Head Start Programs Cut Back - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Head Start Programs Cut Back

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While many students are back to class today, some didn't have that option.
The Southeastern North Dakota Head Start  program says due to sequestration cuts they had to eliminate 2 classrooms which means 36 kids are no longer allowed at the center.
Statewide head start serves around 4,000 children but because of cuts about 200 kids were impacted.

While director of Southeastern North Dakota's Head Start program Barry Nelson tours the school halls, there are some noticeable backpacks missing from these walls.

"The fact that we had to eliminate 36 children was really hard to do. It was one of the hardest things," says Nelson.

But Nelson says that's only half the problem.

"We had to eliminate transportation," says Nelson

It's something parent Nicole Sorby is trying to figure out.

"We are very limited income. This is a big impact," says Sorby.

Sorby's 4 year old daughter, Aliya, will start school Monday.
She says recently the family just moved to save money on gas and now they may have to pick up their things once again.

"It's hitting us hard. It's hitting are pocketbooks," says Sorby.

Nelson knows parents will struggle and worries things may only get worst.

"Congress doesn't understand the arbitrary decision they made. By not agreeing is going to have a long term impact on us and if nothing changes we could even see even more eliminations," says Nelson.

Nelson says he's also upset with the state of North Dakota.
He says the state has a huge surplus and they have asked for the legislature to invest into early education and once again they have refused to put money into early child care services.

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