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High-Profile Head Start Center in the District Loses Federal Funding

The Edward C. Mazique Parent Child Center has been a backdrop for political news conferences and a destination for foreign dignitaries. Now it’s among the first in the Washington region to lose its Head Start grant.

Head Start, which costs about $8 billion a year and serves a million children and families nationwide, has been under pressure to improve quality amid reports of fiscal mismanagement and questionable academic outcomes.

Reforms reflect shifting political priorities for Head Start, from the anti-poverty program that began in the 1960s to an increasingly education-oriented program aimed at reducing the achievement gap between students from rich and poor families.