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The Hidden History of Head Start$
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Edward Zigler and Sally J. Styfco

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195393767

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393767.001.0001

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Ronald Reagan “Saves” Head Start

Ronald Reagan “Saves” Head Start

(p.223) Chapter 9 Ronald Reagan “Saves” Head Start
The Hidden History of Head Start

Edward Zigler

Sally J. Styfco

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the status of the Head Start program under the Reagan administration. Reagan's conservative views, his disdain for social programs, and his voiced desire for a smaller federal government signaled that Head Start was in for a difficult period. The greatest fear advocates had was that the new administration would block-grant the program to the states, essentially ending the Head Start that its advocates knew and had worked so hard to improve and grow. Remember too that Reagan, like Carter, was a former governor. Since the inception of Head Start the governors have been troubled by the fact that large amounts of federal money for the program come into their states, and they have no control over where and how this money was spent. This gave Reagan even more reason to want to block-grant Head Start. Thus, at the outset of the Reagan administration, the goal of Head Start advocates was simply to maintain Head Start as a federal program run out of Washington.

Keywords:   poor children, pre-school children, intervention programs, education programs, Head Start, education policy

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