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Federal Budget-Battle Recap

If you're like me and you've had trouble keeping up with the federal budget battle, here's a recap of recent events with a focus on early-childhood money. In late February, House Republicans set off a firestorm among early-childhood advocates by passing a budget proposal for the rest of fiscal year 2011 that would cut $1 billion from Head Start, as well as slash childcare subsidies. Advocates pressured the Senate to come up with a budget that would restore the cuts.

Last Friday the Senate countered with a budget proposal that would give the program a slight increase, to $7.4 billion, up from $7.2 billion in fiscal 2010.

Meanwhile, President Obama signed legislation to keep the government running until March 18, giving lawmakers time to hammer out a budget for the rest of the current fiscal year. The stopgap measure slashes early-literacy efforts: Striving Readers, Even Start and Reading Is Fundamental, for example.

Stay tuned.

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