Long Beach : Head Start Revamp Delayed

Reorganization of the Long Beach Head Start board of directors--ordered by its federal funding agency--was delayed Tuesday after the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) challenged the legality of bylaws under which Head Start operates 11 local preschools.

State officials of LULAC said at an evening meeting that bylaws approved by the Head Start board in October were not legal, in part, because they had not been filed with the secretary of state.

The new bylaws severed the connection of LULAC, which had held the Long Beach Head Start grant since 1983, from the agency. But LULAC spokesman Ralph Pacheco said that LULAC's connection still exists, and it should appoint a new board of directors.

Federal officials have directed Long Beach Head Start, split by an internal power struggle, to appoint representatives from more ethnic groups and community organizations to its predominantly Latino board or risk losing its $2.6-million annual grant.

Meanwhile, nearly 900 Head Start students returned to classes Tuesday after missing six days. Schools were closed last week after reports of threats to parents and staff members and vandalism. Those incidents stopped last Monday, said Richard Madrid, executive director.

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