JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Urban League has been effectively fired from running the local Head Start and Early Head Start programs.
The National Division Director of Head Start said there have been several violations reported at facilities all across the city.
"There were a number of violations found at several locations," said Shawna Pinckney. "Including lead paint, splintering hazards and exposed play areas."
Pickney said Head Start had no choice but to terminate the Jacksonville Urban League's grants. During a review of the local Head Start locations in the Spring of 2013, there were nine health and safety violations.
The Jacksonville Urban League had 30 days to fix the issues, and Pinckney said the problems were not corrected. As a result ,seven centers will not open up this school year. But she said the 1,716 parents served in Jacksonville need not worry. Fourteen centers around town will reopen come September 3, and all of the students will be placed.
The interim Head Start grantee is now the Community Development Institute. So after 17 years of service, the Jacksonville Urban League will have to step down.
Thursday night at 6 p.m., Pinckney along with other department heads, will meet with parents at the Hyatt Regency for a reception.
There, they'll answer any questions and concerns parents may have.
First Coast News