Funding Fears

The Housing Authority's Learning Center in Bowling Green has learned that part of it's funding has been cut.

Now administrators are looking for ways to continue their programs into the fall.

Donna Workman, the Education Director, says in the past the Bowling Green Housing Authority has been able to use 20 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for education and elderly programs.

She says that 20 percent has now been cut to 10, so there's not enough funding to keep the program at the level it is now.

Now she's worried the 300 students the center works with now will have to be cut in half.

Donna says: "We are just unable to house, feed, teach, and care for that many children, we have to cut staff and we're going to have to cut children."

Donna Workman says HUD has made funding cuts to Housing Authorities across the nation. She says in Bowling Green, The Learning Center's budget has been cut by 100 thousand dollars.

Donna says: "When we open in the fall, we'll be looking at the bare essentials with a limited number of students and a limited number of staff we'll be able to pay."

Due to the cuts three out of five learning centers in Bowling Green will close in the fall.

Donna says the Learning Center offers students from kindergarten all the way to high school extra educational opportunities. She says: "Everyday there is some academic work that is not just school related, but is emphasis, enrichment, remedial, depending on what the kids need."

Besides educational opportunities, Donna says the center offers emotional support. She says: "We offer them a place where they are cared for and loved from the time that they walk in to the time they leave. It's a safe haven."

Now those with the learning center are trying to figure out how many students they'll be able to serve when the school year begins.

She says: "If we have to limit, we will have to serve our residents first then we're going to include as many of the other kids as our funding will allow us to do."

The center currently has a earmarked funds from U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and Western Kentucky University, but that funding will end in October.

Donna says the learning center has applied for other grants and it's still waiting to hear if it will receive those.

For more information about the Bowling Green Housing Authority and the Learning Center you can log onto http://www.habg.org.


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