Tensions high at Thursday’s Head Start meeting as both teachers and parents demand answers on the future of the program and what it means for their children.
This after the federal government determined they would not receive grant money because some deficiencies had not been addressed.
Leaders from the Ouachita Multi-Purpose Community Action Program (OMCAP) gathered Thursday night in Monroe to address some concerns.
Still, one veteran teachers feels like she learned nothing new.
“It wasn’t anything, you know, no definite answers, no nothing, so we feel like it was a waste-I do personally., because no questions were answered.”, explains Yolanda Williams, a 17 year teacher at Head Start.
“We cannot guarantee them employment, we cannot guarantee the number of kids that will be served, except that they will have the authority to serve 555 kids.”, says Larry Jefferson, Chairperson for OMCAP.
Jefferson adds Prime-Time Inc, who just received the grant from the federal government, will now take over the program’s operation.
The organization has agreed to allow the nearly 300 students already enrolled in the program to keep their spots.
“According to the information provided to us, they will be accepted because they were already in the head start program.”, explains Jefferson.
But now those waiting to begin the program are left in limbo.
“It’s a mess. I have to get up-everybody got jobs, we set everything around, okay, our child is going to be going to Head Start September the 6th, then all of the sudden, a week before school, nowhere to go.”, says Cattina Lawson, a concerned parent.
Lawson says she just wants the best for her child.
“It’s a good program, but she needs to be challenged and you just have to find somewhere that’s convenient and you don’t want convenience for your child, you want quality education.”, says Lawson.
There’s no word yet on when the Head Start program is expected to get underway this fall.