National Head Start Association officials say a donation of up to $10 million from two philanthropists will help keep Head Start programs in Missouri and several other states running during the federal government shutdown.
The future of early childhood education programs like Head Start hangs in the air as recent federal budget cuts, or sequestration, will eliminate resources aimed to provide low-income families a quality foundation for the beginning of a child’s education. The most recent cuts have put Columbia Public Schools in the position of funding two instructional aides.
Administrators at local and regional agencies that aid low-income Missourians say they are keeping an eye on the impact of the sequester, or across-the-board federal spending cuts, and they fear the cuts could negatively impact their agencies.
While many questions about the impact of sequestration rollout remain, Missouri's Community Action Agencies are expecting an all-around 5 percent budget cut due to the federal sequestration. This could mean serious cutbacks to several services provided by the agency.
In his State of the State Address, Gov. Jay Nixon outlined his proposal to boost funding for early childhood education by $17 million, saying, “early childhood education is a smart investment, with a big return.”
Columbia Head Start officials are searching today for a new home for 20 students displaced after a fire caused an estimated $50,000 worth of damage to the Head Start preschool on Worley Street. The fire broke out Sunday evening around 6.
Assistant Fire Marshal Tim Bach said the cause of the fire was in the electrical disconnect to the air conditioner. When crews arrived on the scene, fire was coming out of the building. Crews found a fire in the basement that extended to the attic through a wall.