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Still Headed in the Wrong Direction: Why the July 24th Substitute House Head Start Bill (H.R. 2210) Is Unlikely to Make the Program Better

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Publication Date: July 2003

Publisher(s): Center for Law and Social Policy

Author(s): Rachel Schumacher; Jennifer Mezey

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Education (Education policy and planning)

Type: Report

Coverage: United States

Abstract:

This year, Congress is scheduled to reauthorize Head Start, a federal-to-local grant program providing early childhood education and comprehensive services, including health, nutrition, parental involvement, social, and other services, to low-income preschool children and their families. On June 19th, the House Education and Workforce Committee passed H.R. 2210, the School Readiness Act of 2003, on a 27-20 party-line vote.

The House Rules Committee just released a substitute version for floor consideration on July 24. According to its sponsors, the main goals of H.R. 2210 are to close the school readiness gap between young low-income children and other children upon entering school and to promote collaboration and alignment at the state level between Head Start and other early childhood education programs. These goals are important. However, they are unlikely to be achieved under H.R. 2210, as amended for floor consideration.