As WPRI reports, Rhode Island's youngest learners will be the beneficiaries of a Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge award from the United States Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. Rhode Island is one of nine states to win early learning RttT grant funds. Based on the strength of existing programs including Ready to Learn Providence, Rhode Island applied for $50,000 million to support early learning statewide with a focus on underserved communities. These funds have the potential to create universal high quality preK programs, which would address a one of our state's most fundamental equity issues. Fantastic news!
Update - just ran across this analysis on the Quick and the Ed blog that shares criteria and scoring methods for the states that applied for the RttT-ELC funds. Yeah, I know I cheered above, and I am happy for Rhode Island in this instance, but not at the expense of other states' young learners. I remain opposed in terms of equity to the notion that states must compete to win funding that most if not all so urgently need. Winning comes down to following the rules of the scoring, which does not necessarily demand the same skill set among professionals as building strong programs.