Will your state win the Race to the Top?

by Jacob Kirn

We know it takes both parental involvement and community resources for kids to learn, grow and develop between birth and kindergarten. In recent years funding for early education has diminished, but there is still a need for home visiting programs like Parents as Teachers. 

Data continue to show that many states lag behind in pre-kindergarten education, a large indicator of future educational growth. How does your state compare

Very soon, states can apply for federal grants that will provide extra money for education. There is an opportunity in these grants for early childhood education to gain vital funding. States must compete to win their share of the $500 million Race to the Top grant which will be distributed based on each state’s comprehensive plan to clarify learning standards, ability to create transparent programs and provide for low-income and disadvantaged kids. 

Last year, Delaware and Tennessee won over $600 million in phase one of the competition and 9 other states and the District of Columbia won over $3.4 billion in phase two, although last year’s grants were awarded in a broader category, not just for early childhood education.

It will be crucial that states build a competitive grant application; future parents and their children will depend on it.

Jacob Kirn is a journalism major at the University of Missouri-Columbia and an intern at Parents as Teachers.