WHEREAS, the Head Start program for over four decades has successfully delivered comprehensive early childhood education, health and social services, and has a proud history of bipartisan support in Congress; and

WHEREAS, almost one million of Americaís most at-risk children and their families currently depend on Head Start programs for a solid foundation for their future, for their first educational experiences, for immunizations, dental and health care, for learning social skills and good nutrition habits; and

WHEREAS, one-third more at-risk children who attended a quality early childhood program graduated from high school than those who did not attend; and

WHEREAS, Head Start serves the nation's poorest children, those living in families at or below the poverty line, as well as children with disabilities or other special needs; and

WHEREAS, Head Start from its creation was conceived as a federal-local partnership, with funds delivered directly to local grantees in thousands of communities across the country, and with more than 150 Head Start programs--including some of the nationís largest--being managed and operated by local city or county governments; and

WHEREAS, as a locally-run and locally-focused program, Head Start educates and cares for its children, improves and enriches the lives of their parents and siblings, and engages and benefits the residents, organizations and institutions of the neighborhoods and cities in which it operates,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors strongly opposes any attempt to move Head Start to the states through a block grant or other means; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors strongly supports the current federal to local funding structure and supports the continued coordination of Head Start, child care and pre-kindergarten programs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors strongly supports the current continuous improvement review and resolution process for grantees, and expresses its concern over any changes that could lead to arbitrary, unwarranted and indiscriminate mandatory re-competition for local Head Start grantees, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to fully fund the Head Start program, which can currently only reach about sixty per cent of eligible children.

©2005 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352