Government Shutdown Forces W.C. Handy Head Start To Shut Down
FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Many communities in North Alabama are feeling the effects of the government shutdown.
In Florence, school administrators have been forced to give parents notice that their head start program will be forced to close.
In a letter given out to parents at the W.C. Handy head start program, Florence school administrators said they were saddened to pass along the news that because of the governments shut down, they would also have to close their doors.
“They should have to walk into our facility and interact with those children, and interact with those families, and tell them that they are not good enough,” said Florence Schools Superintendent, Dr. Janet Womack.
Womack says the system was notified of the possible federal funding cut Friday morning.
As a contingency plan, Womack says the school system was able to put together local money to keep the head start program open for 9 days.
“When Congress does decide to get their act together, we don`t know if those funds will be retroactive, if they will be the same amount of funding, if they will be reduced, or what may happen with that,” said Womack about her concerns.
As with many other head start programs across the country, the Florence program operates on 100% grant funding from the administration for children and families.
Womack says she remains hopeful that congress will find a resolution to the funding crisis in the comings days, keeping the doors here at handy head start program open.
There are 280 students in the Florence program.
The Florence school system is working with parents of the children who attend handy head start to help find a suitable day care or pre-school program for them to begin attending on October 14th.