Sequestration forces cuts to Head Start

by Sarah Fay Campbell

The federal budget cuts known as "sequestration" have hit the local Head Start early learning program, causing the closing of one of the three Head Start centers in Coweta and the elimination of the lim- ited transportation services provided at some Head Start centers.

The Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Coweta County are provided through Community Action for Improvement. CAFI pro- vides Head Start and other services in the six-county area of Coweta, Carroll, Heard, Meri- wether, Harris and Troup.

The budget cuts led to a 5.27 percent decrease in the federal funding for CAFI's Head Start program, said Angela Jackson- Owens, director of Head Start for CAFI. That total hit was approximately $400,000. Federal money accounts for 80 percent of CAFI's Head Start funding. The rest is donations and in-kind services.

The small Head Start program at the Verona Rosser Center in Savannah Street in Newnan was closed, Jackson-Owens said, and enrollment cuts were made at the other centers, in East Newnan and Haralson. A center in Harris County was also closed.

Total enrollment was reduced from 880 to 811 children, Jackson-Owens said. The Early Head Start program still serves 220 children.

CAFI had been offering limited transportation to the Haralson, LaGrange, Greenville and Manchester centers, but had to eliminate that. The transportation cuts affected less than 200 children, Jackson-Owens said. The transportation cuts were a hardship for some families but, so far, haven't affected attendance, she said.

Some employees also lost their jobs. Sequestration took effect March 1, but all the changes took effect for the new school year.

The Verona Rosser center had been serving 36 children. That's compared to 130 in East Newnan through the Head Start, Early Head Start and Pre-k programs. There are 44 students at the Haralson center.

Head Start is a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that pro- vides comprehensive educational, health, nutrition and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. Pre-K programs were modeled after Head Start. Head Start is for 3- and 4-year- olds, and Early Head Start is for pregnant women and children up to age 3. Eligibility is based on income.



More Local

Budd, Friends warm up for annual show

Artists arrived in town Thursday and didn’t waste time rehearsing for Saturday’s “Friends of Wadsworth: The Legacy Continu ... Read More


Special observance planned at NHS

Newnan High School has partnered with the Department of Defense (DOD) in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and will be h ... Read More


Suspect nabbed in woods

Meth, bath salts dealer arrested

A man suspected of distributing an odd mixture of methamphetamine and bath salts was arrested by Coweta County authorities after he attempte ... Read More


Pre-kindergarten registration starts on Monday

Registration for pre-kindergarten classes will start Monday at schools in Coweta County. “Parents who wish to secure a spot for their ... Read More


School system monitoring roads for black ice Friday

With cold temperatures sweeping in after rainy weather today, Coweta County students were sent home with a note to parents warning of possib ... Read More

Coweta Commission

Fire department to provide limited EMS

The Coweta County Fire Department will officially take over Coweta’s emergency medical services on May 1, but starting this week, fire ... Read More