To U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, the children's program Head Start is no less important than keeping air traffic controllers in the towers when it comes to sparing programs from the effects of the federal budget sequester.
At a news conference Tuesday, the Tampa Democrat urged Congress to "recognize that the Head Start investments are on par with the investments we make in the travel and tourism industry," referring to the furloughs lifted last week for Federal Aviation Administration employees.
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If the cuts take effect, Head Start could serve 70,000 fewer children and see layoffs of about 14,000 employees nationwide.
Florida could lose funding for nearly 2,000 Head Start students, Castor said, and Hillsborough's Head Start program faces a $1.4 million cut for classroom supplies, bus services, playgrounds and staff.
"The sequester cuts will set us back in a way that really is inexplicable in this day and age," Castor said.
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