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Jacksonville Urban League Loses Federal Funding For Head Start

National Urban League

Federal funding for The Jacksonville Urban League's Head Start and Early Head Start programs has been terminated after the discovery of several health and safety violations. 

Kenneth J. Wolfe, deputy public affairs director for the U.S. Office of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families will formally announce the termination this afternoon outside a now closed Head Start facility on Moncrief Road.

In a release, HHS' Office of Head Start said they found nine health, safety and environmental violations during a review of JUL’s Head Start locations earlier this year.

The organization had 30 days to correct the violations, which officials say included sewage leaks and lead-based paint. During a follow-up inspection last week it was discovered that many of the violations had
not been corrected, resulting in the termination of the grants.

The classrooms will open as planned on September 3 under the administration of Denver, Colo.-based Community Development Institute. The agency has been acting as interim grantee for programs across the country, including Jacksonville. CDI will continue to provide Head Start services to local children while a new permanent grantee is sought. 

The funding opportunity announcement for the Jacksonville Head Start grant is currently open for competitive application and will close on October 22. Interested organizations are being encouraged to apply online through HHS' grants website.

Stay tuned to 89.9 FM and for more information on this story as it becomes available.