WASHINGTON -- Hundreds of parents and teachers gathered outside the Capitol on Wednesday to protest the stoppage of funds to the Head Start program because of the federal government shutdown. The Head Start program, already hit hard by sequester cuts, provides preschool education to low-income children.
A circle of empty, tiny blue chairs stood before the stage, meant to symbolize the empty seats of children turned away from their Head Start sites yesterday. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, hoisted a chair above her head and called it the empty chair of a future astronaut. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who actually taught preschool earlier in her career, compared the shutdown to a fight between children.