When Republicans and Democrats were negotiating to deal with the budget and the debt, no one truly believed that the country would get to the point that the sequestration, the automatic federal budget reductions, would kick in. One major part of sequestration was the way it targeted and cut from education. As kids return back to school this fall, thousands of children from low income families will see many of their services removed. According to the Washington Post, though the numbers are lower than previously expected, the cuts will have a devastating affect on many Americans.
"The latest numbers, based on the results of “reduction plans” Head Start grantees submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services, fall short of earlier predictions by the Obama administration that 70,000 children would lose access to preschool because of the mandatory 5 percent cuts. But the cuts will still affect tens of thousands of poor families across the country who rely on Head Start for early learning programs, day care and a network of social services and medical care."
The cuts will take its toll in all 50 states, with cuts eliminating as little as 72 Head Start slots in Hawaii, to as many as 5,611 Head Start slots in California. The Huffington Post points out that Head Start doesn't just affect the children, but also the parents who will have to struggle to make ends meet now that they have an added burden on their shoulders.
"Head Start is best known for providing preschool to low-income students, but it supplies many of its 960,000 children with two hot meals a day, transportation to and from school and basic medical care. When these services are eliminated, it also affects parents, who often must find difficult-to-afford day care services or take off days of work to tend to their children."
With a Congress that holds an approval rating of barley 15 percent, it's a sad reflection on a country that those least fortunate, including innocent children, have to suffer. If members of congress were really concerned with the national debt and the future of the country, they would spend more time figuring out how to invest in education and the future instead of taking more away from it.