On June 19, 2007, the U.S. Senate approved its version of the Head Start for School Readiness Act. This bill reauthorizes the Head Start Act and expands access to the Head Start program through increased appropriation levels. This program, which provides assistance to low-income children and families, has been an important part of America’s effort to promote school readiness and ensure that all Americans are able to receive the education that they deserve.
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate are negotiating the details of their proposals and a compromise bill should emerge soon for the president to sign. The Senate bill differs from the House passed version with respect to loan forgiveness. The House version, which passed on May 2, 2007, provides professionals with a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education up to $10,000 in loan forgiveness if they work for a Head Start program for three consecutive years. The Senate version does not contain this provision, nor does it specify that social workers can benefit from the loan forgiveness program.
Please call your Representative and Senator today at (202) 224 – 3121 and urge them to include loan forgiveness for social workers in the conference agreement and inform them of the important role that social workers have in supporting children and families in the Head Start Program.