From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: 'Republican Head Start Bill Undermines the Aspirations of Hard Working Parents'

July 24, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the Republican Head Start bill passed by the House of Representatives late tonight by a vote of 217 to 216:

"Investing in our children is the best investment we can make. And Head Start is an extraordinarily effective investment.

"Head Start is about more than education. It is about the aspiration of America's children, especially children of working families. There is no doubt that Head Start works -- it involves parents to ensure children get the education, the nutrition, and the medical treatment they need.

"For decades, Head Start has been helping children arrive at school ready to learn. Head Start children do better in vocabulary, early writing, letter recognition and social behavior. They are less likely to need special education services, or repeat a grade, and are more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college.

"It is sad that the majority put forth a partisan bill that dismantles Head Start by eliminating the quality standards that are the foundation of its success. The Republican bill will not strengthen academic standards; instead the bill removes minimum standards on curriculum content, class size, and child-staff ratios. The Republican bill eliminates the comprehensive health, nutritional and social services available to both parents and children through Head Start.

"The bottom line is that the Republican bill undermines opportunity. It undermines the aspirations of hard working parents who want the best for their children. Parents who dream of their children making the honor roll and going to college.

"Head Start is about all Americans having an opportunity to fulfill their dreams. Head Start is about giving every child an opportunity to succeed."



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