Sequestration Pushes Head Start Families To The Precipice

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from The Huffington Post,

In all, 14 children in Pratt, a town with a population just under 7,000, were dropped from Head Start, the federally funded education program for lower-income families. Reynolds’ 4-year-old daughter, Bella, who had learned numbers and words, manners and social skills during her time in the program this past year, was among them — another casualty of the budget cuts brought about by sequestration.

“What about your jobs?” Reynolds asked.

“Well,” they replied, “we don’t have jobs now either.”

Sequestration was meant to hurt people just like Reynolds and Bella, Misty and April. The policy’s designers made a bet in the summer of 2011 that a deficit-reduction cleaver that decimated defense and harmed the most vulnerable would be abhorrent to Republicans and Democrats alike. They lost the bet. Sequestration went into effect on March 1, 2013, after lawmakers failed to agree on a replacement.

In Washington, the conventional wisdom has sometimes held that sequestration’s harms were oversold. Dire warnings of massive job loss never came true, while government programs used budget gimmickry to keep operating.

Outside the Beltway, the perception of sequestration is sharply, viscerally different.

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