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Connecticut’s early education plan gets a C, no federal funds

The U.S. Department of Education has rejected Connecticut’s request for $37.5 million in Race to the Top funds aimed at overhauling day care centers and preschools by attempting to ensure they are safe and providing educational value. “The State does not present a High Quality Plan to improve the effectiveness and retention of Early Childhood Educators who work with Children with High Needs, with the goal of improving child outcomes,” one of the three federal judges who graded Connecticut’s application said. Over the past two years, 20 other states have won a combined more than $1 billion in federal money to fund early education reforms. This was Connecticut’s second bid for money to improve early child care programs and its fourth failed attempt to land Race to the Top money. “It’s a competition,” said Myra Jones Taylor, the executive director of the state’s Office of Early Childhood. “There was always the one guarantee that not everyone would be funded.”

Included in the state’s lengthy application was the “highest priority” to reform the Care 4 Kids program, in which the state subsidizes child care costs for low-income families so parents can work. Continue Reading →

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