TIVERTON — The Head Start program in Tiverton got lucky, for the time being at least.
Sequestration cuts at the federal level will not cause cuts in funding, or a reduction of staff or in children served at the Tiverton Head Start program site of the East Bay Community Action Program (EBCAP) at 1048 Stafford Road in Tiverton.
That’s the word from Dennis Roy, EBCAP Chief Executive Officer in Newport.
Mr. Roy said that sequestration cuts have caused a reduction of $227,000 in EBCAP Head Start funding, that has in turn required a cutback by 58 in the number of children served, a loss of 15 staff positions, and the closure of the Middletown Head Start site.
Mr. Roy said the single class operating in Tiverton has 18 children in it and three teachers, but neither will suffer any reductions at this time.
Mr. Roy said the cuts do mean that “the infrastructure that supports the Head Start program is being decimated.” As a result, an educational coordinator position that provides supervision for teachers is going unfilled, support for supplies is being reduced, and a building has had to be closed.
Mr. Roy said that if Congress cannot agree on a budget for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, the same thing could happen next year, and the effect of sequestration cuts could be more extensive.