The Office of Head Start has quietly released the names of 114 grantees that will be awarded Head Start funds after a second batch of low-performing providers were required to recompete for their federal money.
Head Start, funded at about $8 billion in fiscal 2014, serves about 1 million infants, toddlers, young children, and pregnant women in low-income families.
The 2007 reauthorization of Head Start required that low-performing grantees go through a competition process in order to maintain funding. Previously, Head Start programs were funded indefinitely, as long as they did not have serious financial or health and safety problems.
Under the new process, programs were to be evaluated on such items as deficiencies noted in monitoring reviews, and scores on a classroom monitoring tool that measures the quality of teacher-child interactions. The final results from the first cohort of grantees asked to compete were released a year ago, on July 2013.
In this second round, 122 low-performing grantees were asked to compete. (Note, however, that in the first round, the Office of Head Start made some changes after announcing which programs would be required to compete, so it’s possible that fewer than 122 actually went through the entire process this second time around.)
Many of the grantees on the latest “winners” list, released July 24, appear to be the same organizations that were asked to compete, indicating that they were successfully able to defend their grants. But not all programs were able to hold on—this May 30 story from KTXS in Abilene, Texas says that more than 100 people were expected to lose their jobs after Central Texas Opportunities in Coleman lost its Head Start grant after 49 years. That area will now be served by Education Service Center Region 14, according to the new grantee list.
The number of new grantees in this latest batch that have not previously provided Head Start services is unclear. Many large grantees subcontract their work to delegate agencies, and in the first round of competition, some of those delegate agencies chose to apply for direct federal funding. Though the delegate agencies were new to handling federal funding directly, they were not new to Head Start entirely. Part of the competition process is meant to encourage new providers to join Head Start.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Early Years blog.