Dean Criticizes Bill That Would Dismantle Head Start Program

Iowa City, IA, July25, 2003

This legislation takes a giant step backward in our country's efforts to educate our neediest children and to prepare them for school and success in later life.

This bill dismantles what is clearly one of our country's most effective education and social programs, one which has a thirty-eight year track record of success demonstrated by extensive research and study.

This is yet another outrageous effort by the Republican Party to decimate social supports which assist the poorest and most vulnerable members of our community. In pursuit of this agenda, they have pushed the passage of a bill that allows Head Start funding to be gutted after five years. Not only that, this bill creates experimental block grants, removes federal standards, allows religious discrimination against employees and provides inadequate levels of funding in the meantime.
Early intervention is critical to ensuring our children's success in school and in life. Instead of undermining the success of Head Start, we should be seeking to expand the program.

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