Education News

New Program Rules Affect Head Start Funding

New Program Rules Affect Head Start Funding

Many organizations who failed to meet the bar for quality Head Start services must now compete for federal funds according to new federal regulations.

The new regulations were announced last year when 132 out of 1,600 providers of Head Start across the nation failed to meet “quality bar.” The providers cited must now compete for federal grants if they want continued funding.

The federal government said it hopes to weed out poor performing providers, while advocates worry that good programs will be cut because of minor shortcomings.

“It seems this has become as much about punishing programs that have broken some rules as it is about seeking out actual poor-performing programs,” said Barbara S. Haxton, the executive director of the Ohio Head Start Association. “This is a scenario where a single human error can land a very good program on this list.”

The federal government mandates that all Head Start programs use “school-readiness” goals to ensure that children develop literacy, cognitive, motor and social/emotional development skills.

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Providers cited according to state.

Photo Courtesy: Ramin Rahimian for Education Week
Pupils and teachers walk through the neighborhood surrounding the Head Start program at the Congressman George Miller Children’s Center in Richmond, Calif. Though well-regarded, the agency that runs the center must compete for its federal funds this year due to new program rules.