Hi everyone we wanted to update you on the state funding issue with Head Start & Early Head Start – Thrivalaska along with 18 other HS Directors from around the State, the Deputy DEED Commissioner, Paul Pressing and Anji Gallanos from DEED, just finished a teleconference about the new Head Start application. The Commissioner was traveling today and unable to attend. After consideration of the letter from the Alaska Head Start Association, letters from various Head Start agencies and Boards around the State, meetings and feedback they have determined to delay the process for one year! They do not intend to change this application, so they will still defund Early Head Start and include School Districts – however AHSA has requested meetings with DEED to review the application – we would like to see changes. The two largest concerns are still defunding EHS and allowing school districts to apply with no federal or state oversight.
Thank you EVERYONE for your words of encouragement, your help advocating, news coverage, writing letters and reaching out to legislators!
We need to continue to advocate for continuous funding for EHS and eliminating school districts from the new application. We still have much work ahead of us.
A few noteworthy comments from Sana Efird – Deputy DEED Commissioner were: The department is committed to trying to determine the full continuum of services and leverage funds available from other state departments and agencies. We are looking for other resources to serve all children. The department will include HS in conversations going forward – we want to be good partners.