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Published: Friday, 2/10/2012

Meeting with multiple participants yields talk, no decisions on future of Head Start grant

BLADE STAFF

Participants in a meeting about Toledo’s Head Start grant Friday morning said while no specific agreements were reached, the gathering was nevertheless a productive one.

Toledo Mayor Mike Bell, United Way of Greater Toledo President Bill Kitson; Toledo Community Foundation President Keith Burwell; and University of Toledo President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs were all participants, along with officials from the Toledo Public Schools and the Economic Opportunity Planning Association of Greater Toledo, which administers the Head Start program locally. EOPA was recently notified it must compete with other agencies if it wants to keep receiving $13 million in federal funding for the program.

The Toledo Board of Education last month unanimously directed Superintendent Jerome Pecko to research the district’s capacity to take over the program and it is believed that other nonprofit and even for-profit groups might be interested.

EOPA’s Executive Director, James Powell, declined to comment after the meeting.

“All we want to do is make sure we do the best for our kids,” Mayor Bell said.



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