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SouthShore farmworkers concerned about cuts to Head Start | News

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SouthShore farmworkers concerned about cuts to Head Start
News, Schools
SouthShore farmworkers concerned about cuts to Head Start

Riverview, Florida -- Some 35 parents served by Redlands Christian Migrant Association, RCMA, converged on the local office of U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney on Friday to voice concern about the impact of federal budget cuts on Head Start early childhood education programs.

The group, dominated by low-income farm workers from south Hillsborough County, brought petitions bearing 373 signatures and explaining how cuts to Head Start would halt child care and educational services to vulnerable children during their most crucial years.

The group was unable to meet with Rooney staff members, but leaders planned to try again another day.

Head Start is the leading funding source for the nonprofit RCMA, which serves some 7,500 children in low-income rural areas of 21 Florida counties. RCMA operates 18 child care centers and other programs in Hillsborough County, serving about 1,500 children here.

Because of budget cuts imposed on Head Start through the federal "sequester" action, RCMA is faced with closing all of its 70 centers earlier than planned for the summer, or closing several centers permanently.

Friday's visit was part of a nationwide "stroll-in" proposed for Friday by the National Head Start Association, which promotes the Head Start program and the interests of its low-income clients.


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