Federal cuts take effect for Franklin Head Start

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A classroom of Franklin preschoolers won’t return to school next month because the federal dollars that pay for their teacher and classroom assistant have been cut.

Franklin Head Start center, one of three federally funded programs that provide preschool for students from low-income Johnson County families, is cutting a teacher and classroom assistant and closing one of its classrooms.

That means when spring break ends for Head Start on April 8, 19 students won’t be able to return, said Jill Hammer, executive director of Human Services Inc.

Students who had been enrolled in previous preschool programs or who were enrolled in Head Start last year might still be prepared for kindergarten. But students who have received less than a year of preschool might not be ready to start kindergarten yet, Hammer said.

The parents of the 55 students still enrolled in the Franklin Head Start program will have to find new ways to get their children to and from preschool. Head Start is ending bus service for Franklin students for the rest of the year as another way to save money, Hammer said.

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