  1. THis is a shame, My girlfriend works in the Administration department at head start in Michigan
    I cannot believe that These Son of Bitch’s would actually cut these programs where they are so needed,,, where parents have to work and make sure there children have Decent food ,,, in the morning, Congress and these Corrupt Senators, have sold us out to EUROPE,,

    41 percent of these children are white, and the rest are children of color, but we are suppose to be a country who are suppose to take care of our kids, and protect them.

    they tell OH do not abuse your children, What the heck do you think This congress is doing,
    that is a form of Abuse,, Think about it…( talking about cutting back) yeah they always wanna cut off the backs of the poor. This country has been sold out to Europe…. ANd president Obama knows it

    He is not who you think he is,? and if you do not agree with me,, let me know,,,,but let me say this I really would not care if you did or you didn’t

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