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Colorado gets $15 million R2T bonus

The federal government has awarded Colorado a $15 million grant to supplement the $29.9 million Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge award the state received last December.

The new funds will be used for the same overall purposes as the original grant – raising the quality of early childhood education programs and improving student readiness for kindergarten.

“Colorado’s commitment to ensure that children start kindergarten ready to fully engage in learning continues to be recognized and rewarded,” Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia said in a statement. “This administration has placed a high priority on making sure that all children are valued, healthy and thriving. Securing these additional federal funds will bolster Colorado’s work that is already well underway to enhance quality early childhood services.”

The state departments of education and human services are working on upgrading the quality rating system for early childhood programs, improving kindergarten readiness among high-needs students, raising the quality of the early-childhood workforce and implementing a new school readiness assessment.

Colorado bid for a $60 million R2T early childhood grant in 2011 but wasn’t selected. It was awarded the $30 million in a 2012 consolation round, so with Wednesday’s award now has gained $45 million of the original request.

See this EdNews story for more information about the original grant and the state’s ECE improvement efforts.

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