05/23/13 Parents with children involved in the Head Start Program at Marshall Starke were notified earlier this month by letter that transportation will be severely impacted due to the budget sequester.
Mike Lintner, President of the Marshall Starke Development Center said they were notified by the federal director of the need to cut more than five percent of their budget. He said, “We took a hard look at where the best places to make those cuts were.” Not wanting to affect the programs offered nor the number of students being served it was determined that transportation would be the best.
Beginning next September, three, four, and five year olds who live within a 10 mile radius of the centers; Plymouth, Culver, Knox & North Judson will need to provide their own transportation to the Head Start Programs. Those living in Argos, Bremen, Walkerton, and Grovertown will qualify for transportation services, which are not mandated by the federal program. Lintner said currently 182 kids are served in the morning and afternoon class offerings.
Cutting transportation will cut approximately $200,000 from the Head Start Program through transportation expenses including the termination of eight staff members. Lintner said, “We won’t ever do transportation again.” Explaining himself he said, “The grant money for purchasing buses dried up three years ago. This budget cut has just pushed us to move on it faster.”
I notifying the national organization Lintner said they were pleased with their response of reducing the transportation budget. Many of the Head Start Programs reduced costs associated with the program itself and some even used a lottery to determine which children would be involved.