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Who Will Run Jacksonville's Head Start Program Next Year?

Cyd Hoskinson

While the wrangling continues over how to keep Jacksonville’s Head Start Centers open past this Friday, one question has yet to be answered: who will run the programs next year?

One possibility is the Duval County Public Schools.

When the Urban League was removed as the administrator of the Jacksonville Head Start Program, Duval County School Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti expressed an interest in applying for a federal grant to run some, if not all, of the Head Start Centers.

The number, he says, will depend on whether or not the school system can find a partner.

"What our advantage is, we have the facilities but not necessarily the technical background in running Head Start and so there might be an opportunity to partner with organizations that are currently running Head Start programs," says Vitti.

In the meantime, Vitti says he’ll wait to hear from federal regulators as to exactly what the application process will entail. 

The head of the Urban League has said in the past that the organization may reapply for the $15 million grant to run the head start program. Episcopal Children’s Services has also expressed an interest.  

Cyd Hoskinson began working at WJCT on Valentine’s Day 2011.