Head Start hit hardest by federal shutdown, but other education programs face problems in long term

For the short term, most schools will likely be unaffected by the federal government shutdown that went into effect today. But if the impasse in Congress lasts a long time, schools may feel the financial squeeze.

The shutdown is a result of the House and Senate’s failure to agree on a funding bill, which forced more than 800,000 federal employees into furlough Tuesday morning.

If it lasts beyond one week, the government interruption is expected to delay funding to school districts, colleges and universities that rely on federal funds, according to a U.S. Department of Education contingency plan. With more than 90 percent of its employees expected to be furloughed, officials at the Department of Education will be unavailable to assist school districts or answer questions as they attempt to implement reforms, The Washington Post reports.

The biggest immediate impact could be felt in Head Start programs, though, which are still reeling from federal sequestration cuts that pushed 57,000 children out of the preschool program for low-income children. According to the National Head Start Association (NHSA), an advocacy group, 23 programs in 11 states with grant cycles that begin Oct. 1 are poised to lose grant money due to the shutdown.

Source: The Hechinger Report

Available at: http://hechingered.org/content/head-start-hit-hardest-by-federal-shutdown-but-other-education-programs-face-problems-in-long-term_6399/

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