ACS May Displace Southside Head Start Center

CAO Answers to Boost Families Burton FullDay FullYear 2 Classrooms 2021 03 08.pdf

ACS Plan to Close and Vacate Asheville Primary School Could Displace Other Vital Early Childhood Programs

"4. What is the impact to Community Action Opportunities programming from Asheville City Schools Preschool moving into Housing Authority locations, including Burton being one of the locations they cited in their application?"

"CAO has previously had a strong partnership with ACS for many, many years. We have collaborated in many areas including: community assessments, shared training opportunities, participated on selection and assessment committees, and co-located staff. CAO Head Start has also contracted with ACS to provide education services to Head Start eligible children (current contract is for 55 children) for over 20 years.

CAO was surprised to learn of the Primary School closure in the news. As of March 12, CAO, ACS, HACA and the County have met together for exactly one hour of conversation regarding possible collaborations and solutions to the community crisis created by this decision.

CAO leases its three city Head Start Centers located at Hillcrest, Pisgah View, and Southside (the Lonnie D. Burton ECE Center) from the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville (HACA). There has been no request to date regarding Hillcrest or Pisgah View centers. ACS has approached HACA and requested the full use of the Lonnie D. Burton ECE Center.

If approved, this would dislocate / evict four classrooms of high-quality early childhood education serving 72 Head Start, NC Pre-K, and BCECEDF children and families that live on lower incomes. At the Burton Center this year, 75% of children served are children of color, 80% of families are single parent households and the average income is for all families is $10,388. ACSs’ current plan would reduce or supplant high-quality, comprehensive Head Start services to children and families of color and families living on low incomes."