Sequestration cuts funding for Head Start by $100,000

Published 10:26 am Thursday, May 16, 2013

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

Mandated cuts in federal programs under the heading of sequestration have hit home with the Lowndes County Head Start Program.

At its regular meeting on May 9, the Lowndes County Board of Education approved an amendment to the 2013-2014 Head Start Program Budget that amounts to a loss of more than $100,000 in funding, two personnel cut from the staff and a 20-student cut in enrollment from the program.

Email newsletter signup

The original Head Start budget was $1,941,224, said Samita Jeter, director for the Lowndes County Board of Education Head Start.

“However, because of sequestration, we have been cut 5.27 percent ($100,189),” she said, which results in a new funding amount of $1,841,035.

“We are going to lose two staff members, a teacher and a teacher assistant” as a result of the cut, said Jeter, who added that there are more negative impacts.

“We hate to lose anybody. We need all our staff. But we are going to also have to do a reduction in enrollment because we are losing those staff people,” Jeter said. “So, we are going to have to go from 300 to 280 students.”

Head Start is a comprehensive child development program funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, according to Lowndes County program website. The central office is located in Hayneville with centers at Central, Jackson-Steele and Fort Deposit.

It provides early childhood education in a center-based option for 3- and 4-year-old children and their families and “continues to develop innovative programs for the delivery of services to low income pre-school children and their families (including children with disabilities and severe disabilities) in Lowndes County.”

Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd said, “It’s unfortunate that we are losing funding. But we are going to strive to continue providing the best possible service to the pre-school students of Lowndes County.”