Head Start grant sought locally

TPS board to OK bid application with other agencies


The Toledo Board of Education will hold a special meeting at 7:30 a.m. today to give district administrators permission to submit a joint bid with other community agencies for the local Head Start grant.

For decades, the federally funded program was administered by the Economic Opportunity Planning Association of Greater Toledo. The $13 million grant was one of dozens the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initially put up for competition in 2011, but none of the bids, including those from EOPA and Toledo Public Schools, was selected.

A Denver firm took over the program in Lucas County on July 1 and will run Head Start until HHS selects a new grant winner in a fresh competition announced earlier this year.

Several community leaders had advocated for a collaborative bid to bring the grant back under local control, combining the efforts of numerous Toledo agencies. The effort to combine forces was led by the Toledo Community Foundation.

Representatives have met over recent weeks to develop a format for a bid; that format appears to have been developed.

Under the arrangement, described in a TPS resolution, TPS would be the lead agency, and delegate agencies would be Lucas County Family Council and WSOS community action agency, which administers Head Start and Early Head Start in Wood, Sandusky, Seneca, and Ottawa counties.

The federal government announced in late August that Toledo would be part of a national pilot initiative, expanding its local Head Start program to offer services for children from birth through age 5. That announcement also extended the deadline to apply for the grant.

— Nolan Rosenkrans