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California Applies for Federal Grant Funding of $140 Million for Early Childhood Education Programs

October 30, 2014

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and State Board of Education President Michael W. Kirst announced on October 20 that California has submitted an application for the U.S. Department of Education Preschool Expansion Grant.

The grant could provide California with $140 million – $35 million per year over a four-year period – to support the development of high-quality state preschool programs. This funding would provide for more than 3,700 new and improved preschool spaces for low-income and special needs children.

California's application especially emphasizes inclusive preschools: high-quality programs and supports for children, including those with diverse needs such as children with individual education programs, English learners, and migrant children.

Through this effort, California seeks to build and support a culture and community of inclusion from the earliest point possible for children.

California's application was developed by a close working partnership involving the California Department of Education (Early Education and Support and Special Education Divisions), First 5 California, and the State Board of Education. If funded, the work would be carried out by specifically selected regional subgrantees that include local preschool agencies. California's continued success working with and funding Regional Consortia as part of its regionally based Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) implementation provided the knowledge, capacity, and partnerships to engage in a rigorous subgrantee selection process.

Support for the development of California's Preschool Expansion Grant was received from the Annenberg, David and Lucile Packard, and Heising-Simons Foundations. These contributions build on their earlier critical investments supporting the development of strong early education systems in California.

California may well be competing with nearly two dozen other states who have submitted a notice of intent to apply for a portion of the expansion grants. A decision is expected by the end of the year.

For additional information, please visit the U.S. Department of Education's Preschool Development Grants page.

Source:  California Department of Education