Head Start Staff to Get Summer Pay Feds Reassure Fired Employees

Article excerpt

Jacksonville area Head Start employees who were fired this week

are entitled to full summer pay, and federal officials will be

working with the agency that runs the program to make sure they

get it, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesman

said yesterday.

Michael Kharfen's words came in response to news that the Head

Start program's 300 employees' termination notices said they

would not get paid after June 28.

"Our regional office will work the agency during the close-down

period to make sure the staff gets the money they're entitled

to," Kharfen said yesterday.

The termination notices came from John Edwards, executive

director of the Northeast Florida Community Action Agency, which

until last month had the federal contract to run Head Start

pre-school classes for children in 10 counties.

Edwards could not be reached for comment yesterday.

In late May, agency officials agreed to give up the Head Start

program at the request of federal officials, who had accused the

agency of mismanagement and questionable expenditures. Federal

officials are advertising for applications from other agencies

and plan to have someone else in place when the Head Start

school year begins in September. …