In a joint announcement this morning, the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services awarded Early Learning Challenge competitive grants to nine states: California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington.
As we alluded to earlier this week, we thought by now we’d be able to share final FY12 funding levels for federal early learning programs. Congress, though, kept busy with other tasks (like the payroll tax extension), and the appropriations omnibus bill that was supposed to be released Monday for a vote tomorrow has not yet appeared.
As states across the country confront unprecedented budget deficits, early education is under fire. In Iowa, some legislators proposed eliminating voluntary, universal preschool four-year olds, arguing that there isn’t sufficient data to justify the program.