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Friday February 5th, 2016 5:22PM

Private loan means Head Start back open Tuesday

By Staff
GAINESVILLE - The Head Start programs administered by Ninth District Opportunity in north Georgia will go back online Tuesday morning.

Kay Laws, the Head Start Director for Ninth District, said the money to operate through the end of October comes through a loan to the National Head Start Association.

"I have been working with the National Head Start Association over the weekend to try to make this come to fruition," Laws said.

Philanthropists John and Laura Arnold offered a $10 million no-interest loan to get the federally funded preschool program back up and running in six states, including Georgia.

"We're elated. It's just a tremendous gift. We hope one day that we'll be able to thank the Arnolds personally," Laws said.

The programs were forced to close Monday as their grant year coincides with the federal government's fiscal year. The federal government, of course, is on week two of a partial shutdown.

"This situation was just terrible for our parents and our staff. The uncertainty has made it even worse, so this is just great news for everybody ," Laws said.

She's hoping for a solution to the congressional standoff over the budget before the private money runs out.

"We're hoping by that time, there will be some resolution in Washington (D.C.), and we will have our regular funding. This is not a sustainable model to keep our program operational, but it does buy us a few weeks," Laws said.
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