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Region 19 Head Start program could be impeded by federal government shutdown
By: Joshua Zuber
El PASO, Texas
The executive director of Region 19's Head Start program told KFOX 14 that thanks to the government shutdown, the possibility of a delayed start, less services and even staff is real.
"It may be delayed. It may be diminished somewhat the number of dollars, but there will be a program," said Dr. James Vasquez
Plus, there are some changes to how Head Start programs nationwide are funded.
Vasquez said instead of basically rolling grants, federal dollars will now come in the five-year grants.
Vasquez said applying for the money under normal circumstances wouldn't worry him.
However, with Congress not budging over the current budget issue, the government shutdown means their application may not get looked at in time.
"The pessimism comes into play because of the present circumstances. Will that delay the funding?" he said.
There's also the issue of the Pre-K program's current funding situation. It is operating under a 10-month contract, which is paying for an entire fiscal year for 12 months that ends in June.
Sequestration has also cut into the program's funding, which helps some 4,000 low income students before kindergarten.