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PNS Daily Newscast - August 7, 2020 

The State Attorney of NY moves to dissolve the NRA; an update on the potential wave of pandemic evictions.

2020Talks - August 6, 2020 

Iowa's governor has restored the right to vote for people with past felony convictions via executive order; and Tennessee has a primary election today.

Idaho’s Smallest Citizens Recognized in Congressional Recovery Plan

February 2, 2009

Coeur d'Alene, ID – At least $2 billion for A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s - that's how much money is in President Obama's economic recovery package for Head Start programs that serve Idaho's youngest citizens. The proposal is now before the U.S. House, and the Senate version includes additional money for early childhood education programs beyond Head Start..

Idaho's share of this money would be very welcome, North Idaho College Head Start director Doug Fagerness says, because low-income families served by Head Start are being hit hard by the recession.

"We're seeing increased evictions in our families: In our one program, we're currently serving 40 homeless families. We expect that's only going to increase."

Fagerness says the funding also would mean more jobs, as teaching staff is added.

Opponents of the recovery package say it costs too much, with a price tag close to $1 trillion. Others critics, who would prefer to see more tax cuts, say the package could spark inflation, which would hurt families further.

According to Fagerness, the economic recovery package would help make up for lost ground in early childhood development due to scaled-back federal funding over the past few years. He says only two percent of the Idaho children eligible for Early Head Start (a program for ages zero to three) are being served, and only 15 percent of the three- to five-year-olds eligible for Head Start have been able to enroll.

"In our program, North Idaho College Head Start, we have waiting lists that exceed the number of slots we have in the program."

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - ID