Portman, Bipartisan Senators Call for Greater Access to Early Childhood Education for Families of Disabled Military Veterans

November 16, 2018 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter to Assistant Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Lynn Johnson, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and a bipartisan group of senators called on HHS to ensure disabled post-9/11 military veterans and their children are able to access high-quality early childhood education through the Head Start program. 

“High-quality early education is a proven strategy for achieving a competitive workforce. It is vital that all children are able to benefit from it, and that we reward veteran families with access to opportunities like the Head Start program,” the senators wrote. 

In the letter, the senators urge HHS to make Head Start available to veterans with a disability rating of 60 percent or above and whose disability payments would otherwise make their families ineligible for consideration. Under current regulations, veteran disability payments are used in Head Start eligibility calculations. 

“By removing barriers to include the children of more veterans, we can help provide these families access to the support they need to succeed in school, work, and life after service,” said the senators in their letter. “For decades we have opened the door to higher education for millions of service members and veterans. It is time we do the same for their children.”   

Joining Senator Portman in signing the letter are U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). 

The full letter can be viewed HERE.

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