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Fayetteville Head Start to Close Due to Sequester Cuts

FAYETTEVILLE, AR-- A Fayetteville Head Start Center will close to comply with Sequester budget cuts.
FAYETTEVILLE, AR-- A Fayetteville Head Start Center will close to comply with Sequester budget cuts.

The Economic Opportunity Agency (EOA) of Washington County Head Start program announced Tuesday that the agency's Board of Directors and Policy Council approved the closure of the Willow Heights Head Start Center in Fayetteville and the closure of one classroom at the West Washington County Head Start in Lincoln.

The organization said the measures were taken as a means to reduce enrollment numbers to account for the Head Start program's $154,968 (5.27%) mandatory budget reduction for the 2013-2014 school year.


News release announcing the cuts:


For Immediate Release

Sequestration Cuts result in tough decisions
for Head Start


FAYETTEVILLE, AR, (June 25, 2013) - The EOA of Washington County Head Start program announced Tuesday that the agency's Board of Directors and Policy Council approved the closure of the Willow Heights Head Start Center in Fayetteville and the closure of one (1) classroom at the West Washington County Head Start in Lincoln.

The measures were taken as a means to reduce enrollment numbers to account for the Head Start program's $154,968 (5.27%) mandatory budget reduction for the 2013-2014 school year.

"The Fayetteville Housing Authority has been a wonderful community partner for many years, and this was a very difficult decision," said EOA's executive director, Mike Lanier. "This past school year, we had to close our programs down 13 days early, furlough staff and blend some positions in order to make the cuts required as a result of sequestration."

Brenda Zedlitz, director of children's services, said strategic planning with the Board of Directors and the Policy Council, which includes parent representatives, included a thorough review of 2013 Program Self-Assessment data and the 2013 Community Assessment data. They utilized the information to determine community needs and where the cuts would have the least negative impact.
 
"We know that parents depend on our Head Start programs and we have spent a great deal of time going over the data to ensure we are making the best decisions, given the difficult circumstances," Zedlitz said.

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