Jacksonville Urban League

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis Transition Team

African Americans are 1.4 times as likely to contract the coronavirus as their white counterparts, and 2.8 times as likely to die from it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But despite this, Blacks are being vaccinated at lower rates than whites. A recent decision by Governor Ron DeSantis to increase the number of vaccine sites at Publix pharmacies might further that disparity.

Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center

The Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center recently released its latest three year data trends report, "See the Change: Girls' Juvenile Justice Trends on the First Coast."

The report is a significant look at juvenile justice in this area, especially when it comes to the unfair way the system often treats teenage girls.

We discuss the latest trends with Lawanda Ravoira, president and CEO of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, and Vanessa Patino, vice president of research and planning.  

Jacksonville Urban League

The Florida Health Department is hosting town hall meetings across Northeast Florida this month to give residents a chance to discuss healthcare issues.

The information gathered at these meetings is part of the Community Health Needs Assessment the state conducts every three years.

Duval County Health Department spokesman Charles Griggs says the assessment allows hospitals to improve strategic planning specific to their region.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

After 17 years, the Jacksonville Urban League will no longer run the city's Head Start program.

The director of Head Start will be in Jacksonville tomorrow to meet with parents and answer their questions. The program is an early education initiative aimed at promoting school readiness for children from low-income families.

Jacksonville’s Head Start program will begin the day after Labor Day with one-third fewer centers than last year. 

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.

New information details "deplorable conditions" at Jacksonville’s Head Start facilities, showing that the problems facing the Jacksonville Urban League may be more extensive than first thought.

A letter from Jeffrey Fredericks, Regional Program Manager of Head Start, sent three weeks ago to the Jacksonville Urban League and obtained by WJCT this week, explains the series of events that caused the Federal government to suspend JUL's contract suddenly this April and later uphold that suspension.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

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 Florida Senate

The decision by an outside management company to shut down local Head Start programs this Friday has parents of nearly 1,500 kids scrambling to make other childcare arrangements.

 

State Senator Audrey Gibson says that company, Denver-based Community Development Institute, should not end the school year early. Gibson says she met with local and national Urban League representatives and local ministers about her concern for parents, who expected the program to run through the first week of June and found out yesterday that Friday, May 17th will be the last day for many kids.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

Denver, Colorado-based Community Development Institute today took over the day-to-day management of Jacksonville's Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

The programs had been run by the Jacksonville Urban League until yesterday, when the federal Office of Head Start suspended the organization for a minimum of thirty days citing a pattern of safety violations at some of the child-development centers.

Tuesday, the Federal Government suspended the Jacksonville Urban League's management of Head Start and Early Head Start programs, citing potential health and safety risks for children and staff.

The decision came after Florida Department of Children and Families Northeast Regional Director David J. Abramowitz sent a letter to Urban League president Richard Danford, detailing a "consistent pattern of licensing violations indicating a disregard for the wellbeing of the children the facilities are to serve."