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Statement: House Appropriations Subcommittee Passage of Labor, Health &Human Services, Education FY 2017 Funding Bill

July 7, 2016

Today, the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor Health & Human Services, Education, and related Agencies passed their FY 17 funding bill.  Despite the bill cutting $570 million overall from last year’s FY 16 level, the bill included a $141.6 million increase for Head Start and Early Head Start allocated to support programs and the Head Start Workforce meet rising operating costs through a Cost of Living Adjustment.

The following statement should be attributed to Yasmina Vinci:

“The entire Head Start community appreciates and recognizes that, faced with significant budgetary constraints, Chairman Cole and his subcommittee colleagues continue to prioritize the delivery of quality early learning services by providing Head Start an increase of $141.6 million in their FY 17 bill.  The allocation of these necessary resources will allow Head Start programs across the country to keep pace with rising operating costs and support and retain staff.  

While we appreciate the subcommittee considering the Head Start community’s concerns, we remain troubled that the number of children who benefit from Head Start may be reduced as programs meet new Program Performance Standards set to be released in the coming months.  Without additional resources to implement new requirements for full day, full year programming, there will be a significant cut to the number of eligible children and families who will be able to participate in Head Start. We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration as this legislation moves forward to ensure there are no reductions in numbers of children enrolled, even as we push to maintain and improve high quality early learning opportunities.”