Media Contact: Allie Wright, [email protected], (202) 794-1823
Washington, D.C. (July 20, 2017) – The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill, which increases funding for early childhood education programs, including Head Start.
The bill increases Head Start’s funding to $9.275 billion, which is $21.9 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $106.9 million above the president’s fiscal year 2018 request. This increase includes $640 million for Early Head Start, which is equal to the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $5 million above the president’s fiscal year 2018 budget request. It also maintains funding for Preschool Development Grants at $250 million, which is level-funded from the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. The president’s fiscal year 2018 budget request eliminated funding for this program.
Further, the bill restores most of the funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which was eliminated in the president’s fiscal year 2018 budget request earlier this year. An amendment offered by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) to fully fund the after-school program at fiscal year 2017 levels was rejected by the Committee. This would have added an additional $191 million in funding, allowing 200,000 students to continue attending afterschool and summer learning programs.
“These investments will make a tremendous impact in the lives of kids and families living in poverty across the country,” said Mark Shriver, president of Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) and Senior Vice President, U.S. Programs & Advocacy, of Save the Children. “I am pleased that the Appropriations Committee rejected the president’s budget request, which included harmful cuts to programs that impact children. While this bill is a step in the right direction and invests in programs like Head Start and 21st Century Community Learning Centers, much more needs to be done to ensure all kids, regardless of where they were born, have an equal opportunity to succeed.
“Save the Children and SCAN look forward to continuing working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to ensure these and other quality early learning and after-school programs receive robust funding in the final budget.”
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