ABCD lobbies to save Head Start early-learning program from ax

Mar 4, 2017

As reported by Kathleen McKiernan, The Boston Herald:

Fearing federal cuts to Head Start, Action for Boston Community Development has launched a lobbying effort to fight for the early education program for low-income children and families.

“We have a lot at risk,” ABCD President/CEO John Drew told the Herald. “We have been concerned in the past but nothing like this. There are enough people who are now in power who have strongly shown they don’t believe Head Start works. This is not going to be a budget that is compassionate.”

Drew said the National Community Action Foundation is planning a gathering in Washington, D.C., aimed at planning a path forward and advocating for Head Start, which he says has served 33 million poor children and families over the past 52 years. The effort comes as the Trump administration has proposed a $54 billion increase in defense spending by cutting a range of non-military funds, including anti-poverty, education and environmental programs.

Nationwide, Head Start programs receive $9.5 billion in federal funding. In Boston, the early learning centers take in $25 million.

“Who’s going to take care of these kids?” Drew asked. “We’re going to walk away from the poorest kids in the country.”

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