DETROIT — The federal government wants Wayne County to take partial control of Head Start programs in the city of Detroit in a bid to clean up years of mismanagement in the early education program there, according to The Detroit News.

Detroit receives about $40 million annually in the form of multiple contracts to serve about 7,000 children, but has been cited repeatedly by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for improper accounting, extravagant spending and failed oversight, according to The News. The funds are administered locally by the Detroit Department of Human Services, which pays providers to serve children and families.

The News reported that Wayne County is known for its effective Head Start program and is being urged to submit bids on two federal contracts that formerly went to the city. Supporters said the switch would improve services to lower-income children, The News reported.

A spokesman for Detroit Mayor Dave Bing told The News that the city is working to correct past violations. The city has not submitted a bid on the two recent contracts, which would provide funding to serve 600 children in the city, The News reported.

The Detroit News, “Feds want Detroit officials’ hands off Head Start money,” July 13, 2011

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Evaluations of early education,” March 8, 2010