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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Politics Local

South L.A. Parents Fight for Pre-K Program to Stay

30 Kedren Head Start schools will be closed in South L.A. and Watts. 

Parents and children gathered outside of  Los Angeles County Office of Education's (LACOE) meeting discussing their decision to close 30 Head Start schools in South L.A. and Watts.

The Head Start program provides grants to local public and private agencies to provide "comprehensive child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families," according to the website. 

The program will be handed over to Children's Institute, Inc., (CII) but there's no word on what plans the program has for South L.A. and Watts.

The early childhood education program had been in the community for more than 49 years.  

Kendren Head Start provided services to more than 2,300 children in L.A. while parents attended training sessions at the Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center. 


Dear Staff,
Thank you for covering this important story. Because it’s crucial that parents know what services will be available, I’d like to clarify a few points.

As stated in the parent meeting, and as reported in the Los Angeles Times, there will be several new providers (3), not one. Children’s Institute (CII) will only be serving families in Watts. CII also provides a number of other services in the community.

CII will be operating 8 of the 9 centers in Watts that are being made available. (The rest of the 30 are in other parts of L.A. City and County, and will be run by the other providers.) CII will continue to operate all of the centers located in the housing developments.

CII will serve 450 children in Watts—the number of children determined by LACOE.

Here is the L.A. Times piece for reference:

Kedren has provided a safety net for children and families for many years, and these changes are indeed very difficult for the community. But we want to make sure parents know that children and families will continue to receive Head Start services.

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