News for Immediate Release
Dec. 19, 2013
Governor Corbett Lauds Pennsylvania’s
$51.7 Million Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant Award
is one of 16 states that applied, one of 6 awarded funding
Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett today
announced that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded Pennsylvania $51.7 million
through the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant program.
early learning programs are known to improve student achievement and prepare students
to enter kindergarten,” Corbett said. “As
a national leader, Pennsylvania offers early education opportunities to our youngest
citizens and this investment will help us to further improve and expand our existing
next four years, the grant will be used to support Governor Corbett’s vision
for early childhood education in Pennsylvania, which includes closing the
school readiness gap that exists between children with high needs and their
peers as well as increasing the number of children who are able to read and do
math at grade level by the end of third grade.
initiatives to be funded by the grant include:
- Establishing 50 local Early Childhood Education
Community Innovation Zones to serve the lowest-performing elementary
schools in the state. Each zone
will complete a comprehensive needs assessment and with assistance from
the state each area will develop strategies focused on increasing family
supports and engagement; developing stronger relationships between early
childhood education programs and school districts; and strengthening the
network of community organizations that serve families with young
- Improving access for children with high needs to
high-quality early learning and development programs.
- Increasing access and delivery of high-quality
professional development for early learning educators.
- Developing a no-cost universal Kindergarten Entry
Inventory for voluntary use by schools to better understand the needs of
students entering kindergarten.
- Operating four Governor’s Institutes for nearly
3,000 pre-kindergarten to third-grade educators and practitioners to
experience and share strategies and best practices.
initiatives further solidify my administration’s strong commitment to early
childhood education and the need to ensure that students are provided with
quality learning opportunities,” Corbett said.
“I am pleased that Pennsylvania has been awarded this grant to continue
investing in our students to ensure their future success.”
As a strong
believer and supporter of early childhood education, Governor Corbett has
increased the state’s support of early education programs by $43 million over
the last three years. In the 2013-14
state budget, Governor Corbett increased funding for Pre-K Counts and Head
Start Supplemental Assistance by $6.4 million, which is serving an additional 1,000
also included an additional $6.8 million for Early Intervention, $6.5 million
for Keystone STARS and $9.3 million for the child care subsidy program. These
funds will be used to provide services to more Pennsylvania children as well as
enhance program quality.
Media contact: Tim Eller, Dept. of Education,