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Kline, Alexander Ask HHS for Required Data on Head Start Re-Competition Process


Dear Secretary Sebelius:

The Head Start Act requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure the designation renewal system (DRS) put in place in 2007 to increase program accountability is “fair, consistent, and transparent.” However, the department has refused to release any information, including basic facts and figures, during the implementation of the process, falling far short of this important requirement.

As noted by many observers and press reports, information regarding the grant competition’s number of applicants, content of applications, and identity of the grant review panel has not been made public. Widespread concern with the program’s selection process and perceptions that grants are being awarded without regard for the merits of the applicants led to the inclusion of the DRS process in the last reauthorization of the Head Start Act. Unfortunately, HHS’ continued lack of transparency serves to justify doubts surrounding the department’s ability to improve the quality of the Head Start program.

To read the full letter, click here.

To read the department's response, click here

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