Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Local groups that receive public funding are beginning to see the real affects in the wake of sequestration.
Head Start programs in Onondaga County are expecting a 5 percent budget cut – a loss of more than half a million dollars.
The program gives low-income kids and their families an opportunity to receive a valuable early education.
“These are youngsters who are low income and their families value education and want them to have a shot at success,” said Head Start Executive Director Joseph O’Hara.
The lack of funding could result in 75 kids being cut from the local programs.
O’Hara says that the opportunity could impact the child's future employment.
“If you're low income and you don't have the head start experience you don't have as good an opportunity of graduating from high school on time, becoming gainfully employed and becoming a productive tax paying citizen,” O’Hara said.
The program is also a boon for working class parents. The sessions are for a full day, so parents can work full-time while their children learn.
6,500 children in Onondaga County are eligible for Head Start. But there’s a waiting list. The current budget provides for only 1,077 kids.
The Head Start budget cuts would go into effect after March 28.