The House has voted to send two bills aimed at helping the state land new federal Race to the Top money for early childhood education to the governor’s desk. The bills provide funding for preschool teachers to earn degrees, begin testing kindergarten students on their reading and education development and require principals to report to the State Department of Education when they pass a child onto the next grade.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced last week a third round of Race to the Top money. This time state’s will compete for $500 million to better coordinate, increase access and provide quality education for early childhood programs.

The bills now head to the governor’s next. A final bill passed in the Senate awaiting action in the House is also aimed at capturing this new round of money. That bill creates a plan to track student outcomes and consolidate early education programs.

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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