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Cutting kids
If you want to see how badly sequestration is hurting people—and admittedly most congressional Republicans aren't interested in seeing that—look no further than Head Start programs. Cuts to Head Start hurt the kids who get kicked out of the programs, their parents who have to find other child care arrangements if they're to work or look for work, and the teachers and other staff who lose their jobs. That means that even if Head Start cuts aren't making much of a ripple in the national news, the closing of one Head Start classroom has a ripple effect through a community. Through a lot of communities:
Because much of the Head Start harm caused by sequestration lies in what won't happen (a child who could have been enrolled, money spent on day care that could have been spent elsewhere, etc.), assessing the overall damage is a difficult task. But one place to start is by observing local news coverage, which provides a daily drip of depressing developments. In a two-week period this June, it was announced that Head Start was eliminating staff positions and student spots in Cincinnati, Hannibal, Mo., Hennepin County, Minn., Cullman County, Ala., Cicero, N.Y., and elsewhere.

Yasmina Vinci, executive director of the National Head Start Association, said that her group anticipates 65,000 fewer slots for children and 11,500 Head Start jobs being lost nationally. The impact on the Head Start community, she said, has been demoralizing, so much so that the association has begun running a mental health webinar to help with depression among Head Start staff.

Sequestration keeps hurting people, even as congressional Republicans seem to have decided that, now that they've made sure business travelers won't be inconvenienced, it's a great thing. When one mother whose daughter's Head Start program had been closed asked her congressman, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), about restoring funding to the program:
Current spending on Head Start "will probably be about the same ... in 2014, or pretty close to that," the congressman replied, according to a transcript provided by his office. "It won't be any more than that. The chances of us appropriating more money for that is almost zero."

Pompeo encouraged Reynolds to try to raise the money herself.

Which she's trying to do. But that's not exactly easy for an unemployed widowed mother of a small child. And it's precisely because those are the kind of people that Head Start serves that Republicans like Pompeo aren't concerned about funding the program. No big donors are going to be personally hurt by Head Start cuts. But the failure to invest in kids—that's something that hurts our entire society.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Perhaps we should offer corporations (5+ / 0-)

    the opportunity to tattoo their logos onto toddlers as a form of sponsorship.  "This Preschooler has been brought to you by the generous donation of Kraft Foods. Kraft Foods: When you think of Preschoolers, think Kraft."

    De-funding Head Start is proof that the Republicans are not interested in money as much as they get their rocks off on despising the poor.  De-funding Head Start will cost all of us more and more every year those kids move through the school system and they need more and more accommodations and interventions.

    This is so unbelievably short-sighted.  All so Republicans can punish the poor for being poor.  

    Metaphors be with you.

    by koosah on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:30:23 AM PDT

    •  This is a great idea. I think it would be met (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koosah, greengemini

      with open arms by the multi-nationals.

      In the meantime,

      Child care costs exceed rent in most states

      You will find an interactive map to view your state.

      According to a report from Child Care Aware of America Thursday, the annual cost of infant care increased roughly 2% last year and ranged from about $4,600 in Mississippi to $15,000 in Massachusetts.
      40% of US workers earn less than $20,000 a year.

      But the GOP Hatriots could give a rats ass about kids after they escape the womb.

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:54:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In A Parallel Universe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There is a party organizing great opposition to the sequester. People realizing the human cost, its effect on slowing the economy, put pressure on the GOP to end it. The GOP realizing how much it has weakened their outlook for 2014 give in.

  •  Ok. Let's defeat Mike Pompeo for re-election (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Another dumbass Republican that needs to get shown the door.

  •  The GOP doesn't believe in the efficacy of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zinman, koosah

    Headstart in that we've had no Wall Street or corporate CEO's or congress creeps acknowledge their attendance in such a program.  If you're not them everything about you is just wrong, so eke out an existence any way you can, and you'll be so busy doing that that you will forget to register to vote, and more perfectly, you may be forced to enlist in our military where you will be even less of a problem because you will then be part of justifying the MIC.  There is the distinct odor of sulfur whenever wingers speak.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:32:46 AM PDT

  •  What that mom and others like her *could* do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is to talk to each other and everyone else they know and get those crazy-right nihilist Republican representatives out of their offices in KS.  It's as if they think the only electable candidates are the Republicans.. and that's the way it will stay until the poor and downtrodden get up on their hind legs and VOTE their interests.  I just don't get it.. and I was born and raised and live in KS. It never used to be this way at all.

    "THERE IS NO JUSTICE. THERE IS JUST US." spoken by Death in Terry Pratchett's Discworld books.

    by Sailorben on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:35:22 AM PDT

  •  But suffering purifies our essence! (0+ / 0-)

    As long as it's somebody else doing the suffering.

    The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

    by psnyder on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:36:42 AM PDT

  •  Think about this article (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the next time you hear someone on this site say that the sequester isn't that bad.

    Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

    by Boogalord on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:38:27 AM PDT

  •  Can we help this mother of a young child raise (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, greengemini

    some money?  Would going to Kickstarter help?

     I once had a colleague who averred, "Children are everybody's business."

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:45:12 AM PDT

  •  Bootstraps! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koosah, greengemini

    It is amazing that conservatives talk so lovingly of pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and yet they seem to cut as many bootstraps as possible as a standard policy.

    Head Start isn't just about getting kids educated, but relieving the burden of child care so that someone has time to WORK.  And pay taxes.  Not to mention the staff employed to keep the child care running well.  Cutting this program is such bad policy on so many levels.

    The sequester is the new Republican immigration reform plan. Make things so bad here in the US that no one will want to live here.

    by Mote Dai on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:13:03 AM PDT

  •  I'm just confused (0+ / 0-)

    Seems we can pledge billions to Africa, fund Sandy Storm victims, etc. etc.  All worthwhile by the way.  Yet we have no money for  White House tours and Military Base 4th of July celebrations etc. etc.?

    Whoever is "managing" this thing really needs some help.  

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 10:13:28 AM PDT

  •  Deprive young families of modest means education (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    how utterly GOP.

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