I am writing in support of the proposed Migrant Head Start building and the programs that OCDC now provides to our migrant work force. I would like to think that those in opposition to OCDC's proposal are not racially motivated, but I am having difficulty understanding their arguments against what OCDC is doing. Here are some rebuttals:
ùOCDC is serving a very underserved population. Many of their students have very few other resources. They may have no medical or dental insurance, unstable housing, substandard housing, poor food resources, language barriers, and a low income. These children may not otherwise be in preschool if OCDC was not offered. Therefore, other preschools are not "losing out" because of OCDC.
ùOCDC's schedule is mostly in opposite months of other preshcools. Therefore, they are not in competition with other preschools. They operate approximately 6 months of the school year. The public schools operate approximately 9 months per year. If you subtract Christmas Break, Spring Break and the summer months, they operate about 2 months more per year than OCDC. No one is wondering what goes on in these empty buildings during their breaks!
ùOCDC is following Federal Guidelines in regards to reports and identifying numbers of students that are eligible for the program.
ùOCDC is not a waste of government money. Saying that would be like saying that the WIC program is a waste. Many children depend on services like WIC and OCDC to get by.
ùOCDC is bringing in needed jobs. If we don't have a Migrant Head Start in Madras, there will be one some where else.
ùThere are many people employed in seasonal work who collect unemployment. I don't hear an agenda against pavers, loggers, and construction workers.
ùOCDC's current building is about 4,000 square feet in size. To enlarge the building to the size that OCDC needs, they would have to demolish other buildings around it!
ùTheir proposed building size is not out of line in comparison to Juniper Junction.
ùThe land was purchased from the Bean Foundation. I doubt that they would have sold it to OCDC if they did not feel that it was an appropriate use of the land.
ùThe size of building that OCDC wants to build is about 1/3 the size of Larry Easter's assisted living center. Which building do you think will bring in more traffic to the area?
ùMost of the children arrive at school by bus, so the amount of traffic should be limited.
ùThere are many parts of town that potential OCDC clients live in. There is not any other area that would be more appropriate for where clients live. There are also benefits to having OCDC close to the other preschools and Early Intervention.
I hope that the planning commission will be fair in their decision. They need to look at the reasons OCDC is in operation ... for the kids.