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Donors pledge up to $10 million to help Head Start

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October 7, 2013 09:06 PM EST | AP


ATLANTA — ATLANTA (AP) — The National Head Start Association says a pledge of up to $10 million from two Houston philanthropists will help keep Head Start programs running during the federal government shutdown.

The association said it welcomed the pledge by Laura and John Arnold, adding it will help serve more than 7,000 at-risk children while the shutdown continues.

Laura Arnold is an ex-oil company executive and John Arnold is an investor. They chair The Arnold Foundation, a philanthropic organization established in 2008.

The association says Head Start programs in Georgia, Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, South Carolina and Missouri were closed at the end of the shutdown's first week.

National Head Start Association Executive Director Yasmina Vinci called the donation selfless, but urged elected officials to find a permanent fiscal solution to protect the program.