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Public Sector Employees are Killing the Economy: Head Start Edition

Lisa Snell
April 1, 2010, 5:19pm

In light of Reason.tv's feature on the cost of pubic sector employees to the rest of us, let's examine how the stimulus is giving existing Head Start teachers raises instead of creating new jobs. 

Reason.tv: 3 Reasons Why Public Sector Employees Are Killing The Economy

As the Atlantic-Journal Constitution reports:

Head Start preschool programs in Georgia and across the country are spending federal economic stimulus dollars on raises for their employees, some as high as 8.5 percent, public records show.

The raises come from $1 billion Congress set aside in the stimulus program last year to improve and expand Head Start, a federal program aimed at getting children from low-income families ready for school. Congress ordered the money to be spent in compliance with the Head Start Act, which requires some of the money to go toward pay increases.

Still, critics say the taxpayer money should not pay for raises, especially in the middle of a recession that has forced millions of people out of work. They also point out that none of the goals of the stimulus program mention raises and instead talk about saving or creating jobs.

And as we have reported previously at Out of Control, the just-released large-scale random assignment study of Head Start confirms once again that the $7 billion a year federal preschool program provides meager benefits to children at huge costs to taxpayers.


Lisa Snell is Director of Education


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