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Local district must pay for director of Head Start program

July 1, 2017 GMT

NEEDLES — In order for the Needles Head Start and State Preschool programs to continue the Needles Unified School District negotiated a grant with the San Bernardino County Preschool Services Department (PSD).

“The director position was formally part of the Preschool Services Department program for our Needles Head Start program. Upon negotiation with PSD in the spring, they basically asked us to cover the expense of this within our funding and at that time we negotiated this position. It is mandatory that we have this position for the program; PSD couldn’t fund this position at the time,” said Mary McNeil, NUSD superintendent. “When they (PSD) were going to cut that position it would have impacted our ability to have Head Start at all. So we negotiated and worked out a way to maintain our Head Start program. We did work it out in terms of how this person will be under our umbrella since in the past this person worked on the campus but didn’t report to the director, instead reporting to the PSD. I do want to thank Debra (Downey) who worked very closely with PSD to benefit the district, maintain the Needles Head Start and not cause financial grief for the program by bringing this position on board.”

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“So the Head Start teachers and staff won’t be employed by the Needles Unified School District, this is just a grant that they are getting through us,” said Donwy, NUSD business manager.

The NUSD Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Head Start director job description change during their meeting on June 20.

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