For the past 25 years the local Head Start Program has been funded by a Federal Grant commonly known as an evergreen. This means the yearly renewal was automatic.
The grant has been managed (which means spent) by the Economic Opportunity Planning Association (EOPA), the local community action planning agency. The grant has grown to $13.5 million dollars per year. That is a significant amount of ever-greenbacks.
Now, for the first time in 25 years, EOPA is facing something known as re-competition. This means the EOPA leaders have to justify why they should continue to manage the program. In other words, prove they know what they are doing.
You would think that any group that has spent more than $250 million dollars in the past 3 decades would have an incredible track record of success. There should be reams of records on things like 3rd grade reading scores and graduation rates.
You would think so, but that's not what I hear from Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken.
Commissioner Gerken says that level of documentation at EOPA doesn't exist. He says that amounts to a failure to perform.
Well I would like to make an offer to the leaders of EOPA. Come on over to WTOL and do an editorial that justifies why you should remain in charge of a $13.5 million dollar Federal Grant. Just give me a call. Since ultimately the Federal Grant is taxpayer money, I bet a lot of people would like to hear your side.
Copyright 2012 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.
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