11:25am

Thu August 18, 2011
Education

Head Start Funding Worries

Parents and educators involved in Kentucky’s Head Start program are watching Washington warily.  The federally-funded pre-school program could lose funding if Congress cannot agree on a budget reduction plan.  If there’s no deal, Kentucky Head Start executive director Bob Wilcher says it would mean a serious cutbacks.

“That triggers an automatic cut, automatic across the board cut to the entire federal government.  How that will be hammered out line by line in the federal budget would still have to be determined.  But, the cut is mandatory,” said Wilcher.

Wilcher says word from Washington is Head Start could face an 18 percent reduction.  He says that would impact Head Start services and damage local economies.

"It affects the local dollars spent at the grocery store.  It affects the ability of employees to make car payments or mortgage payments.  It affects most critically those 17 thousand six hundred kids where almost one out of five gets put out the front door,” explained Wilcher.

Wilcher says there are some 32 hundred jobs associated with Kentucky Head Start.  The programs, which are funded by the federal government, are found in all 120 Kentucky counties.  Wilcher hopes to get work about future funding early next year.