Even as a growing body of research attests to the importance of early childhood education as an antidote to poverty, the House is preparing to pass a Republican budget that would slash funding for Head Start, a federally funded program that provides a wide range of services to a million young children living in poverty and their families, the Huffington Post reports. The plan, proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who chairs the House Budget Committee, would eliminate slots for about 200,000 children in 2014, according to an analysis by the National Education Association. Over the next decade, the NEA estimates, more than two million children would lose opportunities to attend Head Start centers as a result of the cuts. As it stands, only 30 percent of eligible children participate in the program, but children’s advocates tend to argue that the program should be expanded, not diminished…

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staff and wire services reports