Even Start lives
The family literacy program has faced severe cuts in recent years. There used to be 33 Even Start sites across the state, but that number has been reduced to 10 because of a lack of funds. In 2004, the program received $4.9 million in federal funds, but its budget was $1.3 million this year for all 10 state sites, according to regional director Kaye Sharbono. The six sites in north Louisiana are operating on $850,000 this year.
Kostelka has been a proponent of Even Start for years and was pleased he was able to help include money for the program in the state budget.