News 12 This Morning/ Wednesday Oct. 9, 2013
(WRDW) -- As the government shutdown continues through a second week, Raleria Smith says she's starting to worry about just how long her daughter's education will last at the Clara E. Jenkins Head Start program.
"She's been here since August when they started," Smith said. "It's working wonderful. She's learning, she's talking more and I love her teachers, they work with her a lot."
Another federal education program under fire is the lunch program, which is offered through the Department of Agriculture.
Officials say the funding for free lunch programs will dry up if the shutdown continues much longer, which would impact every single student in the Richmond County School system who, starting this school year, get their lunch at no cost.
Reports of federal funds drying up continue to trickle down and Smith says she just wants to know how it can affect her daughter and other children in our area.
"I got scared, you know, I was thinking she's going to lose out on education but I prayed about it," she said.
Officials tell me that programs like Head Start and the Free Lunch Program should be safe through the end of the month, but that there's no telling what will have to happen if the government shutdown isn't resolved by November 1st.
But although funding's expected to stay intact through October, Smith says she and other parents are just hoping Congress can come to a decision by that deadline.
"I think they're not being considerate of the young ones that go here. I mean, what would they do if it was there child?" Smith asked. "I know there are a lot of parents besides me who want their children to get that head start."
Two philanthropists donated $10 million to Head Start to reopen programs that were closed because of the shut down, but that money would still only keep things going through the end of the month.
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