Head start administrators forgo cost-of-living adjustments

EDINBURG — Five top Hidalgo County Head Start administrators will not see a penny’s worth of cost-of-living adjustments.

Hidalgo County commissioners unanimously approved a 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment for more than 700 Head Start employees Tuesday morning — with the exception of five top executives who received hefty pay raises last year.

Program Director Teresa Flores had initially included herself and the four other administrators in the proposal to distribute a federal grant of more than $259,000 earlier this month, but commissioners redirected her.

Flores met with Valde Guerra, the county’s executive officer, on two separate occasions to rework the figures before finally agreeing to forgo the 1 percent adjustments for herself and the other four employees.

“Teresa, I’d like to thank you for going back and reconsidering that and making those adjustments,” Precinct 1 Commissioner David Fuentes said. “We really appreciate your cooperation, for your committee and everyone that helped work on this.”

The funds from the Office of Head Start, the federal agency that oversees the program, are retroactive, taking effect Jan 1. This means that about half of the employees — which make about $20,000 per year — will receive a $100 check for their 1 percent adjustment and the remainder will be adjusted throughout the year.