Georgia awarded more than $50 million for Race to the Top-Early - WFLA News Channel 8

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Georgia awarded more than $50 million for Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge

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ATLANTA, Ga. - Georgia is one of 6 states that will receive a total of $280 million in grants awards from the 2013 Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) fund. The programs focus is to improve access to high quality early learning and development programs throughout the states. Georgia will receive $51.7 million and join the 14 existing state grantees who secured funding in the first two rounds, which began in 2011.

Under President Obama's administration, RTT-ELC has awarded over $1 billion to provide a strong start for our nation’s youngest children and to put them on the path to a bright future.  RTT-ELC is a key part of the Obama administration's comprehensive early learning agenda in combination with President Obama’s Preschool for All proposal. 

“By investing in high-quality early learning through programs like Race to the Top–Early Learning Challenge, we are able to close achievement gaps, provide life-transforming opportunities for children and strengthen and build a thriving middle class,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  “Thanks to the leadership of governors, state officials and education advocates, these states have created plans to develop high-quality early learning systems that improve the quality of learning to provide our youngest citizens with the strong foundation they need for success in school and beyond.  This investment is a down payment to support and implement high-quality early learning programs across the country. There is still a lot more work for us to do.”

States can use the funding for various activities including: 
  • Establishing culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate early learning and development standards across all the essential domains of school readiness for children from birth to kindergarten entry.
  • Ensuring that quality program standards are applied to all early learning programs in the state.
  • Building and improving state Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement Systems designed to inform parents about the quality of early learning programs and drive improvements to the quality of those programs.
  • Promoting health and family engagement strategies.
These elements are critical components that states must address in a comprehensive way so that investments in preschool, child care and other early learning and development programs fit together in a way that improves the overall quality of services and enables parents and providers to make informed decisions about the care provided to their children.

 For more information on the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Fund visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-earlylearningchallenge/

 



Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

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