Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007

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The Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 (H.R. 1429) was a bill in the 110th Congress "to reauthorize the Head Start Act, to improve program quality, to expand access, and for other purposes." (Official title.)[1]

Article summary (how summaries work)
  • Authorizes $7.35 billion for fiscal year 2008, $7.65 billion for fiscal year 2009, $8.00 billion for fiscal year 2010, and such funds as may be necessary for fiscal years 2011 and 2012 (Sec. 5).[1]
  • Allows Head Start programs to increase the number of participants by 35 percent by including participants whose families' incomes are between 100 and 130 percent of the poverty level, as long as children from families whose income is at or below the poverty level or who are homeless have priority for inclusion in the programs (Sec. 14).[1]
  • States that by 2013, at least 50 percent of Head Start teachers and education coordinators will have a baccalaureate or advanced degree in childhood education and all teaching assistants will have an associate's degree, and that by 2010, all teachers providing direct services to children and families participating in Early Head Start programs (which provide services for children from 0-3 years of age) located in Early Head Start centers have a minimum of a child development associate credential (Sec. 15, Sec. 19).[1]
-Requires that all Head Start teachers attend 15 hours of professional development training per year (Sec. 19).[1]


Contents

Current status



Attempt to recommit bill with instructions

Before initial passage of the bill, the House defeated a motion to recommit the bill with instructions by a vote of 222-195. The motion instructed the House Committee on Education and Labor to add an amendment to the bill that would have amended the Head Start Act by adding a new section 654a following section 654, which concerns nondiscrimination provisions. It included the following provision:

``(3) EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES.--Section 654 shall not apply to a recipient of financial assistance under this subchapter that is a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society, with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, association, educational institution, or society of its activities. Such recipients shall comply with the other requirements contained in section 654.[2][3]

Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: American Conservative Union 2007 House Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"The House defeated a motion that would have allowed religious organizations providing services under the federal Head Start program to consider religion in their hiring practices. ACU favored this effort."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.acuratings.org/)

Scored vote

Scorecard: Family Research Council 2007-2008 House Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"Offered by Rep. Howard McKeon (R-CA), this motion to recommit the Head Start Reauthorization bill (H.R. 1429) would have amended the bill to remove the current discrimination provision in the Head Start program that prevents faith-based organizations from hiring according to their faith tradition."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.frcaction.org/get.cfm?i=VR08I01)

Scored vote

Scorecard: National Journal 2007 House Scorecard

Org. position: {{{Vote position 3}}}

Description:

"Permit faith-based Head Start providers to use religion in hiring decisions. May 2. (195-222)"

(Original scorecard available at http://www.nationaljournal.com/voteratings/house_votes.htm

Initial passage in the House

Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: Americans for Democratic Action 2007 House Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"Passage of a bill to authorize $7.4 billion in fiscal 2008 and such sums as necessary from fiscal 2009 through 2012 for the Head Start program, to require that at least 50 percent of Head Start teachers have a bachelor’s degree by 2013, and add measures to identify high quality comprehensive early childhood programs. The bill would permit Head Start programs to enroll children from families with incomes up to 130 percent of poverty where a community need is demonstrated."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.adaction.org/pages/publications/voting-records.php)

Final passage in the House

From Project Vote Smart: Vote to pass a bill that reauthorizes the Head Start Program for five years and makes changes to teacher qualifications and participant eligibility.[1]


Supporters

  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Anti-Defamation League
  • Catholic Charities USA
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • National Council of La Raza
  • National Education Association
  • National School Boards Association
  • Save Head Start

Articles and resources

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Project Vote Smart’s info page on Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007 (H.R.1429).
  2. "Motion to recommit offered by Mr. Mckeon", Congressional Record, May 2, 2007, H4376.
  3. NONDISCRIMINATION PROVISIONS Sec. 654. [42 U.S.C. 9849], "Compilation of the Head Start Act," U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.
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