Rep. Cuellar Issues Statement Regarding Proposed Relocation of Teaching and Mentoring Communities (TMC) Headquarters out of Laredo
Non-profit organization late in applying for federal grant, may lose federal funding for 2017-2018
Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) has issued the following statement urging TMC to keep their headquarters in Laredo instead of relocating, which will cost jobs and may jeopardize TMC’s federal funding:
"In 2015, TMC and its board of directors were determined to relocate with questionable justification, which would result in a loss of over 100 local jobs. The move was halted when I notified the Administration of Children and Families, the federal agency which administers the Head Start program, that funding the relocation would put TMC above the 15 percent legal limit for administrative cost.
"This year, the TMC board is once again determined to move and, in an attempt to circumvent the federal administrative cost limit, the board has included a new budget item to relocate their headquarters—paid for by cuts to critical services and local jobs. Internal disagreements within TMC about the budget item has resulted in TMC failing to submit their yearly $64 million federal grant application on time, putting the agency’s entire funding in jeopardy.
“That is not the right thing to do for our children and I consider it a misuse of taxpayer dollars. Head Start centers are where thousands of children receive critical services and, as a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, I can tell you first hand that when Congress allocates funds to an organization like TMC, we expect that organization to spend those federal dollars wisely and work to expand services, not cut them.
“I call on the TMC board of directors to drop this unnecessary relocation strategy so that we can protect local jobs and preserve service levels. They operate 62 Head Start centers in Texas and seven other states and administer the Migrant Seasonal Head Start program and I have long been one of their biggest supporters but putting federal funding at risk is unacceptable.
“I will also call on the Administration of Children and Families to audit the TMC application once it is submitted. I will, furthermore, request that dollars that do not benefit the parents or the children be disallowed.
“This unnecessary attempt by TMC means fewer kids and fewer families will receive these critical services, and I will not stand for that."