On Thursday evening, The Tyler Loop hosted a community conversation about Head Start, Pre-K, and early-childhood education in Tyler at St. Louis Baptist Church.
We organized the forum after a decision at last month’s TISD school board meeting to discontinue Head Start. That decision was altered three weeks later after significant community pushback, and conversations between TISD leaders and national Head Start officials in Washington, D.C. Now, the district plans to continue Head Start “wraparound” services—programs that help connect low-income students’ families with additional resources beyond education— for the 2019-2020 school year, alongside Pre-K.
Our panelists were Dr. Christy Hanson, TISD assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction; Christina Fulsom, CEO of the East Texas Human Needs Network; Daniel Sells, parents of kids involved with Head Start and member of the local Head Start Policy Council; and Cory McCoy, education reporter for the Tyler Morning Telegraph. The conversation was moderated by Loop executive editor Tasneem Raja.
All members of the TISD board of trustees were invited to participate as panelists or forum attendees. No school board members attended this event.
Nearly 60 people joined us for this forum, and we hope it’s the first of many more community conversations on Tyler’s greatest challenges and opportunities. To make that happen, we need your help. Become a monthly supporting member of The Tyler Loop and help us bring more information, context, and perspectives to these issues.
You can follow the whole conversation about Head Start and Pre-K in Tyler below, and we hope to provide full video of the event soon from KETK, which reported on the event.
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