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Thursday, July 18, 2013
Remember that word we were all sick of hearing this spring: sequestration? Remember how fast Congress acted when planes were thrown off schedule because air traffic controllers were furloughed due to cuts? After that, we didn’t hear much more in the media about sequestration.
But the cuts are affecting many programs, especially programs that serve those on the margins of society. Head Start is one. It provides education, health, nutrition, dental, mental health and social services to low-income children and their families.
A group of citizens at my church contacted seven Head Start programs in Southwest Virginia. All were dealing with cutbacks of more than 5 percent. Two were able to keep all students; five removed up to 18 students; one program cut 175. All except one reduced the number of days they serve children and families. All of the programs laid off employees.
Where is the public outcry? Do we care about those on the edges of our society, or do we only care when our schedules are interrupted at the airport? The major religions in the world call for us to take care of those who are poor and needy. Will we do it?
THE REV. SUSAN VERBRUGGE
Blacksburg Presbyterian Church
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