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State makes bid for $50 million federal education grant


    Teacher Kris Nakaoka watched her students leave the classroom at Likelike Elementary at the end of the school day Friday.


The state submitted its application today for a federal Race to the Top competition for early childhood grants.

If selected, Hawaii would get $50 million for early learning efforts over four years.

“We worked hard. Win or lose, we have a plan,” Terry Lock, the governor’s early childhood coordinator, said in a news release. “This plan allows for private-public partnerships and builds on the foundation that is already in motion.”

Hawaii’s plan calls for reforms in five areas:

>> Providing better coordinator of early childhood programs, policies and services.
>> Designing and implementing a tiered quality rating and improvement system for childcare programs.
>> Improving early learning outcomes.
>> Enhancing the size and quality of the early childhood education workforce.
>> and tracking student progress.

Awards in the Early Learning Challenge will go to states that are leading the way with ambitious plans for improving early learning education. Awardees will be announced by the end of this year.

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