Butler Co. Head Start budget cuts affect kids, workers

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - Local Head Start programs have laid off workers, made cuts to existing wages and are unable to serve as many children this year.

The program, which provides education, health, nutrition and parent involvement services to children of low-income families, is making cuts after losing some of its federal funding.

In total, $400 million were cut from Head Start programs nationwide.

Workers in Butler County organized a protest in Hamilton Wednesday evening after seven program employees were laid off and two classrooms were closed.

Butler County's Head Start program was dealt a 5% budget cut, and Educational Services Superintendent John Graft tells FOX19 the tough decision to layoff workers was a result of those budget cuts.

However, many protestors blamed House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for leading the charge to make cuts to the Head Start program. They also were angered with how Graft administered the federal cuts within the program.

In 2012, 784 children were in the Butler County Head Start program. This year, only 720 kids will participate.

The program begins after Labor Day. Visit the Butler County Educational Services Center website to learn more about Head Start: http://www.bcesc.org/headstart_home.aspx

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