The Government Shutdown is About to Cost Tarrant County a Major Head Start Program

Categories: News, Politics

The good news for Child Care Associates, a major Tarrant County Head Start provider that serves 10,000 low-income kids, is that Congress seems to be inching toward a last-minute deal to avert a default on the federal debt and end the government shutdown.

If that doesn't happen, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Tuesday, CCA will lose $21 million in Head Start funds, or about a third of its annual budget, on November 1 and be forced to lay off most of its 625 workers. It notified the state of the potential layoffs this week.

See also: How the Government Shutdown Is Messing Up Texas

That would leave some 2,800 children in Tarrant County without childcare.
According to The Dallas Morning News, another 6,400 low-income kids are cared for using some $35 million in federal block grants, which are set to expire on November 30 if Congress doesn't fund the government.

The silver lining is that if the shutdown hasn't ended by tomorrow, the debt ceiling won't have been raised either, meaning the U.S. will begin to default on its debts. The ensuing economic collapse would make low-cost child care obsolete as the country spiraled toward a lawless, post-apocalyptic free-for-all.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
holmantx topcommenter


"It was my understanding that there would be no math." From the Saturday Night Live sketch, Presidential Debate in 1976.


Perhaps people should take care of their own families? Too much to ask, right? Ultimately the answer here is simple personal responsibility, but that is obviously well beyond the intellectual, moral, and emotional capacity of more than half of all Americans these days.

Cant name but a handful of scientists, yet I can name Beyonce songs..thanks gentrification, thanks idiocracy, thank you America.


Sad we have billions to send to Israel every year and a bottomless pit of bucks for any needless war, but we can't find a few bucks to help our needy children.  Yet we have plenty to ban abortions or contraception. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Head Start.  The shining star of the Great Society.  It works.  It works wonderfully.  Who, but rancid, rotting right-wing bastards would deny disadvantaged children a boost in life? 

holmantx topcommenter

NOT shutting down the government will cost the Head Start program nationwide.

Financial ruin will ensue if we continue to spend a trillion more than we collect.

I think I'm watching a mutated version of Blazing Saddles, where Cleavon Little takes himself hostage, holding a gun to his own head and backs out the saloon door, where the little old lady  belts out, "I think he'll do it!"

The town has no alternative but to let him go.

As he rides off he thinks, "what a bunch of morons".


It notified the state? Does it seriously think the GOP dominated state government gives a damn about low income kids? There's no money in that, and they've got abortion and creationist textbooks to worry about!

@JackJett all about the profits, kids that don't graduate are that much more likely to end up in prison, thereby ch ching


@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz "Who, but rancid, rotting right-wing bastards would deny disadvantaged children a boost in life"

The people that have concluded that the Head Start 'boost' is mostly ineffective and would rather use the 8b per year for other measures that have resulted in more substantiated outcomes toward improving minority reading and math skills.

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Free cell phones, free big screens, free rent, free food stamps, free healthcare, free carnival cruises...These poor have it too good, did you know there are millionaires and billionaires right now that can't afford their own 200 foot yacht and had to settle for the 100 foot pauper yacht model.  Our rich are hurting folks, they have to buy that 3.5 million painting they've had their eye on.  They need our help.


@holmantx The issue is how much it costs to service debt vs. gdp. As we continue to have high deficit spending our debt service costs increase as well.  We are setting up a house of cards and if it falls we will have a lot more to worry about than Head Start programs.

We don't have to pay off the debt, just end deficit spending and make progress on lowering the debt relative to gdp.

@holmantx we need more trickle down folks, personally I love to hold my head up high and feel the golden shower of trickle down economics fall on my head

RTGolden1 topcommenter

@P1Gunter No money in that???  Have you ever really looked into the headstart program?  The entire program is being overrun by local shysters who have figured out how to game the headstart system.  Bogus enrollments to pad budgets, crony hires, misuse of funds, hell it's almost like Headstart is a training program FOR the GOP!  Headstart is the perfect funnel through which to direct federal tax dollars from our pockets to those of people in the 'right circles'.


@P1Gunter They notified the state (Texas Workforce Commission) as they are required to prior to laying employees off.  This is true for any employer contemplating mass layoffs as opposed to simple employment terminations.

@dingo @P1Gunter 5% of worlds population and 25% of worlds population, governments and the prison industry profit, the poor stay down, the rich get richer. Win - Win - Win



not at all, are kids in head start programs more likely to stay in school or less? Are kids in head start more or less likey to be incarcerated? The Time article makes no mention of this, but you used it to support your opinion.


@ottohansgross @dingoYes, but nonetheless the conclusion is discouraging:

"However, the benefits of access to Head Start at age four are largely absent by 1st grade for the program population as a whole."

And are you really going to dispute the link between educational success and individual economic productivity/probability of incarceration?

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault