By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Parents are upset that the Philadelphia School District plans to privatize more Head Start slots next year.
Philadelphia has 4,400 preschoolers in district-run Head Start locations and 1,800 with private providers.
But Renee Queen Jackson (pictured below), deputy chief of the district’s Office of Early Childhood Education, says without moving more students to private programs, 500 fewer preschoolers would be served next year.
“We cannot continue to provide service for all of our children without some form of restructuring,” says Jackson.
So the district wants to privatize 2,000 more slots, but parent LisMari Torres told the School Reform Commission it is sacrificing quality for quantity.
“These children that have the least deserve the most. They deserve certified teachers and the best education available,” says Torres.
The district says the move is necessary because its federal Head Start funding is being cut in half next year.