Colorado joins race for early-childhood education funds

Jul 27, 2011 by

Colorado is preparing to enter a familiar Race to the Top, but in a new category — early childhood education.

The state is eligible for up to $60 million from the federal Early Learning Challenge Fund which is part of the Race to the Top grant program.

The White House announced the new round of funding on May 25 and applications are due in early October, which is a quick turnaround, said Jodi Hardin, Colorado’s director of early childhood systems initiatives.

In two previous rounds of competition for Race to the Top money, Colorado made it to the finals of the selection process but walked away empty handed.

The Race to the Top program, which was launched as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, rewards states for enacting education reforms.

In 2010, the legislature passed Sen. Michael Johnston’s, D-Denver, bill to reform the way the state measures the effectiveness of teachers. The Early Childhood Leadership Commission has also been meeting to reform education from infancy to age 8.

The work of the early childhood commission will be directly imported into the application for the Race to The Top Early Learning Challenge Grant.

Many of the goals they have already set into motion would be accelerated by the federal money.

Public meetings will run July 29 through August 5 to solicit feedback for the grant proposal.

List of upcoming public meetings on the listening tour:

via Colorado joins race for early-childhood education funds – The Denver Post.

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