Congresswoman Moore says she suspects MPS Head Start program will be 'broken up and spread out'

NOW: Congresswoman Moore says she suspects MPS Head Start program will be ’broken up and spread out’

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The congresswoman who represents Milwaukee told reporters Wednesday she believes Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) is going to lose at least some of its federal funding for a free preschool program. 

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) took questions Wednesday, May 29, at a Milwaukee Press Club panel event. 

CBS 58 asked about the district recently having its funding suspended for the Head Start program. The 30-day suspension took effect last week.

Head Start is a free preschool program for low-income families. 

We first broke the story about how federal officials found numerous safety violations dating back to at least June of 2022, including staff grabbing kids, an untrained substitute paraprofessional slapping a juice box out of a child's mouth and incidents where bus drivers left preschoolers at the wrong location. 

Moore told reporters she's aware of other groups now seeking to operate Head Start in Milwaukee. Moore specifically mentioned the nonprofit, Next Door, which did not immediately return messages left Wednesday.

"I would suspect that the MPS Head Start program is gonna be broken up and spread out," Rep. Moore said.

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), which operates under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has said it plans to announce by the end of May who will receive Milwaukee's Head Start federal funding for the next five-year cycle.

Stephen Davis, a spokesperson for MPS, said in an email Wednesday the district expected to learn of the ACF's funding decision "after June 2024."

MPS currently offers K-3 and K-4 Head Start to about 1,200 Milwaukee children, and the district runs the program out of 37 schools.

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