Newly released numbers from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tell a bittersweet story: Federal sequestration spending cuts had a smaller impact on Maryland's Head Start early childhood education program than expected, but they still hurt.
The state lost funding for about 460 spots in Head Start centers this year, representing 3.6 percent of the 12,700 children served. In Baltimore, that equals 122 positions out of 3,400.
In March, U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, estimated that up to 900 Head Start spots would be trimmed here because of sequestration cuts.
"Multiple studies show that the Head Start program has been one of our nation’s biggest successes in preparing young children for school and later achievement,” Cardin said at the time. “These cuts to Head Start will deprive low-income children of a structured learning environment and hurt working parents who want the best for their children."
Nationwide, more than 57,000 positions were lost, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.