$800K Spent On Head Start Conference

Gaylord Resort atrium at night

Gaylord Resort atrium at night

Sequestration didn’t stop the federal Head Start program from holding a conference at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, MD. I was just there for CPAC, it’s quite expensive. According to ABC News, the conference cost almost $800,000, and that doesn’t include airfare and lodging for attendees, so no doubt it cost much more.

Chalk it up to the peculiarities of the sequester. In this case, it’s O.K. to cut classes for kids, but not O.K. to reallocate Training and Technical Assistance funds.

National Harbor is along the Potomac River, just over the border from Washington, D.C.; it offers hotels, restaurants, shopping and a marina. The Office of Head Start held its second annual “National Birth to Five Leadership Institute” conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. Rooms went for $224 per room per night, a rate set by the U.S General Services Administration; according to Kenneth Wolfe, deputy director of Administration for Children & Families’ office of public affairs, the event’s total approved cost was $752,059, not including the cost of the stay, meals and air-fare for the grantees.

The conference included seminars and lectures focused on teaching parents, educators and administrators to use data to improve programs. Head Start’s mission is to help low-income children from birth to age five develop socially and cognitively before they enter the formal education system. (Read More)

You didn’t expect them to let the little old sequester get in the way of planning a cradle to grave nanny state, did you?