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Compromise on Head Start Funding Sought

September 02, 1987|JOHN KENDALL | Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles Urban League President John W. Mack said Tuesday that he is "optimistic" that an agreement will be reached with federal officials permitting the league's 15 Head Start programs in East and South-Central Los Angeles to open on time.

But, Roy Fleischer, regional director of the federal Administration for Children, Youth and Families, which oversees Head Start, said Tuesday that the Urban League must comply with regulations requiring Head Start parent councils to share policy decisions with the league's board of directors in order to get federal funds.

The specific issue, according to Mack, is Fleischer's insistence that the Urban League change its personnel policies to require that Head Start parents have prior approval--"And, I underscore prior approval ," he said--in hiring and firing staffers.

Classes Begin Sept. 10

Classes are scheduled to begin Sept. 10, rather than Sept. 1, as reported in Tuesday's Times.

Two league officials, Sandra Carter and Mamye Davies, met with representatives of the Los Angeles County Office of Education, which administers Head Start at the local level, to work out compromise language that they hope will bring the organization into federal compliance.

In defending the Urban League's present policies, Mack said the organization is a multi-service agency with responsibilities that go far beyond the Head Start program.

"Our concern has been an attempt to craft a compromise that can strike a delicate balance between fulfilling the spirit of federal law and doing it in a manner that does not require our board to abrogate its responsibilities," Mack said.

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