MTA speaks out against federal funding cuts to Head Start
Everett Teachers Association President Kim Auger, pictured above, spoke out against cuts to federal funding for Head Start during a rally on August 21 at City Hall Plaza in Boston. The advocacy group Massachusetts Fair Share organized the event at which it pointed out that more than 2,000 children in Massachusetts are losing Head Start preschool slots because of sequester-triggered federal budget cuts. Fair Share delivered more than 5,000 signatures on a petition opposing education cuts to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s district office, and thanked Sen. Warren for her support in the fight to restore education spending.
"This year, because of the sequester, a projected 2,015 children will lose Head Start services,” said Auger, noting that there are 29 Head Start programs serving about 16,000 children in Massachusetts. “Some students won’t be able to get to their programs because transportation is being cut back. In some centers, the school year will start late or end early. Right now, 193 Head Start jobs are being eliminated, and that doesn’t count furloughs and reductions in hours.”
Auger pointed out how parents who rely on Head Start may have to quit jobs in order to care for children at home, and how that will have an impact on local economies around the state.
But it will be children who are hardest hit by this cut.
“Many of these programs provide breakfast and lunch for young children as well as health and family services,” Auger said. “They are places where children learn how to interact appropriately with other children, find books to read, learn language skills and develop the basic foundation on which their future education rests.”
More rally photos are posted on the MTA's Flickr page.