U.S. congressional actions to amend the Head Start Act

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Head Start is a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that focuses on assisting children from low-income families. It was started as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society domestic agenda in 1964. Specifically, it aims to help curb poverty by providing preschool children from low-income families with a program that meets emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological needs. Since its initial launch, Congress has considered legislation amending and reauthorizing the program. This page focuses on these efforts.

Contents

110th Congress

House

Improving Head Start Act

On May 2, 2007, the House considered a bill (H.R.1429), sponsored by Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Mich.), aimed at enhancing cognitive, social and emotional development that supports growth in language, literacy, mathematics, science, physical skills and approaches to learning by reaching out to homeless, migrant, seasonal, Native American, and Native Alaskan populations.[1]

The bill would create a panel to review grants to Head Start agencies and to monitor and measure performance including under-performing agencies and require improved training of Head Start teachers and personnel in early childhood development. The panel would also improve coordination with state schools and K-12 programs. By 2013, 50% of Head Start teachers would be required to have a bachelor degree in early childhood development and new hires would need at least an associate degree.[2]

Income qualifications for the program would also be eased to include those within 130% of the federal poverty level. Military housing would not be included in determining eligibility requirements. New efforts would include providing training in parenting skills and, unless the exam is intrusive, parents would not need to give permission for examining a sick child.[3]

An amendment to the measure was offered which would allow faith-based organizations to participate in the program and hire only those of the same faith for such endeavors. The amendment was defeated.[4]


The final bill passed, 365-48.


Articles and resources

Related SourceWarch articles

References

  1. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Education," TheWeekInCongress, May 4, 2007.
  2. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Education," TheWeekInCongress, May 4, 2007.
  3. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Education," TheWeekInCongress, May 4, 2007.
  4. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Education," TheWeekInCongress, May 4, 2007.

Wikipedia also has an article on U.S. congressional actions to amend the Head Start Act. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.

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