PHSA Press Release USA Today Editorial


CONTACT:    Blair Hyatt
PHSA Executive Director
717-645-0155 or

 Pennsylvania Head Start Association Cites

Extensive Research Showing Effectiveness of Head Start,

Questions journalism and assertions in USA Today Editorial

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Blair Hyatt, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Head Start Association (PHSA), expressed concern that the recent (July 12, 2010) editorial appearing in USA Today fundamentally miss-represents Head Start programs and the need for additional Head Start funding appropriations.  PHSA is dismayed at the lack of substance and facts in the USA Today Editorial and feels that the author over-simplifies many complex issues and thus, unfairly questions the overall effectiveness of Head Start.

“The editorial overlooks the extensive research showing the effectiveness of Head Start and asserts Head Start needs fixing,” (Jo Pepper, PHSA Board member and Head Start Director).

The Pennsylvania Head Start Association welcomes good faith efforts to discuss how Head Start can be improved.  Dialogue needs to be based on solid data and research.  In an effort to show what we believe is a more complete and accurate description of Head Start and the issues raised in the editorial, we have posted rebuttal comments on the USA Today website.  The full rebuttal and other information can be viewed on the PHSA web site in the Head Start in the News section.  We are confident that readers will see the proven positive impact that Head Start has had, and continues to have, on the lives of low-income children and their families if they take time to read and educate themselves about Head Start and the research on Head Start programs.

Every year in Pennsylvania, over 40,000 of the state’s most vulnerable children and their families benefit from participating in a Head Start program.  We are proud of our member programs and the important roll they play in their communities.