9 States Win Race to Top Early Learning Grants
This from Politics K-12:
Nine states will share $500 million in Race to the Top early learning grants, the U.S. Department of Education confirmed this morning.
They are: California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Washington. They will get grants ranging from $50 million to $100 million, based on the state's student population, to significantly improve early-education programs in their states. North Carolina was ranked No. 1 by the outside peer reviewers who judged the competition. California, by at least one account, was the surprise dark-horse winner. A must-read New America Foundation blog post also agrees that California—and even North Carolina—were surprises.
"Investing in early learning is one of the smartest things we can do," U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said during the White House announcement of the winners this morning. "I'm confident these nine states will lead the transformation."
Duncan added that there were far more stellar applications than he could fund, and he and others in the Obama administration indicated they would like to fund more states if they can. And indeed, it seems the Education Department will get another $550 million in Race to the Top money in fiscal 2012, according to a budget deal just reached by congressional negotiators. However, later in a conference call with reporters, Duncan would not commit to using that money for early learning, saying he didn't know yet what the focus of future competitions would be....