Possible Cuts Looming at Kanawha County Head Start

By: Alex Snyder Email
By: Alex Snyder Email

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Autumn Murphy knows her ABCs and she can count without using her fingers.

"I think she would struggle more in kindergarten if she didn't get the head start," said Autumn’s mom, Carrie Murphy.

But the head start Autumn is getting is in jeopardy, along with the other 529 students in Kanawha County’s Head Start Program.

"There's no guarantee at this point that we will receive our full funding to continue our program," said Kanawha County Head Start Director Karen Williams.

In light of President Obama declaring the county’s program deficient, Williams is sending a grant refunding proposal to Washington hoping to secure funding for next year.

The proposal is due on Friday, the same day as the sequestration which the White House says could strip 500 spots for Head Start students in West Virginia.

"We're really working on bare bones, just trying to maintain a high quality program and provide for the community what it needs and deserves," Williams said.

Ninety-three people, the entire staff in Kanawha County’s Head Start program, were recently given transfer slips, meaning that if funding is not secured and the sequestration cuts are as drastic as expected, they could be out of a job.

"I mean, they are great with the kids; they teach them so much," Murphy said.

Autumn and her family don’t want to see the cuts, especially since her little brother is hoping to get a head start in a few years.

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