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  • Outside the Beltway: Head Start Fraud

    Head Start, which provides child development services primarily to low-income families and their children, is one of the few popular programs that came out of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. But following up on hotline tips alleging fraud and abuse, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) began an undercover investigation of Head Start centers in California, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. Heritage Senior Policy Analyst David Muhlhausen details what the GAO found:

    • In eight of the 13 eligibility tests, the fictitious families were told by Head Start staff that they were eligible for the program and encouraged to attend class;
    • In all of these eight cases, Head Start staff instructed the fictitious families to misrepresent their eligibility for the program;
    • In seven of these cases, Head Start staff deliberately disregarded part of the fictitious families’ income to make these families eligible for participation;
    • In at least four of the cases, the GAO later received doctored documents that excluded income information originally provided to the Head Start staff;
    • In two cases, Head Start staff designated on application forms that one parent was unemployed, even though the GAO presented documentation of both parents’ income; and
    • In one case, Head Start staff assured the fictitious family that no one would validate that the income information submitted was correct.

    Fraud is just the latest of Head Start’s problems. Earlier this year the Department of Health and Human Services released the first scientifically rigorous experimental evaluation of Head Start. And contrary to Head Start’s usually great press clippings, the study found that Head Start has had little to no effect on cognitive, socio-emotional, health, and parenting outcomes of participating children.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Outside the Beltway: Head Start Fraud

    1. Pingback: Head Start Fraud | Citizen Gravity -

    2. Christina, Sacrament says:

      In regards to your comments on the National Impact Study it actually reports that there were positive, modest benefits in school readiness for these children. A lot of critics like to argue the "fade out" stand for Head Start but what they don't realize is that Head Start is exactly that. It is a program meant to help children get a Head Start on life ages 0-5. It is not the Head Start Institutions problem that K-12 is flawed. Head Start has been one of the best social experiments in this country by helping families with health, parenting, and academics. Why is that parents are lining up (some way over qualified) to get their children in this program if it was not of high caliber and quality?

    3. Billie says:

      There is too much corruption everywhere government is. People should go back to private daycares where expectations are met and corrections given, if necessary.

      Immigrants could appreciate this private business, for the upbringing and in accordance to their cultural lifestyle, as it shouldn't be a part of public education in the first place. Tax dollars should be strictly to educate, not a benefit to someone's cultural lifestyle. That makes it private.

      It's not the immigrant people, it's the immigrant leaders in government that express weakness to freedom, whom American born leaders give into for government expansion and conversion to socialism. Most immigrants vote democrat. Definitely not all, but most. Fact and acknowledgement.

    4. Scott says:

      This is all old news- corruption, lack of evidence to support, and the never-ending reasons that liberals want to spend hard earned money to buy votes and make themselves feel good. We have hit a cross roads in this country where by the egalitarian mentality is going to bankrupt the nation and leave everyone equally in dire straights. Thanks Christina.

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