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JCPS faces new allegations against Head Start program

The federal program "Head Start" released a new report last week detailing new accusations of children being yanked, grabbed and more.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – The latest findings detailing accusations dating back to March alleging preschool students were dragged by their arms to class, students being yanked and the principal at Shawnee’s early childhood center reported an instructional assistant dumped children out of their cots to wake them up at nap time, letting the children roll on the floor.

“Many of these allegations deal with the way adults are interacting with three and four-year-old children, so I think that is very alarming and concerning,” Sam Corbett said.

Corbett is a former school board member of Jefferson County Public Schools and most recently was with the Jefferson County Education Foundation. He has seen the report from Head Start.

“On top of all the other issues JCPS is dealing with – on top of the state takeover, this is just another obstacle,” he said.

The WHAS11 I-Team first reported several incidents of mistreatment of preschoolers in the head start program this past fall.

Head Start is a federally funded program run by the district to educate three and four-year-old children.

Officials released a statement Monday morning it says in part “they have increased training and improved oversight.”

They say, “while we have seen a decrease in incidents, we know this is a sustained effort over time.”

The most recent incidents were all self-reported by district officials to head start.

District leaders say they knew one more incident could result in loss of funding - last week the board approved to separate from head start and relinquish $15 million in federal funding and self-fund the program for $8 million.

Head start's report says "in light of this relinquishment, termination proceedings are not applicable for the deficiencies identified in this report."

“If you are cutting the funding from $15 to $8 million are you still going to be able to service the same number of children,” Corbett said.

And at the end of the day, that is the goal.