Head Start is Key to Rep. Johnson's Education Reform
$7.4 Billion Authorized in '08 To Reinvigorate Nation's Premiere Early Education Program
WASHINGTON -- Congressman Hank Johnson today voted to authorize over $7 billion for Head Start, the nation's premiere early childhood education program. H.R. 1429, the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, will maintain the program's mission to prepare children for kindergarten while improving instruction and facilities.
"Head Start is the foundation of this country's efforts to close the achievement gap, combat poverty, and provide all Americans with the opportunity to thrive," said Congressman Johnson. "Our nation's future depends upon the education of our youth, and we need to do all we can to ensure their success. Better preparing our children for kindergarten is critical to this effort. As we celebrate this 40th anniversary, I am pleased to vote the $7.4 billion needed because Head Start has demonstrated its lasting value."
The bi-partisan legislation provides increased funding in the amounts of $7.65 billion for fiscal year 2009 and $8 billion for 2010. Specifically, this funding will improve teacher and classroom quality; strengthen school readiness through literacy and vocabulary building; and ensure that Head Start centers are well-run and well-coordinated with state and local service providers.
Head Start is a 40-year-old initiative, serving an estimated 20 million American children and families. In fiscal year 2006, Georgia's Head Start received $166,671,579 and enrolled 23,508 children.