MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Nationwide budget cuts have trickled down into the preschool classrooms across Middle Georgia.
Automatic federal spending cuts required Head Start programs, a free preschool care to low-income families, to scale back by %5.27. In Bibb and Monroe Counties, Head Start Director Pamela Brown is learning a lesson in subtraction this school year. So far, she's cut $450,000 from the budget; that means 51 less spots for children in the classrooms, 10 school days off the calendar and nine fewer staff members.
With over a thousand applications on her desk this year, Brown has to turn some parents away.
"We're trying to work with parents individually and collectively as much possible, but as far as working with additional children, funds aren't there, so we're not able to do that," she said.
So far, the cutbacks aren't impacting returning students, but as for new comers, the selection process will be based on the need.