Georgia is not one of the states awarded a Race to the Top grant for early childhood education, despite its role as a pioneer in the field. The state had been hoping for a $70 million grant. The U.S. DOE will announce the winners later today, but states have already been notified.
In a meeting in October here at the AJC, Bobby Cagle, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, said, “We are kind of an underdog. People don’t know what we have done here.”
One of those things, he said, was pioneer early learning standards. That apparently was not enough.
Georgia isn’t coming out a winner in the latest federal Race to the Top grant competition.
The White House is scheduled to announce today the winners of the latest Race to the Top grant competition aimed at early childhood education. And Georgia won’t be among them, said Bobby Cagle, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, the agency that would have been recipient of the grant.
“We just heard this morning that we did not get it, and that’s official,” Cagle said. North Carolina and Ohio are to be announced as winners in the category of states where Georgia was competing, he said.
Had Georgia been chosen it would have been eligible to receive up to $70 million over a four-year period.
UPDATE at 11 a.m. Here is the release from the feds about the winners:
Today, the White House announced that nine states – California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington — will receive grant awards from the $500 million Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge fund, a competitive grant program jointly administered by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.
President Obama asked Congress in his budget to authorize and make permanent an Early Learning Challenge Fund in previous years. Unfortunately, Congress did not act on that proposal, so the Administration took action to ensure this program was funded this year through Race to the Top, because our kids only get one shot at a top-notch education and they cannot afford to wait.
“Education must be our national mission,” said President Barack Obama. “All of us must work to give all our children the best education possible. And today, we’re acting to strengthen early childhood education to better prepare our youngest children for success in school and in life”
“In a matter of months, early education and child development experts throughout the country, together with state and local leaders, worked to build comprehensive plans for expanding access to high-quality early learning,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “All applicants showed tremendous dedication and drive to build stronger foundations and create greater opportunities for more children. Their work will help lead the way in ensuring excellent early learning and support for every child.”
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog