Saturday, May 07, 2005

Changes coming to Head Start

Washington Times reports:

Legislation introduced last week in the House would increase competition for Head Start grants and require recipients to align themselves with state academic guidelines.

...The bill was introduced Thursday by Rep. John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, and Rep. Michael N. Castle, Delaware Republican, both members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

The legislation -- which omits the hotly contested idea of allowing several governors to take control of Head Start centers in their states -- was met with cautious optimism by House Democrats and Head Start's trade group.

The bill "is a welcome change" and one that "could earn bipartisan support," said Rep. George Miller, California Democrat and ranking minority member of the committee.

Sarah Greene, president and chief executive of the National Head Start Association, called the bill an "encouraging" step, but wanted to reserve judgment until the group studies the legislation.


This will be an interesting one to watch. Head Start is one of the most important public school initiatives ever; unlike K-12 programs, it is funded by the federal government (K-12 gets less than 5% from federal funds).

So it's encouraging to see at least the potential for bipartisan support on this one. With the Republican frenzy for cutting social programs, one might expect them to go after Head Start with a hatchet. Apparentely they aren't doing that.

I criticize a lot here, so -- with the caveat that I haven't read the bill yet -- I'll give credit where credit is due: to Representatives Boehner and Castle.

1 Comments:

Blogger EdWonk said...

We've linked this post at our latest "Tales From The Trenches: Classroom Teachers Speak."

12:01 PM  

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