Sixteen states plus the District of Columbia are racing for the trough once again. This time it’s for early childhood cash. The applicants are: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.
This is the second round, the first round came in FY 2011. Here are the “winners” of that particular competition:
- California – $75,000,000 (California had to revise the amount they requested to a lower amount)
- Delaware – $49,878,774
- Maryland – $49,999,143
- Massachusetts – $50,000,000
- Minnesota – $44,858,313
- North Carolina – $69,991,121
- Ohio – $69,993,362
- Rhode Island – $50,000,000
- Washington – $60,000,000
- Establishing Successful State Systems by building on the state’s existing strengths, ambitiously moving forward the state’s early learning and development agenda and carefully coordinating programs across agencies to ensure consistency and sustainability beyond the grant;
- Defining High-Quality, Accountable Programs by creating a common tiered quality rating and improvement system that is used across the state to evaluate and improve program performance and to inform families about program quality;
- Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for Children to develop common standards within the state and assessments that measure child outcomes, address behavioral and health needs, as well as inform, engage and support families;
- Supporting A Great Early Childhood Education Workforce by providing professional development, career advancement opportunities, appropriate compensation and a common set of standards for workforce knowledge and competencies; and
- Measuring Outcomes and Progress so that data can be used to inform early learning instruction and services and to assess whether children are entering kindergarten ready to succeed in elementary school.
Grant awards last for four years and will range from $37.5 million up to $75 million. So states are once again looking at selling their collective educational soul for the promise of federal cash. Haven’t we learned? This time preschoolers are the ones being impacted.