Today, the White House announced that nine states — California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington – will receive grant awards from the $500 million Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge fund, a competitive grant program jointly administered by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.
Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius made the announcement of state grantees this morning at a White House event with over 100 early learning and development experts, educators, policymakers and researchers.
Through the competition, 35 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico have created plans to increase access to high-quality programs for children from low-income families, providing more children from birth to age 5 with a strong foundation they need for success in school and beyond. The number and list of winners was determined both by the quality of the applications and the funds available.
The fiscal year 2011 budget provided an additional $700 million to invest in early learning and elementary and post secondary education reform. In addition to the $500 million awarded today to Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grantees, seven states — Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania – have applied for a share of the $200 million to invest in K-12 education reform. Awards will be announced later this month.
Grant awards will range from around $50 million up to $100 million, depending on state population and proposed plans.
To learn more about the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-earlylearningchallenge.
Source: Press Release from The White House Office of the Press Secretary, Dec. 16, 2011.