ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Alaska’s Head Start early childhood education program is preparing to close pre-K classrooms and cut jobs due to budget vetoes.

The Anchorage Daily News reported the program has lost its $6.8 million in state funding, which is used to unlock federal funds.

Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy last month vetoed line items equaling $444 million in cuts to the state operating budget.

The federal program is Alaska’s largest provider of early childhood services, offering free pre-K, meals, medical care and other services to low-income children up to age 5.

Alaska Head Start officials say they are trying to quickly cut spending and take other measures before the school year begins in late August and early September.

Officials say they hope state legislators reverse the budget veto to the program.

Information from: Anchorage Daily News,