Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill says he has no plans to privatize Head Start
Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill told the Charter Review Board on Monday night he has no plans to privatize the child education program Head Start, or even to merge it with a similar program run by the school district. That rumor persists, fueled in part by disciplinary actions sought against several top managers within the department in recent months, as well as Merrill's stated plans to reorganize county government to make it less costly. Asked the question by charter board member Joe Robinson on Monday whether he has sought or intends to turn the agency over to a private operator, Merrill answered directly: "The answer is no. There never was, never will be that kind of privatization. Never will happen." Nor, he said, has there been any discussion about turning the program over to the school district, another subject of community gossip, although he said he has been talking about ways the two programs could collaborate more.