Newark Preschool Council files lawsuit over Head Start funding

By Naomi Nix/The Star-Ledger
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on June 04, 2014

NEWARK — The Newark Preschool Council is suing the the federal government after it was denied funding to continue its Head Start program.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court, alleges U.S. Department of Health and Human Services failed to properly evaluate its application for funding after June 30, 2014.

The council was awarded its first Head Start Grant in 1965, and was automatically renewed for a grant for 32 years between 1982 and 2014, the lawsuit alleges.

But in 2012, the Newark Preschool Council received a "deficiency notice" from the department saying the council did not have a procedure in place to monitor the operations of its collaboration partners, the lawsuit said.

The next year, the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the Department of Heath and Human Services told The Newark Preschool Council that it had adequately corrected the deficiency, according to the lawsuit.

That deficiency automatically disqualified the school from a five-year grant, even though it had been corrected. The deficiency forced the Newark Preschool Council to re-compete for Head Start grant funding to finance operations beyond June 2014, the lawsuit said.

The Newark Preschool alleges that The Administration for Children and Families did not follow proper protocol when it evaluated the council's application, according to the lawsuit.

The Health and Human Services Department told the council it would send representatives from the Community Development Institute to the council to close its Head Start and Early Head Start operations by June 30, 2014, the lawsuit contends.

Representatives from the Newark Preschool Council and the Administration for Children and Families could not immediately be reached for comment.

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment