By NEON (Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now)
NORWALK, Conn. – The Connecticut Head Start Association has distributed an open letter assessing the soon to be felt effects of federal sequestration budget cuts that began on March 1. (The letter is attached below.)
Federal sequestration, which mandates across the board cuts in many federal programs, includes budget reductions for Head Start nationally totaling $406 million that will result in 70,000 children being denied enrollment.
In his open letter Connecticut Head Start Association Chairman/President David Morgan wrote, “Under sequestration Connecticut is already witnessing plans for classroom closures and enrollment reductions, elimination of job positions, reduction/elimination of home-visitation services, reduction to behavioral health contracts, furloughs and reductions to staff hours, reductions to staff benefits, reductions to transportation, earlier program –year closures and delayed –opening services for September 2013.”
Mr. Morgan concludes by warning, “Under sequestration, Connecticut Head Start program are forced to decrease enrollment, which will increase the number of young children who will be entering our public schools without the foundation skills needed to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.”
NEON, serving low income families in lower Fairfield County, operates Norwalk Head Start as well as numerous services and programs in the areas of early childhood development; adult and youth employment and training; energy assistance; neighborhood community centers; wealth & asset development; after school activities; community corrections and substance abuse residential facilities and family services.
Scott Harris, NEON Inc. Communications Director