We hope that you had a wonderful 4th of July week and are enjoying your summer! In Washington, DC, a lot is going on – much of it related to the debt ceiling debate and occurring in “closed door” negotiations between Congressional leaders and the White House. NHSA is closely following three specific items (summarized below) and will continue to provide you with relevant updates. Elsewhere, we are beginning to see an up-tick in arguments against supporting Head Start in the national media, such as today’s article in Time magazine, discussed below. It’s going to be a long, hot summer.
NHSA Responds to Joel Klein Article in Time Magazine
Yesterday, July 7, Time Magazine columnist Joe Klein presented an uninformed opinion about Head Start by focusing on partisanship instead of leadership. Mr. Klein presented a dated and hackneyed account of Head Start’s success. Immediately, NHSA’s Yasmina Vinci responded with a strong letter to the editor, here.
Go here to read the article. It will hit you right in the gut.
Please do two things. First, post a comment on the article. Let other Time magazine readers know how your experience differs from Klein’s opinion. Second, go here to let us know you care about Head Start and support efforts to prevent cuts to Head Start and Early Head Start in FY 2012.
If you receive questions about Klein’s column, here are some suggested talking points. If you have any questions about the article or requests from the press, please contact Julia Steinberger (email@example.com, or 703-962-7082).
Fiscal Year 2012 Appropriations
The FY12 appropriations process appears to be on hold until the President and Congress are able to first negotiate the FY 2012 federal budget and how to raise (or avoid raising) the federal debt ceiling. Both issues, which have significant impacts on the appropriation process, deal with top line spending numbers – including discretionary, mandatory, and defense spending. Because of this, cuts or increases to Head Start have not been brought into this discussion. However, it is important to note that any serious spending reductions or discretionary spending caps could result in severe ramifications for Head Start. More details are likely to emerge over the next 2-4 weeks and we will be sure to keep you informed of any important developments.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Reauthorization
We know that both the House and Senate are currently working towards reauthorization of the NCLB Act, but few details have been released and little is known about what the final bill or set of bills will look like. NHSA is working closely with several congressional staffers on provisions that would be beneficial for Head Start providers. More details will be released when the bills are finalized.
Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Grants
After reading the public’s suggestions about how the grant process and criteria should look, the Department of Education has released a draft of proposed requirements for these grants and is requesting public input once again. Thank you to those of you who have already participated in this process and we encourage everyone to weigh in on this proposal by reviewing the proposed requirements and posting comments at http://www.ed.gov/early-learning/elc-draft-summary!
Be sure to stay tuned for future updates. Thank you to those who participated in a local 4th of July celebrations on behalf of Head Start – be sure to send photos and videos to NHSA’s Julia Steinberger (firstname.lastname@example.org) or post them to our Facebook page by clicking here!