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Head Start without Donna Burns? Preschool teacher being forced to retire after 38 years over a degree.

This petition had 335 supporters

Meet Donna Burns, aka Donna Mae. Donna Mae Burns has been an active resident of Jeannette all her life. She has changed the lives and touched the hearts of everyone in the community. She has 38 years experience working with Head Start. Westmoreland Community Action has decided they want to remove her from the company because she does not have a bachelor’s degree.


Westmoreland Community Action (WCA) passed a requirement that all classroom teachers must have a bachelor’s degree. This requirement is not a state or government regulation, but one within the company. One that they have the power to tailor or over ride themselves.


When Donna got news of the requirement she contacted the main office to talk to them about her options. Due to health and family concerns she was unable to go back to school. The office was notified of this by a letter that some of the staff is claiming they never saw.


Donna is not the only victim of this new requirement; they are 3 other members of the Head Start staff WCA is “forcing into retirement” because of “inadequate education”.  


Preschool staff work hard, this is a field job. You learn more in a month on the job then you could in a year of school. 38 years experience is equal to a life time of school education.


Donna loves children, and her job. And the children and staff love her. It would be a crime to dismiss her because of a “piece of paper”.  

A write up about her in the local paper.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, feelings, comments and stories about Donna and this new requirement. Show WCA that love and experience means more then a paper degree.

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