Letter: Edna Foster not to blame for Head Start loss

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 3, 2015


Prior to 2012 it was clear that a succession of incompetent leaders had served as the directors of CAFI.

Deficiencies and irregularities were occurring and not dealt with as they occurred. Finally, in December 2013, a competent leader was hired: Edna S. Foster. (I am Edna M. Foster.)

She was well on the road to straightening things out when she was told her grant for Head Start had been denied. There were just too many deficiencies before her arrival!

Early in the history of Head Start their leadership was virtually unexamined. The grants were continuous. It was decided in 2007 that these grants should be examined every five years — 2012 was it for us!

With bureaucratic expertise it was decided to deny the new director the Head Start Grant. There seemed to be no thought of the progress that was being made under her excellent leadership and that these deficiencies occurred before she arrived!

As a member of the local board of Big Brothers Big Sisters, I saw her in action. We were holding a dodgeball tournament. In they came, her troop of joyful children. Their love and respect for her were obvious.

They were mannerly and cooperative but having a ton of fun. I was impressed with her upbeat personality and her love for children. I was also impressed with the way she had been received in our community.

If Shawna Pinckney (Editor’s note: Head Start national director of grants and contracts) and her Head Start bean counters had taken a good look at what had been and what CAFI was becoming, she would not have made this tragic mistake.

It is my hope that even after this slap in the face Edna will decide to stay in our community. Her skills are sorely needed here. Stay with us, Edna.

Your friend, Edna.

Edna M. Foster