Lost in the hoopla of the holidays was this bright note: North Carolina won a $69.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge The grant awarded to NC is called Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge, or RTT-ELC. From the U.S. Dept of Education: Awards in Race to the Top will go to States that are leading the way with ambitious yet achievable plans for implementing coherent, compelling, and comprehensive early learning education reform. – Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge
35 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico submitted applications. Only 9 applicants received awards. And only Ohio won a larger grant than North Carolina (by about $2000).
North Carolina will use the Race to the Top money to increase training for early-education workers, expand health care for young children whose families may be doing without, focus improvement efforts in impoverished northeastern North Carolina counties and better integrate the state’s early-learning services according to the Associated Press.