OUR VIEW: Save The Children not living up to its name

Published 2:57 pm Sunday, November 17, 2019

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If for some reason Gray Stone Day School decided to open its doors four months late or if a Stanly County public school wasn’t ready to go the first day of school, there would be many questions and answers would be demanded.

Yet, there is an extremely vital part of the local education system that has been shuttered all school year with little notice and seemingly no accountability.

An organization called Save The Children won the state contract to operate Head Start programs in Stanly, Moore and Montgomery counties yet it is mid-November and no classrooms have opened. It’s not as if this organization is new to the Head Start program. It already operates programs in Concord.

The Head Start program is crucial to the education of children in rural areas. It provides disadvantaged children with pre-K education that is crucial to a successful kindergarten year. Yet for children scheduled to be a part of the program this year, there has been no Head Start for them.

Save The Children recently announced the program would begin for older pre-K children in December and babies and toddlers in January. It is unclear why the delay occurred after the organization was awarded the contract this summer. Whether the blame falls on Save The Children or the state, someone needs to be held accountable for our children essentially being denied a half year of education.

This is a prime example of what happens when government attempts to privatize the education of our children. When state government hands the keys to an organization that is seemingly unable to provide the service, problems arise and accountability for those problems is limited.

If these types of problems are a result of the privatization of the Head Start program, it is time to put the program firmly in the control of the state department of education and let it provide the service.

Our children have been done a disservice by missing some of the most important months of school of their lives.

This should never be allowed to happen again.