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Government Shutdown Highlights Need for Head Start Reform
Posted By Lindsey Burke On October 2, 2013 @ 5:02 pm In Education,Front Page | Comments Disabled
Due to the government shutdown, roughly two dozen federally funded Head Start day care centers will temporarily close their doors this week.
For those low-income parents in affected areas expecting to send their toddlers to Head Start this week, the closures will no doubt create some headaches. But all of this might have been avoided if policymakers had been willing in previous years to undertake the reforms the program so desperately needs:
Public preschool at any level of government increases costs for taxpayers by encouraging more participation in public programs, undermining private providers, and thereby reducing American families’ preschool choices. But the problems plaguing Head Start are particularly acute.
After nearly 50 years of operation, the federal Head Start program has failed to improve the educational outcomes and kindergarten readiness of participating children. Head Start should be eliminated  or, at the very least, reformed to allow states the flexibility to make their Head Start funds portable, allowing families to use their dollars to send their children to private preschools of their choice.
The federal government shutdown is just one more reason policymakers shouldn’t make low-income parents dependent on distant government programs such as Head Start, which is subject to ongoing political fights in Washington. There’s a better way to meet the early education needs of children from low-income families.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/10/02/government-shutdown-highlights-need-for-head-start-reform/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/HeadStart131002.jpg
 little to no impact: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/01/head-start-impact-evaluation-report-finally-released
 found: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/05/head-start-program-fraudulent-and-ineffective
 Head Start should be eliminated: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/03/universal-preschools-empty-promises
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