Lawmakers show bipartisan support for Head Start funding

6:49 PM, Apr 23, 2013   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Leaders across the aisle in Augusta are supporting efforts to restore state funding for Head Start programs for low income children.

The big question remains how to find the money?

Advocates for Head Start say the state cut two million dollars of its funding for the program last year, resulting in more than 200 kids and families being dropped from the services the organization provides.

Now the Federal government budget sequester will cut another $1.7 million.

Advocates for the program Tuesday urged support for bills to restore the state funds. Kids are "more likely to graduate from high school," argues Doug Orville from the Head Start Directors Association, "Less likely to be involved in the law enforcement system or be incarcerated, and much more likely to be productive citizens of society when they become adults and grow up."

The bills they're supporting would bring back the two million cut by the state last year, along with funding for child care vouchers for those families.

But money for Head Start will have to compete with many other groups asking to increase state funding or avoid budget cuts. Some lawmakers say that means it's time for tax increases.


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