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Head Start to lose more seats than expected to the legacy from sequestration

Laramii Wright (left) and Aneka Smith have children in a Head Start program in Boston, but are concerned about the effects of budget cuts on the program.
Laramii Wright (left) and Aneka Smith have children in a Head Start program in Boston, but are concerned about the effects of budget cuts on the program.Credit: Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

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Statewide, 1,359 children — 259 more than earlier estimated — will probably not be in Head Start classrooms when the school year resumes in the fall because of automatic, across-the-board federal spending cuts.

The cuts coming down as a legacy from sequestration will slash much deeply than the federal government originally estimated, with slots for the preschoolers disappearing statewide, classrooms closing, jobs lost, and the school year ending early in some communities.

“You’re going to see seats empty in September,” said Pam Kuechler, executive director of the Massachusetts Head Start Association. “It’s really going to be hurtful to kids.”

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