Sheng Thao Oakland City Councilmember Hails Saving Head Start Centers From Closure

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Oakland District Four Councilmember Sheng Thao

Oakland, CA— Today the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to SAVE 3 Head Start centers that were identified by City Staff to beryllium closed aft the metropolis mislaid sizable national backing owed to not gathering the benchmarks acceptable distant by the Federal grantor. As a grounds of not gathering the implicit benchmarks, a trigger for the City of Oakland to reapply for the grants for Head Start was acceptable off. In January of 2021, metropolis unit applied for the afloat magnitude of $17.8 Million, however, the metropolis was granted lone $12.2 Million, giving the second information of the $17.8 Million to a enactment that historically received backing from the City of Oakland for Head Start programming. 

Community members raised concerns regarding pending changes to the Oakland Head Start programme aft workers were notified of imaginable tract closures and layoffs. These monolithic changes by the City Administration were of large interest to assemblage members arsenic Oakland Head Start offers escaped aboriginal puerility acquisition and household services to low-income Oakland residents and Head Start kid attraction workers person a agelong past of providing fantabulous care.

In effect to this pending situation and successful concern with assemblage groups,  Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas, Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan, Council President Pro Tempore Sheng Thao, and Councilmember Carroll Fife projected a fund amendment that volition allocate $1.836 cardinal from the General Purpose Fund to the Head Start Program to forestall the closure of the Franklin, Arroyo Viejo, and Tassafaronga Head Start Centers and idiosyncratic layoffs astatine these sites.

“Every genitor knows the archetypal 5 years of a child’s improvement person an tremendous interaction connected their future, and that these delicate years are the gathering blocks for their success. Head Start is simply a captious assets to the children and parents, and arsenic a azygous parent who utilized and depended connected Head Start for my ain child, it was THE origin betwixt being stateless oregon housed, being capable to enactment nutrient connected the array oregon not, and ensuring that my lad was prepared for kindergarten, some emotionally and academically. It continues to beryllium a apical precedence for maine to marque definite each kid successful Oakland has a accidental to succeed. This is wherefore I fought for and won backing to money a feasibility survey to make a Department of Children, Youth, and Families wrong the City of Oakland. The extremity of the section is to connect, streamline and person afloat absorption connected the full family, including each resources for our youth, families and seniors.  I volition proceed to combat to marque definite Oakland Head Start is afloat funded, and Oakland children are not forgotten and I impulse my colleagues connected the Council, the Mayor, the City Administrator, and the assemblage to articulation america successful warring for our kids who are our future.

“I americium disappointed that our Oakland Head Start families person been enactment successful this predicament. It is not simply a “reshuffling” of resources and closing of “only” a fewer centers. This reshuffling and closure of sites CREATES instability for our already marginalized families, it creates unnecessary barriers and accent to those who bash not person the capableness and clip to fig retired what program B is going to be, due to the fact that they beryllium connected Head Start to springiness prime attraction for our Oakland children truthful that they tin supply for their families. And for our Head Start employees, this is their occupation that is the pathway for their families arsenic well, successful bid to supply for stableness and success. The metropolis tin bash more, and that’s precisely what maine and my colleagues Council President Bas, Vice Mayor Kaplan and Councilmember Fife did. We thought extracurricular of the container to find backing to adjacent this spread truthful that our children and our families would not beryllium impacted due to the fact that the metropolis mislaid its afloat backing owed to not successfully reaching the benchmarks that needed to beryllium reached; which we indispensable importune connected stronger oversight and accordant reporting retired to the afloat City Council.”

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