FLINT TWP. — Carman-Ainsworth has a head start on changes the federal government has mandated to improve accountability in Head Start preschool programs nationwide.
Audits and investigations across the nation in recent years have turned up numerous instances of fraud and fund mismanagement in Detroit and several other Head Start grantees. That has stipulated closer oversight of policies and procedures for the $8-billion a year Head Start program.
In compliance with the new rules, at its meeting last week the C-A Board of Education approved several administrative provisions as well as a first reading of a policy on fiscal management to be adopted at the next board meeting.
Those new measures included procedures for recruitment, selection and enrollment in the program, procedures for selection of Policy Council Members, a request to the Region V Office of Head Start for a 60-day extension to correct areas of noncompliance and approval of financial reporting on a monthly basis that is specific to Head Start and to Early Head Start. The pending fiscal management policy spells out procedures for depositing funds, investments and petty cash account controls.
These polices and procedures adopted or affirmed by the School Board were. in almost every instance, already in place, C-A Superintendent Bill Haley said.
“…The Head Start administration (a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) is interested in tightening accountability nationwide, and as one first systemic step they are asking all local governing entities, like our
Board, to formally affirm our commitment and intention to comply with these practices,” he said.
Resolutions the board passed last week primarily address business practices sand administrative procedures but have nothing to do with Head Start program instruction or interaction of students and families, he said. — Rhonda S. Sanders