Sequestration could cut Pre-K programs in Alabama - Huntsville News | WAAYTV.com and ABC 31: Local News

Sequestration could cut Pre-K programs in Alabama

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Posted: Monday, February 25, 2013 8:53 pm | Updated: 8:04 pm, Thu Mar 14, 2013.

MADISON, Ala (WAAYTV) - With only four days left before Sequestration takes effect the White House has released a statement explaining how the budget cuts would affect each state and their programs.

Three and four year-old children have little to do with paying taxes and probably do not know anything about the national budget yet many who are enrolled in state funded Pre-K programs may soon be feeling the affects sequestration.

The Head Start program in Alabama is number three on the list of Alabama programs that would be affected. The statement says 1,1000 children across the state could lose their access to early childhood education.

Madison Premiere Preschool is a private Pre-K but has two classrooms that receive state funding. Director Melanie Watson says the loss of access to the programs could have a significant impact on the lives of children around the state

“I know a lot of people talk about standards in Kindergarten and the push down of curriculum in Kindergarten and Pre-K addresses some of those things but more importantly it addresses the social aspect of school,” she said. “Waiting your turn, standing in line, raising your hands. The expectations for children in Kindergarten have increased over the years,” she said, “having high quality Pre-K that can prepare families and their children for what’s coming next is important.”

The cuts would not stop with preschool when it comes to education. The White House estimates that Alabama will lose around $11 million for primary and secondary education; something they say will put 150 teachers and teachers’ aid positions at risk. Although the devastating affects will not necessarily be felt immediately-- the official date that sequestration will begin is March 1st.

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