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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- The Head Start program that provides preschool services in four northern Arizona counties is reducing its staff and making other cutbacks in response to federal budget cuts.

The program that serves Apache, Coconino, Navajo and Yavapai counties has eliminated approximately 100 spots for children as it lays off 17 teachers and other workers.

The Northern Arizona Council of Governments had 1,621 preschoolers and 193 infants and toddlers enrolled in Head Start in Apache, Coconino, Navajo and Yavapai counties as of this spring.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports that the cuts took effect May 20 as a result of a funding reduction of nearly $800,000.

Service reductions include shortening the school year by five days.

Associated Press,

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