Head Start Centers Will Not Receive Any Additional Funding This School Year

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - School has been in session for Head Start Centers for three weeks now and already some centers are noticing some differences.

The biggest difference this school year is out of the 11 centers in four counties, only two centers will be providing bus transportation. Betty Carter, CEO of Head Start School Readiness Academy tells NewsWest 9, it all has to do with them not receiving additional funding.

"It inhibits us in being able to do certain things because we have to pay more for them. We haven't had more for services but haven't had any increases in funds so it has really affected us," Carter said.

Carter tells NewsWest 9 not only did they have to cut back on their bus transportation usage but also in the month's centers operate.

"We are funded to operate eight months so we actually have cut back to the actual 160 days, whereas before we had extended that period off of our budget but we had to go back into actually operating the eight month program," Carter said.

She says if they continue not to receive additional funding in the future it could possibly have a negative impact for Head Start centers in the Basin.

"The most drastic thing that could happen is to start cutting classrooms, that would not only cut staff but it would cut the number of children that we serve as well," Carter said.

Head Start Centers are funded by the Department of Administration for Children and Families and though they haven't received additional funding this school year Carter is happy their funds have not been cut.

"We are fortunate that we have not received any cuts, it doesn't help if the cuts increase," Carter said.