A pledge of up to $10 million from two Houston philanthropists will help keep The National Head Start Association programs running during the federal government shutdown, but a Bridgeport-based non-profit has not yet decided whether to accept the donation.
Officials from Action for Bridgeport Community Development, Inc., or ABCD, will meet this morning and likely decide whether to accept the donation from the Arnold Foundation, which could put 1,000 students and 300 teachers back in class.
ABCD was the only Head Start to question the gift. A representative said they have some concerns about state requirements and are taking the time to properly assess the situation.
Laura Arnold, an ex-oil company executive, and John Arnold, an investor, chair the Arnold Foundation,
a philanthropic organization established in 2008.
National Head Start Association Executive Director Yasmina Vinci called the donation selfless, but urged elected officials to find a permanent fiscal solution to protect the program.
As of yesterday, about half of ABCD Head Start students were back in class because the agency received some additional state funding.