San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 29th, 2009
Doggett announces federal funds for Head Start, Early Head Start

STAFF REPORT

Head Start and Early Head Start programs will receive $270,497 for maintenance, operations and personnel from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Part of $1 billion in the stimulus bill for Head Start nationally and $1.1 billion for Early head Start nationally.  the local award was announced today by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett.

The money “will go a long way in providing resources for maintaining a high quality program.  With the rising cost of fuel, food and services, we have experienced a tighter budget and have had to lay off staff in the past two years.  These dollars have provided us with an increase in pay for our very deserving staff, funds to maintain quality including building repairs, supplies and equipment, and professional development for our education staff and family service workers.  With the addition of these funds, we are no longer looking at staff reductions but rather the maintenance of a high quality program for the 461 children and families that we serve,” said Audrey K. Abed, the Head Start director for Community Action Inc., which will administer the funds.

Said Doggett, “In these challenging economic times, it is more important than ever that we invest in our children’s potential.  We must ensure our schools have the resources necessary to provide our children with the best education for which they are willing to work.”

Funding for pre-school programs in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act aims to accomodate additional 124,000 infants and children, Doggegtt said. The stimulus funds are a supplment to the 2009 budget that President Obama signed, which includes $235 million to ensure disadvantaged children have access to preschool services, Doggett said.

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