Pennsylvania seeks $52 million federal early learning grant

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Pennsylvania is applying for up to $52.5 million in the federal Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant program.

"As part of the state's overall education system, high-quality early education programs can improve student school readiness and achievement," said Gov. Tom Corbett in a news release announcing the application today. "Pennsylvania is a national leader in providing early education opportunities for our youngest citizens and this grant will help us further improve and expand our quality programs."

Pennsylvania hasn't had much luck in the competitive Race to the Top program. In 2010, it sought $400 million for broader education needs through Race to the Top but lost. In 2011, a federal review team didn't rate Pennsylvania's application high enough to win $41 million in the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant program.

This time, the departments of education and public welfare will work with the early learning community to write the application.

"It is important that this grant application be guided by the comments and suggestions of local educators who work with our children every day and not dictated by Harrisburg," Mr. Corbett said.

The application will be submitted in October, with awards expected to be announced in December.

education - breaking - state

Education writer Eleanor Chute: echute@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1955.


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