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D.C. deal does little to relieve Hudson Head Start director
Tina Sharpe thought one thing when someone at Congressman Chris Gibson informed her Wednesday morning of a deal to end the government shut-down.
"I'll believe it when I see it," Sharpe says she thought to herself.
Sharpe is Executive Director at Columbia Oppotunities, Inc., thr group that administers Head Start services for children and families in Columbia County. She says it's frustrating when, in her view, the agenda put forth by politicians in Washington is different from that of the people who receive services from the government.
"It's frustrating to be in this line of work and to not feel that your work is valued or that it's felt (to be) important by the greater community," says Sharpe. "We know what a difference we make in our community. We know what a difference we make in the life of a child, in the life of a parent."
Even after learning of the agreement in Washington, Sharpe said her group was still operating under the assumption they would run out of money at the end of October. If the current stop-gap spending plan gets her through a few more months she will still be wondering where the funding for the rest of 2014 will come from.
Tamika Ridley will be wondering, too. She's a mother who says her daughter is getting a lot from the program.
"She's learning, it's a very good program for her to go to school," says Ridley. "It teachers her about knowledge, keeps her out of trouble and everything."
Sharpe says in the event of a loss of funding her agency would not necessarily stop operating immediately. She says she has a close relationship with the National Head Start Association, which recently received a private donation of ten million dollars. Sharpe said that is one avenue she would explore as she continues looking down the road unsure of where the next year's money will come from.