Grant Changes for Head Start Eliminate Dozens of Madison County Jobs

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Head Start is a program committed to eliminating the causes and consequences of poverty. But funding changes for the non-profit parent company Community Action Partnership will leave dozens of people in Madison and Limestone Counties without a job. More specifically, an estimated 80 to 100 positions.

When the grant for Head Start of Huntsville, Madison and Limestone Counties came up for re-compete, the funds were awarded to their counterparts in with the Community Action Partnership of North Alabama operating out of Decatur. But Community Action Partnership leaders say despite the cut in positions, the programs and the kids and families who benefit from them will not be affected.

Recently Head Start offices took the opportunity to improve quality of service by reevaluating programs, in turn causing some agencies to re-write for their own grants.

“The Huntsville, Madison, Limestone grant became competed,” says Community Action Partnership of North Alabama CEO Michael Tubbs, “We wrote for that grant like a lot of other agencies may have written for it, we were told that we were preliminary awardees which meant that we were then selected to begin a process of assuming responsibility for that grant.”

As of July 1, says Tubbs, the current grantee in Huntsville, Madison and Limestone Counties will no longer be the parent company of the grant. A loss of more than $4 million in funding, says Tubbs, means jobs will be cut.

“That means that we’ll have to run that program and we expect to be able to do that starting with the new school year.”

Tubbs say, though, the programs in Madison and Limestone Counties and the children they serve will not suffer.

“Children and families in the Head Start area of Huntsville, Madison, Limestone are going to be served, that’s our primary expectation–if the current grantee had that grant that’s what they would do too,” says Tubbs.

In addition to the 1,700 kids in 12 counties Head Start of North Alabama serves, Tubbs and his staff will now take on 2 new counties.

“we are going to meet the Head Start organization’s standards and we think we can do that very well,” Tubbs concluded.

Tubbs says to help manage the newly awarded grant on the ground and in the trenches, the Community Action Partnership of North Alabama is already interviewing teachers and support personnel for the positions they now need to fill.

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