- Second Round of Early Learning Challenge Grants Announced
- NIEER Releases 2011 State Preschool Yearbook: Harmful Trend on Access and Quality
Second Round of Early Learning Challenge Grants to States Announced; New Race to the Top Applications for Local School Systems
The U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on Monday that $133 million from the 2012 Race to the Top fund will be made available for a second round of the Early Learning Challenge to help states strengthen their early childhood education systems. We are pleased that the Administration is providing a second round of state grants for cross-sector early childhood systems.
Of the $550 million appropriated for fiscal year 2012 (the current year), there will be $133 million available for states in the first round who had high scores — Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin. These states may apply for a portion of those funds and they will be eligible to apply for up to 50 percent of the potential amount that they were eligible to receive last year.
The remaining portion of the overall $550 million fund appropriated for Race to the Top in fiscal year 2012 will be used to run a new district-level Race to the Top competition. Be on the lookout for when the criteria for this new competition become available later this spring. We will keep you posted!
To read the Department of Education’s press release, click here.
WHERE DOES YOUR STATE STAND: NIEER RELEASES 2011 STATE PRESCHOOL YEARBOOK; NAEYC Notes Harmful Trend in States on Access and Quality
The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) released yesterday its annual report on state funding for prekindergarten. The 2011 report shows that states have cut funding for pre-k by nearly $60 million in the 2010-2011 school year.
While enrollment in state pre-k programs has in fact grown at the national level, there was a mix of increased and decreased enrollment among states. Simultaneous funding cuts have compromised the quality of these programs. As a result, more than half a million children are being served by programs that met fewer than half of NIEER’s quality standards benchmarks.
NAEYC understands that many states are facing budget deficits. However, state budget cuts to prekindergarten as well as child care and other early childhood programs are the wrong choices for the short- and long-term economic security of families, states, and the nation. See NAEYC’s press release about this report here.
To see NIEER’s information on your state and its overview of state prekindergarten, click here.