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Congresswoman Says Budget Cuts Head Start Funding

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 381

BustosHeadStartA local Congresswoman says it will never see the light of day in the Senate, but a budget plan passed in the House last week would make serious cuts to a number of programs, including early childhood education.

17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos made those remarks in Galesburg today, as she toured the local West Central Community Services Head Start facility. She says a 42-percent cut in the Congressman Paul Ryan-backed budget went toward non-discretionary defense spending and hurts not just the kids served in Head Start, but also families, to say nothing of the employees that may need to be cut.

Bustos tells WGIL legislation she introduced cutting waste in government is better than cutting Head Start.

“We have a hundred billion dollars that has been identified by a non-partisan group,” says Bustos. “The reason that was my very first piece of legislation that I introduced is: let’s use that as a starting point and let’s get waste and redundant services out of our budget and then let’s look at the budget as a document that talks about our nation’s priorities and how you can be investing in education.”

Local Head Start officials say government sequestration last year meant an over five-percent cut to their budget, though they say that funding was eventually restored when a spending plan was finally passed.

They say they would have to make those cuts all over again, if not more, if a budget like the one passed last week were reality.