Rhonda Reynolds was paying bills in downtown Pratt, Kan., on a hot and sunny mid-June afternoon when the second call came from her daughter’s Head Start teachers.
Reynolds, 48 years old with shoulder-length blonde hair and a reassuring smile, jumped into her Ford Taurus and drove several miles home. It was 2:30 p.m. Just one hour earlier, those teachers, April and Misty, had told her they wanted to chat. Now they had called back, asking to meet in person and soon.
Reynolds pulled up to her one-story home. Minutes later, April and Misty arrived. They declined a drink of water. April went to use the bathroom while Misty took a seat on one of the two living room couches. Reynolds nervously sat on the other.
“What’s going on?” she asked. “Is it bad?”
“They did away with the Head Start program,” Misty replied, her head bent low.
April came out of the bathroom and sat next to Misty. For the next 20 minutes, the three of them cried.
In all, 14 children in Pratt, a town with a population just under 7,000, were dropped from Head Start, the federally funded education program for lower-income families. Reynolds’ 4-year-old daughter, Bella, who had learned numbers and words, manners and social skills during her time in the program this past year, was among them — another casualty of the budget cuts brought about by sequestration.
Source: The Huffington Post