Judge restores $7.3M for Navajo Nation's Head Start program

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — A federal court has restored $7.3 million to the Navajo Nation for its Head Start program.

The ruling March 27 came in a lawsuit the tribe filed alleging it was denied an opportunity to appeal a cut in federal grant funding.

The tribe has received about $23 million annually in recent years for its Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

But the U.S. Health and Human Services Department cut the amount to under $16 million because of chronic under-enrollment.

U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled March 27 that the agency cannot reduce funding without giving the tribe a chance to appeal and a full hearing. She restored the funding that had been cut.

Messages left late March 27 with the Health and Human Services Department were not immediately returned.

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