Head Start program in jeopardy after federal report raises concerns

According to the Crow Tribe, the Crow Agency Head Start Program has been under review by federal regulators since February, raising concern about the safety of the Head Start building and the financial status of the program.

A recent federal report criticized the safety of the head start buildings to the issues revolving around the reporting of finances.

KULR-8 spoke with an employee of the head start program who wishes to remain anonymous. He said he's been aware of the head start program being under review for quite some time. He also mentioned the full staff he knew when he first got hired, last December, has dwindled down to three employees. This was because financial issues did not allow staff members to get paid for their work. The employee believes its very important for children to be enrolled in head start. For one thing, the program keeps children safe from parents or relatives who are addicted to meth or alcohol.

Crow Tribe Chairman A.J. Not Afraid made some comments Monday regarding the Crow Head Start Program. He stated he has never

authorized the use of head start funds to pay for anything other than head start. He also mentioned the funds being questioned against him, as chairman, were never federal dollars, but rather, they were tribal dollars diverted by the Crow legislature to pay for head start expenses.

The chairman said the tribe has paid for more than a year's worth of the Crow Head Start Program, without receiving reimbursement from the federal headstart office in Washington, D.C. He said the cost added up to close to a million dollars in headstart expenses. The chairman explained the funds in question are a reimbursement to the tribe for the money given to headstart, therefore making it "right, proper, and legal."

The Crow Tribe Headstart Program will have to wait and see if the program will continue. In the meantime, the unnamed employee said they will continue to work diligently.

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