Head Start programs are highly concentrated in low-income and rural areas of Georgia, providing vital access to early education and supporting at least $71 million in total economic output there, according to a new study by Georgia State University’s Center for State and Local Finance.
The analysis found that in many rural, low-income Georgia counties, more than half of centers serving 3- and 4-year-olds receive Head Start funds, and that some of the highest amounts of per-child funding also are in these same rural areas of the state.
Nicholas Warner, who specializes in education finance for the Center for State and Local Finance, authored the report, analyzing impact across the 16 regional education service areas, or RESAs, as defined by the Georgia Department of Education.
Four regions with low median incomes — Oconee, Chattahoochee-Flint, Southwest Georgia and Heart of Georgia — received more than $540 dollars per child under the age of 5 in 2015. Together, these four areas received $47 million in direct Head Start funding, which supported $71 million in total economic output.
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