Sequester Cuts Having Effect On Lower Income Families, Children

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UPDATED: Thursday March 21, 2013 6:29 PM

Head Start helps lower income families and children, but recent budget cuts in Washington are already having an effect in central Ohio.

"It's shameful that I am in America advocating for children's right to be educated," said Delia Al-Khatib.

Delia's 4-year-old daughter goes to class at Franklin County's Marburn Center.

She says politicians in Washington are making a big mistake cutting programs for younger children.

"We must put our best investment in it. So that way, our children don't come back to the system with amazing issues that will carry for life," Al-Khatib said.

Democratic State Sen. Charleta Tavares says the waiting list was already at 200 for Head Start, but because of budget cuts, is now more than  300 and growing.

"Unfortunately it's across the board and disproportionably it impacts health and human services and education programs," Tavares said.

Tavares says Ohio officials have a message for Washington.

"Take off the partisan hats,” she said. “Think about the community you were sent to represent."

The Department of Health and Human Services has given local programs the authority to choose how to implement mandatory cuts.

Congress has not started working on a bill to replace funding for Head Start.  If one isn't passed by October, officials warn the program will be forced to confront more difficult choices.

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