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MoveOn.org launched an aggressive anti-Republican campaign this week, charging that the GOP has declared war on women. While a lot of the attacks are related to state-level abortion bills, they list a series of other Republican policies they claim hurt women and their families. 

I’ll start by addressing one of them head on:

And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same

program, Head Start, by $1 billion. That means over 200,000 kids could

lose their spots in preschool.

It’s true the GOP proposes making significant cuts to a range of federal education programs, including the subsidized pre-school program Head Start. But perhaps MoveOn should be asking why Congress would suggest these cuts. (I should mention upfront that nowhere in the Constitution does it authorize the federal government to oversee education — but I suppose that’s neither here nor there at this point.)

What’s more important, however, is that the Department of Health and Human Services released a report – after a long delay – of the effects of its own Head Start program on academic performance. (See what I wrote here.) Not surprisingly, they found almost all academic effects disappear by the end of 1st grade! And if you look carefully, there is almost no significant impact on any of the measures even by age 4 – one year after the program ends. Considering Congress has spent more than $100 billion on the program since its inception in 1965, it sounds like maybe it’s time to scale it back.

What’s more disappointing than Congress’s decision to cut funding to Head Start, is its previous decision to cut funding to a program that actually improved student performance – the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, which cost only a ¼ as much per student ($6,600) as DC spends per student on public education ($28,000).