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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