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Posts tagged ‘Federal Budget 2011’

Florida News: Congress shouldn’t cut Head Start

Article by The Florida Courier
Written by Fcadmin

    After being urged by President Obama to invest in our nation’s students, you would think our federal lawmakers would do anything they could to preserve a program that sets the foundation for a lifetime of achievement, right?

    Wrong.  Once again, Republicans are moving to cut a program that helps average Americans and, in this case, specifically the poor.

    The Head Start Program is yet another social program the Republican Party has targeted for major cuts.  Head Start provides educational and health services to low income children and their families.

    Head Start has been one of the most studied early education programs since it began more than 40 years ago.  The program has proven itself to be one of the United States’ most successful social experiments and an efficient use of taxpayer dollars.  Research shows students who complete Head Start do better both socially and academically and are less likely to drop out of high school.?

    Yet, Republicans want to cut the program by more than 22 percent.  They say Head Start isn’t as effective as supporters claim.

    To be fair, some studies show that achievement levels of some Head Start attendees start to drop off after first grade. However, this could speak to the quality of the school they enroll in after the program. Additionally, the program’s opponents say too much money is spent maintaining the program and not enough on enrolling new students.

    It’s not clear if the Republican Party is against poor people, working mothers, low-income children or all three.  All of the cuts its leaders have moved to make have been to programs the support and empower the poor.  If they are successful in taking away the building blocks that many have used to create a foundation for future success, America’s middle class will continue to shrink and the numbers of families living below the poverty line will increase.

    If the Republicans were serious about balancing the budget, they’d take a look at programs with inflated and misappropriated budgets, starting with the military.  Sure, it’s critical that the U.S. has a strong military in place, but studies have shown that program is rife with wasteful spending. It’s not the only area where money is either being wasted or being misused.  A good, honest budget scrub will show the Republicans – and Democrats – just which programs can handle significant cuts.

    If you believe in the power of Head Start and can testify to how it helped a child – past or present – in your life, call your elected officials.  Let them know that they absolutely cannot cut Head Start.  Our children’s – and our nation’s – success depends on it.

    Judge Greg Mathis was elected a Michigan Superior Court judge, the youngest in Michigan’s history. He has hosted “Judge Mathis,” a reality-based courtroom show, since 1999.

    Article by the Florida Courier, LINK to Article

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    Maryland: Why Frederick County official flunks on Head Start

    Washington Post, Letter to the Editor

    Regarding the March 4 Metro story “A woman’s place? Frederick official gets an earful for sharing his view.”:

    Frederick County Commissioner Paul Smith thinks that a woman’s place is in the home? His wife thinks that women are working in order to “live in a mansion.” He needs a reality check.

    Women whose children are in Head Start are not working so that they can live in a mansion. These women are working because they have two choices: work for money or go on welfare. And Mr. Smith made it abundantly clear what he thinks about people taking money from the government.

    Mr. Smith should know that it is not just poor children who benefit from preschool. Studies show that children who attend preschool do better in school and get along with their peers better than children who were kept home until kindergarten.

    Melissa Yorks, Gaithersburg

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    It is discouraging to see a Frederick County official vote against Head Start funding when he does not seem to understand its purpose. Head Start is the first rung on the public-education ladder for young children whose parents cannot afford to send them to private preschool. It is not day care.

    These children need a head start because primary education has changed since Paul Smith and I went to school, indeed since my children went to school. Kindergarten curriculum is now like first grade was and first grade like second grade.

    To use his religious beliefs on “God’s divine design” to deny young children the opportunity to succeed in their first years of school is just wrong. He punishes the children based on his judgment of their parents.

    Mr. Smith, fund Head Start. It’s the best investment Frederick County can make.

    Betsy Tervo, Laurel

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    As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I would prefer that Paul Smith not use the church’s “Proclamation on the Family” as an argument against Head Start.

    The proclamation says that mothers are the primary nurturers of their children. I suppose that Mr. Smith might argue that any government program that helps the disadvantaged indirectly encourages mothers of young children to seek employment outside the home. However, the proclamation also states, “Disability, death, or other circumstances [i.e., divorce or abandonment] may necessitate individual adaptation.”

    Members of the church are strongly encouraged to help the disadvantaged. I also sympathize with Elizabeth Sprague, who was abandoned by her spouse. Situations like hers happen all too often, even to members of the church, although I would hasten to add that no man would find any justification from the church for abuse or abandonment.

    Washington Post: LINK to Article