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Head Start Falling Behind

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KALISPELL -

The Kalispell chapter of Head Start is struggling to prepare young children to enter school.

The government shutdown closed head starts across the nation for days, leaving nearly twenty thousand kids with the help they need. A $10 million pledge from Houston philanthropists, John and Laura Arnold, reopened doors across the country, but is only available to Head Starts that had to close.

Funding began June 1 for the Northwest Montana Head Start and is therefore still intact, meaning the center never needed to close.

However, the Northwest Chapter currently operates with an eight percent budget cut that has reduced bussing by half and director Renee Funk believes it is only going to get worse.

"Part of the issue is that with sequestration we received an almost $80,000 budget cut last year and we're facing that again," said Funk.

Funk says another cut like last year's will likely mean sacrificing service to the children.

The Northwest Montana Head Start now serves more than two hundred families in the Flathead Valley.

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