Sens. Lee, Cruz, Blackburn, and Scott Introduce Head Start Improvement Act

December 5, 2019

WASHINGTON – Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced the Head Start Improvement Act of 2019 Thursday, a bill that would improve the Head Start program by eliminating much of the program’s federal bureaucracy and giving the money directly to states through block grants.

“Nothing is more important to the future of our society – nor more critical to fulfilling our national commitment to equal opportunity – than the care and upbringing of the next generation,” Sen. Lee said. “Washington should respect the proven ability of communities and states to develop unique solutions for their children. Our Head Start Improvement Act is a step in that direction.”

How It Works:

  • Block grants the Head Start funds directly to states, territories, and federally recognized Indian Tribes
  • Eligible grantees receive an allotment of the Head Start funds in proportion to the number of children aged 3-5 from families with incomes below 100% of the poverty line residing within the State
  • Requires states to provide a 20% match to all federal funds granted
  • Allows states to use funding for state school choice programs
  • Requires all funds to be used for prekindergarten education, administration of the programs, and to provide direct technical assistance, oversight, monitoring, research and training
  • Directs the Comptroller General to submit a report to Congress comparing the different approaches used by the grant recipients