Bill will Require School Districts to have Formal Agreements with Local Head Start Agencies
Recently, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee worked on the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
In an announcement to stakeholders nationwide, the National Head Start Association (NHSA) enthusiastically reported about a provision that they helped add to the ESEA bill. According the the announcement, NHSA “worked with the committee to add a provision in the bill that requires school districts to have formal agreements with Head Start programs, which Head Start is currently required to do. We were thrilled to have this provision as part of the final agreement!”
Yvette Dobbs, The Gravely Group Head Start Management Expert, gave her take on the new provision.
As we all know, Head Start isn’t just about what happens in the short time that children are enrolled in the program, but is about helping these young students be prepared to enter elementary school with the tools they need to be successful. With formal partnerships spelled out with local school districts, it will make the transition between Head Start and kindergarten much smoother for the children and families, as well as for the schools.
History of ESEA
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who believed that “full educational opportunity” should be “our first national goal.”
ESEA offered new grants to districts serving low-income students, federal grants for text and library books, it created special education centers, and created scholarships for low-income college students. Additionally, the law provided federal grants to state educational agencies to improve the quality of elementary and secondary education.
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Currently, Head Start programs are required to make reasonable efforts to enter into collaborations with the LEA regarding the servicing of children with diagnosed disabilities. This is Head Start reaching out to build that collaboration. It is refreshing to see this act ESEA is requiring the LEA to reach out to Head Start Centers regarding this collaboration. As in many cases the LEA is not that familiar with Head Start programs in their area and will give them (LEA) the opportunity to learn more about Head Start and begin that relationship. Send me your comments. If I said anything that is incorrect please let me know.