More than 100 Head Start providers—representing the third such group so far—have been asked to recompete for their federal grants, either because they have significant financial or management problems, monitoring deficiencies, or were in the lowest 10 percent of grantees evaluated under a tool designed to measure the quality of teacher-child interactions.
The competitions are part of an initiative started under the Obama administration to raise the quality of the early-education program, which receives about $8 billion a year and serves about 1 million children and pregnant women in low-income families. Prior to the 2011 creation of the “designation renewal” process, Head Start grantees could maintain their federal funding unless government monitors found major problems in management, finance, or child safety.
The list of providers released this month by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spans 37 states and includes 12 organizations in Texas, eight in Louisiana, and eight in Pennsylvania, including the Philadelphia district.
The first round of competition, which concluded in July, resulted in the breakup of several large “supergrantees” that oversaw other agencies providing direct Head Start services. A second round of competition, which was announced in January 2013, required 122 grantees to recompete for federal funds. The results of the second round have not yet been released.
A version of this article appeared in the February 19, 2014 edition of Education Week as Head Start Providers Must Recompete for Federal Grants