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However, another factor plagued the Navajo Head Start. The federal government threatened to cut Navajo Head Start's funding in half from $27 million a year to just below $15 million a year. Then came the news of the program being possibly terminated due to non-compliance in correcting issues.
“I had to use my political connections to meet with high ranking federal officials to keep the program afloat,”
President Shelly said.
President Shelly met with US Senators and Representatives and told them that Head Start didn't consult with the Navajo Nation on a government to government basis. This consultation is required considering that the Navajo Nation has unique differences from other large programs across the United States.”The Navajo Nation has very little infrastructure and very minimal health resources,”
said President Shelly. All of these issues affect the Navajo Head Start program.
The Office of Head Start Director Yvette Sanchez-Fuentes conducted a sight visit in December and agreed to allow the Navajo Nation three to five years to revamp Head Start in order to meet the more than 2,800 regulations.
“We have come a long ways since November of last year, but we aren't out of the woods yet. We still have a lot of work to do to make this program successful. I hope everyone gets on board for the changes we must make to keep this program on the Navajo Nation,”
President Shelly added.
The Head Start program received a letter in mid-August from the Office of Head Start confirming that they will receive $26.8 million for fiscal year 2013 to run the program.
posted September 24, 2012 7:40 am edt