Wednesday, Oct 26, 2016
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Interim provider of Head Start in Toledo plans layoffs


Linda Jefferson, the former Toledo Troopers football player, leads her Head Start class in a movement exercise during an afternoon class in March.

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Community Development Institute, the interim-Head Start provider for Toledo, plans to lay off 280 employees on July 31, as a new provider has been awarded a Head Start grant, the company says in a Workforce Adjustment and Retraining Notification notice filed with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and made public today.

While the winner of the Head Start grant has not been announced, it likely is a community collaborative group that‘s led by Toledo Public Schools. The grant is for more than $12 million to run the early childhood education program, which would serve 2,400 children.

The local Head Start program was one of dozens that U.S. Department of Health and Human Services put up for competition in 2011 for the first time. None of the bidders, which included the Economic Opportunity Planning Association of Greater Toledo and TPS, was selected. The U.S. government rebid late last year.

Denver-based CDI had been given the grant on an interim basis while the federal government went through the bid process. With a new entity taking over the program on Aug. 1, CDI will no longer employee them and thus must lay them off.

It’s not clear how many of the 280 employees would be hired by the new grantee. The school district has said it wants Head Start teachers to have at least an early-childhood education degree; many Toledo Head Start teachers do not have such a degree, making them currently ineligible for employment in a TPS-led Head Start program.

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