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RI wins early learning grant

December 16, 2011

Rhode Island is one of nine winners of a federal Race to the Top Early Childhood Learning Challenge Grant. The Ocean State competed successfully against 35 other states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. The grant will bring up to $50 million to Rhode Island over the next four years.

State officials say they plan to use the funding to bolster preschool programs. The application calls for all preschools to enter a mandatory quality rating system. It also provides extra training for preschool teachers in both state and private preschool programs.

Another aspect of the plan involves creating an assessment for incoming Kindergartners. The idea is to test each student upon arrival so that teachers have a better sense of their strengths and weaknesses from the start of elementary school.

Massachusetts is one of the other nine states to win an early learning grant. Connecticut applied but did not receive any funding.

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