Federal budget cuts cast dark shadow on academic program - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Federal budget cuts cast dark shadow on academic program

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

For weeks we've wondered and speculated how the sequester cuts could affect key programs in our area.

A local enrichment program says the cuts will have an impact on students for years to come.

The federal budget cuts are in the hundreds of millions of dollars nationwide, many programs will suffer locally- one is the Head Start program that serves low-income families in six counties in the Chattahoochee Valley. 

The federal government provides 80% of the funds needed to run the program.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been cut from the programs seven figure budget. That decrease in funds cuts the already limited amount of space by 5%.

"Our program year begins in August, so when August comes we will feel the impact of Sequestration," Enrichment Services Belva Dorsey said. "We're looking at over $366,000 being cut from the budget. We're in the process of refining all our numbers; now that we have the percentage of the cuts we will receive we're looking at fifty and sixty families."

Dorsey said the waiting list already has more than 300 children hoping for a spot.  She also says with a loss in children, jobs may be on the line as well.

In an effort to help raise more money to fund the program, Head Start has implemented a campaign called "Tools for Success."

The campaign is geared towards raising money to help pay for school supplies for students.  A donation of $25 will buy school supplies for one child for the entire year.

Dorsey says it's definitely going to take the community coming together to make sure young minds get the best start possible.

To donate, go to the Enrichment Services website.

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